Heather Smith Jones

I cant think of a better way to start a morning of creativity than by finding something inspiring, and today is my lucky day! I am delighted to share with you my new find, the work of Heather Smith Jones….

Pinhole patterns

Heather Smith Jones is a paper artist. She uses loads of wonderful techniques but it was her pinhole project that caught my eye immediately! It has such a fresh and delicate lace-like appeal to it and embodies the kind of spirit I hope to capture in my jewellery. It seemed to remind me of my ‘White Lace’ range…

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I think the pinhole technique also reminds me of the intricate and time consuming process of lace weaving and how a dense amount of small, insignificant elements (holes or knots) can create something beautiful.

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Tzu-Ju Chen

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I have come across what I think is such beautiful work, made by Tzu – Ju Chen. The above pictures are from her ‘Lace’ range; I think they capture the qualities of lace so well and invite your eyes to look closer and your hands to explore the surfaces of the pieces to experience them completely.

Chen has done a number of ranges exploring different mediums, some of which include enamel, laminated photos, organic space, foam, electroforming and wire construction.

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Above is a piece from her ‘Laminated Photo’ range.

Carla Nuis

Lately I’ve been looking at the work of Carla Nuis. I think the way that she uses pattern, negative space and simple form to to visually texture and bring to life flat surfaces is done very effctively. Her work, although seemingly simply at first glance, entices one to look longer and further and gain an appreciation for the detail that I think  makes the surfaces so tastefullybeautiful.

Here are some of my favourite pieces of hers:

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Ball ring

carla nuis potato piece

To see more of  her work click here

Reflections

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I am currently exploring jewellery as an expression of identity, and making jewellery as an expression of myself as the maker.

In reflecting on the bangle that I have just made, I picked up on two aspects of myself that are being expressed.

Childhood Memories: I grew up in Zimbabwe in an old Rhodesian house with decorative iron burglar bars. I would lie in bed and stare at the patterns trying to see if I could make other patterns within them. I have seen some reminiscence of the elements from those burglar bars in my work (this bangle included). The use of these elements in my work is a connection to my childhood and upbringing.

My Femininity: I like to embrace and celebrate my femininity. I think that the qualities of a woman, both inside and out are a beautiful combination of strength and meekness. I think it is important to note that the lace-look I have chosen for this piece is a rugged lace, not refined and perfect. This is a representation of how I feel that although the nature of a woman is delicate and refined, each of use holds a unique strength and character. We may have flaws and faults but it’s the little knots and tassels that when woven together create a beautiful lacework.




Has the function of jewellery been lost?

After doing some research I found it quite interesting that it is very hard to find contemporary jewellers who make jewellery specifically for, or with the expression of its wearer in mind. I found this very intriguing that one of the oldest crafts in history and means of ornamentation that originated around the world as a means of expression for the wearer has started to lose its original purpose…or has it?

I speak from personal experience when I say that as a contemporary jeweller, the ‘artist’ and ‘creator’ in me seems to only be satisfied when making a piece of jewellery where the only reference to the wearer is how the piece will fit on the body. It is satisfying to see the finished product appreciated and worn by someone, but only after the creation process has taken place. Is this strange? Has contemporary jewellery or ‘art jewellery’ become so far removed from its original function that function other than artistic expression is not even considered anymore?

Lin Cheung is a jeweller who makes jewellery for the wearer, and considers the function and meaning given to jewellery by its wearer.

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Some work by Lin Cheung ^

Jewellery as a tool for expression

I have been interested in the work of Anna Lorich for some time. The jewellery she makes deals with a number of issues, most of them revolving around and dealing with personal identity. Lorich sees her work as a reflection of who she is, using the creative process to question and search for her identity. She uses a number of themes such as landscapes, portraits and decorative elements as representations of issues such as relationships, memories, childhood and religion.

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Landscape Ring, Anna Lorich

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Brooches, Anna Lorich

I am also exploring the use of jewellery as a means of personal expression in my work at the moment. What I am focussing on, however is not so much jewellery being used as a tool of expression by its maker, but more by its wearer.

Anna Lorich chooses to use themes in the jewellery she makes as a representation of her own identity. In a similar way, I am choosing to make elements of jewellery which I hope people will choose to wear as a representation of certain aspects of their character.

Adding some texture to my life *

I have been exploring other avenues with my jewellery lately, and focusing more on function and forms that will be practical to the functionality of my jewellery. I have realised though, that I’ve really missed working with my passion for pattern and texture. This has been reflecting in my ‘inspiration/ working wall’ for quite some time, and yesterday I thought it was about time I did what I love: play with pattern!

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So…I got out my clay and wax and started making impressions. I’m really excited to see what will come from this batch , it’s always such a surprise to see the result of a cast.

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