Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Alice Bo-Wen Chang

Previously trained as an architect, I have always envisioned buildings as machines. Architec­tural elements are designed to form spaces that manipulate activities and movement. While jewellery cannot divorce itself from the human body, the most intimate space lies in between the body and the object(s). I approach jewellery design as constructing spaces on the topographic contours.
Experimenting with different metals, plastics, enamel, and combining innovative technology with traditional hand craft skills, I am always in search of new materials and new ways of working. My exploration entitled ‘Bodyspace/bodyscape’ starts from a flat surface as it does not possess a spatial relationship, lines can be cut and pulled apart to create an animated form that express the expanded space.
The uncompromising lines and squares in Bodyspace/bodyscape, repeat in a predictable manner and are folded into endless possibilities of forms and shapes. The rigorous and logical orders result in an unpredictable, even organic growth of variations that contrast and interact with the curvature of the body. The objects perform the transformation that is frozen in time. The manipulation of lines disintegrates the rigor of squares and straight angles, the structure folds, collapses, reconstructs and extends its motion into space. When the action comes to a halt, the movement continues visually.
The study results in a series of undulating solid squares resembling the body landscape. Each of them is a fragment of the body mosaic, and the wiry structure is situated on the tilted fields, grows out of the folded planes, or sometimes converses and dialogues with the unaligned surfaces. The objects can be made small, or large, depending on the number of units; the modular nature of the patterned units allow pieces to oscillate in scale effortlessly. The action in which the movement occurs is presumptuous and temporal, but the effect is long lasting. The colors and textures not only provided a different ambiance, they show the versatility and adaptability. In one of the earrings, the oxidized silver provides a darker background to support and contrast the white structure, of which some of the lines and corners are highlighted with fluorescent pink color. The piece instantly possesses an animated quality, and a very dynamic and hierarchical transition from the body surface to the tip of the angle reaching out to infinity.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Jo Pond

Jo Pond graduated with an MA distinction in Jewellery Silversmithing & Related Products, from The School of Jewellery, Birmingham in 2005. This period of study formed a major turning point. Having been making jewellery since the age of 15, trained firstly at evening classes and latterly at Berkshire and Loughborough Colleges of Art & Design, Jo established her design process and achieved a completely new and original body of work which now focuses her practice.

Jo was awarded for her Narrative Jewellery Collection, winning the 2005 BDI Industry & Genius Awards in the category of Products and Genius. Her work has been exhibited internationally, showcased at selected exhibitions such as Schmuck in Munich, the V&A Museum, London, Price Tower Arts Center, Oklahoma, Galerie Rob Koudijs, Amsterdam and Contemporary Applied Arts, London.

Born in Chiswick, London, Jo is now based in rural Staffordshire, living in a beautiful building which was formerly a convent. Alongside her practice as a studio jeweller, Jo is now employed as a full-time lecturer at The School of Jewellery. She is a member of Contemporary Applied Arts gallery and the Association for Contemporary Jewellery.

I come from a family of ‘Ponds’ who appear to have a genetic necessity for hoarding; digging stuff up was the foundation of a passion for objects which others might not quite appreciate. Metal detector finds and loose road-side cats-eyes fashioned the beginnings of a lifetime of habitual collecting.

As a Technician I resourcefully trimmed worn ends off workshop brushes to create much shorter ‘new’ brushes. The off-cuts sat in boxes and were gradually joined by other worn and discarded brushes. To me these were beautiful, bristles or no bristles.

Utilising this drive to collect the unconventional and unwanted, coupled with an aesthetic appreciation of the details of decomposition and change, I choose to incorporate items potentially paradoxical within jewellery, to create beautiful and on occasion, confusing objects.
Employing symbolic references of form, material and technique, I dabble in the potential for wearable items to become vehicles for communication; whether through sense, nostalgia, or knowledge.”

Monday, 27 February 2012

Karin Roy Andersson”The joy of repetition really is on me”

- Hot Chip

I am a long distance runner. The urge for repeating movements over and over again, methodically and resolutely is something that is significant for both my personality and my work. Running kilometre after kilometre or sawing up and down hour after hour. Multiplicity and recurrence attract me. The variations between the details become important creating patterns and rhythms. I am aiming to make jewellery where dynamic patterns form harmony and balance.

I am a collector always searching, always hunting. Constantly consuming, chewing, grinding. Once I have got caught in a loop of repetitions, a routine I find it very hard to stop. Misuse, mantra or mania - I identify with the repeated persistent movement and the constant grinding.

My works are self-portraits made of my latest addiction, or more correctly what remains after consuming kilograms and kilograms of it. They are traces of an unnecessary consumption; to collect and use them eases my conscience.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Joana Cunha

I am a Portuguese designer maker based in London. In my work I use mainly traditional jewellery skills, but I am also interested in the combination of traditional skills with new technologies. My current work consists on hand made pieces which have been designed to trigger interaction between the wearer and the viewer. The main focus is on hidden spaces and movement.
 All the pieces have hidden elements which are the vehicle to incite the curiosity of the viewer and initiate a conversation with the wearer. Each piece hides something unexpected. Movements and touch reveal a word, a sound, an emoticon or a stone. The attention of the viewer is captured by colour and tactile contrasts.
The revelation of the hidden elements is the surprise that connects the viewer to the wearer, encouraging an interaction that may not have happened otherwise.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Rebecca Skeels

SKEELS is a growing jewellery and product design company. It was established in Cambridge in 1994 by Rebecca Skeels. Rebecca is now based in Farnham, Surrey after completing a residency and solo show at South Hill Park Arts Centre, Berkshire.
Over the past 17 years, Rebecca has worked on commissions as well as her own collections of unique hand made cufflinks and pendants to inspirational furniture and games. These are exhibited through, galleries, shops, craft shows and trade exhibitions.
In 2009 Rebecca became senior tutor for the undergraduate Three Dimensional Design and Product Design courses and is the Jewellery and Metalwork Pathway Leader at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham. Rebecca has more recently become cluster leader on the MA course at the University for the Creative Arts, working with students across Interior and Architecture, Jewellery, Glass and Ceramics specialist areas.
As a member of the Board of Directors for the Association for Contemporary Jewellery (ACJ), Rebecca encourages jewellers to network online. The Association for Contemporary Jewellery is devoted to the promotion, representation, understanding and development of contemporary jewellery.
Very recently, Rebecca became a Trustee for the New Ashgate Gallery in Farnham. The New Ashgate Gallery is a non-profit educational charity, which promotes contemporary visual arts and crafts to as wide a public as possible.
Through research and experimentation with alternative materials, Rebecca produces a number of one-off pieces to complement her existing ranges. This led to managing and running a symposium/exchange with the Jewellers and Silversmiths Network (JSN) and the Critique Collective Network in San Francisco in 2010. The JSN is a group run by its members for its members with the aim of getting to know other makers. 
Rebecca’s recent collection of bird inspired rings and pins are made from a mixture of metals, from metal clay, brass, steel and silver using a variety of processes including casting, hand building, soldering, texturing and oxidizing. The legs of the ducks, chickens and crows become individual display stands of the jewellery when not worn.
Rebecca intends to expand her recent collections with more research and experimentation, taking opportunity of new, developing and different materials and technologies. Research will also take place to develop the method in which jewellery and metalwork is taught, widening the understanding of how we learn and the knowledge of the jewellery and metalwork industry.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Michelle Kraemer
 When I graduated from school in Luxembourg I knew that I needed to go abroad to study. Spontaneous decisions have been a big part of my life so far. That’s how I decided that I didn’t want to study film making after all, but wanted to work more with my hands. So I started a course in Three-Dimensional Design in at the University of Portsmouth during which I discovered my love for jewellery. When graduated I had done a little bit of everything, but not much of anything, I needed to deepen my understanding in the field of contemporary jewellery. When I found a little school in Florence, Italy, by the name of Alchimia I knew that’s where I needed to go. So I moved to Italy. During the 3 years I spent in Florence I discovered that also with jewellery spontaneity is a valuable tool. 
After I finished the 3 year course I again moved, to Vienna, Austria, this time, where I’m still working and living now. I had found the studio and artist community STOSSIMHIMMEL, that has proven to be a great support for me and my work. During the first year in Vienna I decided that I also wanted to do the fourth year of Alchimia, called Quaternitas. I chose Ruudt Peters as my tutor and he showed me that I needed to leave my comfort zone in order to make good pieces, hence the title “ Have you got the guts?” The pieces shown in this exhibition are a part of the outcome of that year.

Jewellery is something that needs to be touched. And this is how it all starts, intuitively manipulating materials…leather… textiles… wood…stone…latex… Sometimes I let them decide themselves what they want to be and sometimes a specific idea calls for a specific material. The challenge, for me, is to transform the material in such a way that it changes completely, it becomes something else entirely, until it becomes jewellery...
Skin – the barrier between our self and the world. Worn outside of this barrier, these pieces become like an extension to our self. Like adding a protective layer to our self or slipping into someone else’s skin, mimic of reality or the chance to be someone else. Or like the phrase “being thin skinned”, meaning being sensitive and in need of a thicker skin, or protective layer. Being inspired by the body itself, they create a sense of confusion in us. Fascination and disgust, they are in a way a part of us, but at the same time they are like a disfigurement that we catch ourselves staring at. Or like a repressed feeling that materializes in form of a growth or a tumour, for us to carry with us.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Margherita de Martino Norante

Margherita is from Florence and really loves to live in her home town. She took her degree in Idustrial Design and then studied Jewerly at Alchimia and hand engraving at Le Arti Orafe. As teachers she’s had Manfred Bishoff, Manuel Vilhena and for short workshops Bernhard Schobinger and Arline Fish.
In 2010, together with her friend Eugenia Ingegno, she has started 1x1 collective, a project with the aim of spreading and showcasing contemporary jewelry in an simple and direct way. She has organized some exhibitions for the collective and took part in others like: Alchemic Experiences (Lorber Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel), Conceptual Jewelry exhibition (Gallery Putti, Riga, Latvia), Premio Fondazione Cominelli (Cominelli Foundation, Cisano di San Felice, Brescia, Italy), JOYA Fair (contemporary jewellery week Barcelona with 1x1), and she has been selected for Schmuck 2012 (Munich, Germany). Her work is also present in some private and public collections.

About her work:

I like making single standing pieces of jewellery. They are all different but have a common starting point: the idea that jewellery talks about the wearer.

A piece of jewelry is a powerful instrument of communication. It is worn on the body or on top of clothing so it's directly between our self and the world. Not only is the first thing to be seen, but more than clothes, it is superfluous and one makes a conscientious decision to wear it.

So I make puppets, reproduce undergarments, play with fetish and icons coming from my culture, education and everyday things.
My pieces are my way of ironically reflecting on human frailty and on those contrasting wishes of revealing, hiding and disguising oneself that each of us recognises.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Luz Arias

Jewelry has always been my dream
I have always wanted to be jeweler
it is paradise and strugle
it is a mirror
where I can see
things I been trying to hide
It is a playground and a nightmare
a fight and my place in the world
jewelry can stretch a bit and be a spoon
or a crown
even I like  metal the most
it is tough  has its own rules
hard but melt opaque and
love hammering, the  profound loneliness of the dark gold
and  the clear sound of the metals.
curiosity brought me and drove me to
places of resin and wood
colors and freshness
limits that open
to a meaning full
path walk
it's the place to be lost
and stay there until
some ring come and
pick me
being suspended
is also the in between
one thing is not yet there
and the other is not gone...
waiting... for the thing to happen