Month: October 2013

An Evening with Mònica Gaspar at Cranbrook

Sponsored by Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Jewelry Forum  In this talk, Mònica Gaspar uses the term “object-ography” (writing about objects) to describe her practice, which finds her curating around and researching on the encounters and “dis-encounters” between people and things in everyday life. She introduces the audience to some of the art jewelry, …

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Yevgeniya Kaganovich: Function Fictions

Yevgeniya KaganovichYevgeniya Kaganovich is a very diversified and articulate artist. Her show at Heidi Lowe Gallery called Function Fictions is a continuation of an investigation of her fascination with pearls. She has some interesting thoughts about them and a new process for using them in the making of her necklaces. I also asked her about some of her earlier work, which veers out of the jewelry realm but stays in the land of the body.

Susan Cummins: Pearls have been your thing for a long time. What kind of hold do they have on you?

Yevgeniya Kaganovich: I am fascinated by the distance between “pearl” the object and “pearl” the cultural contract. Pearls have come to have so many different, sometimes diametrically opposing connotations: status, wealth, power, glamour, celebrity, purity, innocence, corruption, and seduction. The pearl operates as a signifier of these cultural constructs. But in reality, the pearl is this very unlikely object. Considering its origin, a pearl is a scar, an imperfection that has been glorified, elevated to a status of preciousness, and ascribed a high monetary value. For all of its cultural conditions, prestige, and historical statue, a pearl has a meager beginning as a mere irritation, an anomaly. It gets even more complicated with cultured pearls. They are deliberate intrusions into live organisms—hybrids, mutants. And then there is nacre, the iridescent outer coating of pearls, which is a bit magical, because its formation is not fully understood scientifically. It is secreted by a mollusk. Its function is to smooth the shell surface and protect the soft tissues from debris/future pearls. A mollusk deposits successive layers of nacre onto a pearl all its life. We value the pearl based on how thick and lustrous its nacre is. In my pearl work, I attempt to think through some of these dichotomies. 

 

Siamese Connection

Melissa Tolar, Crystal Dimension with Red, 2012, brooch, enamel, copper, sterling silver, plastic, copper leaf, glass, Swarovski crystal, quartz, 88.9 x 63.5 x 25.4 mm, photo: artist Susan Cummins: How did this curatorial collaboration come about? Please describe a little about yourselves in the process. Brian Weissman: Every now and then, Erin and I like …

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Simon Cotrell: Surface Depths

Simon CottrellSimon Cottrell’s show Surface Depths at Klimt02 Gallery offered an occasion to question this articulate and verbose jeweler. He uses an unusual material called Monel and has a lot to say about improvisation, fingerprints, and the depth of surfaces. He is a deep thinker, indeed.

Susan Cummins: Before we start with the more in-depth questions, please tell me how you came to be where you are, doing what you are doing.

Simon Cottrell: In 1997, I completed a bachelors degree in fine arts with honors, majoring in gold and silversmithing at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). During my early years at RMIT, Carlier Makigawa and Robert Baines were teachers of the greatest influence.

From 1997 to 2008, I also worked with Robert as his assistant on his own work. This was a remarkably valuable experience through which I learned more than I knew was even possible about working with metal. Making your own work is very different from working with another artist on their work. It forces you to work in ways that are both conceptually and technically outside of your personal logic. It is the best way to learn while working.  

 

Susanne Klemm: Oceanum

Suzanne Klemm studies nature, and specifically in this show at Galerie Ra  called Oceanum, she is paying attention to deep-sea life. The mysterious world of sea creatures has inspired many jewelers over the centuries. However, Suzanne doesn’t claim to be interested in any precursors and finds her own way to a translation from the deep …

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Susanne Klemm: Oceanum

Susanne KlemmSusanne Klemm

Suzanne Klemm studies nature, and specifically in this show at Galerie Ra  called Oceanum, she is paying attention to deep-sea life. The mysterious world of sea creatures has inspired many jewelers over the centuries. However, Suzanne doesn’t claim to be interested in any precursors and finds her own way to a translation from the deep blue sea to wearable jewelry. 

Susan Cummins: Can you tell the story of how you got interested in making jewelry?

 

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