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.

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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

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To see more of  her work click here

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.

Colour with enamel

I have been thinking about different ways to introduce variety in colour to the interchangeable elements in my new collection. I have thought about using enamel for some time but have been unsure how exactly.

After browsing through Etsy Metal I found some pierced work with enamel that had such a lacey feminine effect, as well as the use of piercing as a stencil for enamel. I think this would be an interesting way to add colour to my elements. Which technique do you find more appealing visually?

I think the affect of the enamel in conjunction with pierced pieces and the way it bulges and creates a soft edging is very effective in emulating a ‘lacy’ look.

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These pieces can be found at Rubygirl.

Miranda Meilleur

The work of Mirand Meilleur excites me so much!

She is a silversmith and creates a broken-down, eaten away effect while still retaining a refined sophistication to her work which I think is so beautiful, and it is something that I am trying to accomplish in my own work. She makes a lot of silver bowls and metal table-mats with pierced out and etched patterning.

Here are some examples of her work. She also uses a lot of patterned and textured elements in contrast with clean, bare surfaces.

I would like to experiment with and branch into trying to use my metalsmithing skills to make other forms of ornamentation and art such as wall pieces, metal collages or table décor. I think I will find this rewarding, as it is very much the design and manufacturing process that I enjoy the most, and I think this will open up my avenues and enrich my jewellery.