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Mona and Alex Szabados
Each enamel is built up using transparent enamel with pure gold foil, silver foil, gold granules and wire in approx 40 layers and firings. The faces are built up with finely ground opaque and opalescent enamel in the same amount of firings, to create subtle dimensions and a tactile quality. Inspiration, other than wildlife, and the life we lead, are the enamels themselves, and the materials we use. The pure gold foil is a very creative material and is important in the movement and depth of design. Also now using palladium leaf has added a new dimension. We work on each piece together. When one of us has finished the enamel, the other begins the delicate gold smithing that encases the enamels, adding unique precious stones, gold granulation, reticulation and anticlastic raising. His artistry enables the enamelist to devote all the time she needs to create the enamels.
It is always intriguing to see how my personal imagination and inspiration embody to become an actual object. The working process is more open towards momentary happenings rather than manipulated by preset intention, which brings unexpected value. I rather explore, experience and cultivate the moment. I often observe how different elements play out in their own way, helping to define the destiny of each work. Pursuing the textures of abundant materials is my primal interest in jewelry. Adopting different fibers with other solid material reveals unique surfaces, characteristics, shapes, colors and textures which arise emotion, balance and tension. This is the most fascinating part of my work.
My work is based on a theme ”east meets west” Paper meets silver; throwaway meets precious. I explore all these encounters through provocative combination of material and form: using pearls and newspaper, adding gold, diamonds, to create new questions about the role of jewelry in the twenty first century. In every step of my jewelry creation, I test eastern traditional boundaries and western modern boundaries in the realm of objects that adorn the body through contrast, tension, absence and presence as well as finding a new harmony.
The relationship of color, texture, pattern and shape of natural beach stones initiates my inspiration. I work within the original finish and shapes of the stones that I collect, altering them minimally. By integrating my minds eye with a selection of unique stones, the pieces I construct impart a complex simplicity through the grouping of stones and the clean lines of my metalsmithing. Each finished piece is intended to personally resonate with others and be inviting to touch. The Clustered Series of work is all one of a kind. Each bezel is made of either fine silver or gold, backed in sterling then laid out in clustered groupings: either two or three-dimensional designs. Solder connecting the bezels in as inconspicuous a manner as possible creates a interesting visual, simplicity within it’s complexity. The layout of stones and their visual interaction with one another is as equally important to me as the meticulous fabrication that goes into the design & construction of each piece.
Seung Jeon Paik
Using the small particles, I create pieces to represent naturally occurring galaxy forms. These forms are created and can be changed by the laws of nature. Likewise, artists create new forms by the laws of physics and theories of aesthetics to represent their original ideas. In other words, various artworks have been created by artists’ principles in the art world, just as galaxies are created by the laws of nature in the universe. Also, I am exploring about the legacy of jewelry. Also, I am exploring about the legacy of jewelry. Mastery of skill which is one of legacies of jewelry is an important aspect of my work. I believe that artists obtain this mastery with deep understanding of the materials, tools, techniques, and possibilities of application.
Aaron Macsai & Frances Kite
I like the hands-on approach of manipulating metal. I forge; extrude; bend; file; solder; fuse gold; etch; sandblast; and polish. I am fascinated by the marriage of metals – combining various colors of 18K gold with polished silver and etched copper. I take the extra step of alloying my own 18K gold, so that I have a far broader range of soft colors. The final finish is achieved by using a fiberglass brush on the sandblasted surface. All of my jewelry is heavily entrenched in technique, as described above. Fluid motion, visual or literal, is also a key element in all of my work. Every step in the creation of each piece demands nothing less than a consuming level of attention and a complete dedication to detail. I approach this process with passion, as this is what I truly love to do.
All pieces are kiln-fired vitreous enamel on copper stitched with thread or wire & set in oxidized sterling silver or 14k vermeil. Pieces are completely hand fabricated & hand stitched. The copper is drilled prior to enameling. Multiple layers of enamel are then fired on both sides & then etched to create a matte finish. Once this is completed the piece is stitched & set in sterling or vermeil.
Jewelry with content and meaning is the basis of my work. By using realistic images done in relief and combining them with gems and minerals, I create little sculptures that can be worn. Each piece is a unique statement about a particular living being, whether it is about it's life, it's environment or a more complex story, including humorous ones. The imagery is generally sculpted directly into the metal with an old technique called repoussee that gives a wonderful surface to the metal. I then combine that with stones, precious and non. The larger ones I cut to fit precisely with my design. They are used to express the feeling of the piece with color, surface texture, and/or sparkle. Rings that I make also express some thing about the animals that are used, these however are generally cast and fabricated with chased and forged elements and set with stones.
Petra Class & Siedra Loeffler
My work is created in 22 and 18 karat gold. I use gemstones to emphasize my love for color and like to play with combinations of cut and rough stones, often limiting myself to a single color family. Lately, I found myself working with monochrome minimalist designs cutting stones in a way that leaves the rough surface partially intact or slicing bigger gems and using the geometric elements that present themselves..... The intention is to make work that seduces and attracts the eye, create pieces that fulfill the ancient human need for adornment. I use materials perceived as precious to invoke the eternal awe for the beauty nature brings forth
I collect and salvage every day objects such as antique jars and bottles, dinnerware and found pebbles finding something interesting and not immediately apparent in their geographical reference, history, texture and color. By transforming these items into just fragments of their originality a stirring of the imagination takes place. The item becomes unrecognizable and takes on a mystery and new purpose that is both fascinating and surprising. Soft aqua glass from 100-year-old mason jars and green glass from vintage cola bottles stir memory of the past but bring them to light in a new context. The grainy textured matte silver surrounding these reborn pieces is usually an uncomplicated bezel, a frame which leaves the focus on the object showing off it’s character but not overwhelming it. Other times the objects become part of a story meant to reference a particular time period or natural element in understated simplicity.
The word I use most often to describe my work is graphic. The simplicity of clean shapes combine to create small sculptures that you happen to be able to wear. I read once that texture and color are a pair like salt and pepper – they add spice. Concrete and felt are my spice, giving each piece a unique combination of sleek shape and form with an organic, tactile quality. The finished product has substance and boldness, much like the envisioned wearer.
I've been making jewelry for over forty years, with a particular focus on organic shapes. Themes of my work are ever evolving with new and creative variations. My work includes the portrayal of leaves and flowers, made permanent through the manipulation of sterling silver and 18 karat gold.
I utilize a variety of materials including sterling silver, brass, reclaimed wood, and textile to create sculptural jewelry. I explore themes of architecture, structural disintegration, and decay through use of surface treatments such as painting, burning, scratching, mark making, and stitching.
I enjoy creating body adornments. Jewelry is a very intimate art form as it allows the wearer to express herself through jewelry and at the same time allows the maker to be imaginative and creative. I often choose gold as my metal of choice, because it is extremely malleable and has inherent nobility. It does not tarnish or deteriorate and reflects the beauty and nobility inherent in each person. I believe beautifully designed and crafted gold pieces strengthen the wearer on an energetic level and I never get tired to apply ancient goldsmithing techniques to a brand new sheet of gold to form my next art jewelry piece.
My goal is to harmonize color, texture, gold, and stones into jewelry that begs to be worn and enjoyed. "I start by making individual elements, cutting them up, embellishing them, and then rearranging them all into different patterns and shapes. There's such joy in finding beautiful materials to work with, and then letting myself be as loose and free with them as possible, as if I'm painting with fire, stones and gold.
My work has an almost fragile quality, stressing lightness and mobility. By shaping paper thin sheets of silver, I can house space itself. When people hold my work in their hands, they are often surprised by its delicacy and lightness. There is an evanescent, momentary quality that I hope people can truly savor when they wear my pieces.
Each of these wearable miniatures is hand painted using fine brushes and a magnifier. They are made of wood or cast resin, then gilded with 22k gold leaf. The paintings are done in acrylics using multiple layers and glazing, to achieve the depth of the Renaissance paintings that inspire me. I am drawn to the minute and frequently overlooked elements in the natural world, often placing them as the focal point in my jewelry. Where one would traditionally see a precious gem, I paint plants, trees, insects, animals, birds. I try to capture the luminosity of of the Old Masters, while paying homage to the natural world around me.
Roberta and David Williamson
The artists have worked together in their metals studio for almost 45 years creating works that reflect their appreciation and love of the natural world. Working in collaboration across a large studio table, they fabricate pieces from sterling silver,found objects, and images from antique prints and postcards. The work often transcends the individual object as they incorporate the pieces in vingettes that continue the theme of nature, garden and home. Their works are in the collections of The Smithsonian Museum of American Art, The Racine Art Museum, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Tacoma Art Museum, The Ohio Crafts Museum and others as well as numerous private collections. In 2009 they were featured in the PBS documentary, Craft In America. Recipients of over 11 Fellowships and Grants, Roberta was awarded the 2011 Cleveland Creative Workforce Fellowship.