Alluring Interpretation

joyce jrb piece 350x330 - Alluring InterpretationGoing sculptural in a jewelry direction, this piece really caught my eye back when and I never forgot it. There is something very alluring and even a bit Georgia O’Keefe about this piece. Here is the original post in which I was promoting the popular Summer 2012 – Recycle and Reuse issue:

With our focus on finishing the next issue (Recycle & Reuse theme with TONS of ideas for using scrap clay, canes, old pieces & parts, etc.) I’ve been attracted to work with this theme. This piece from the mysterious Joyce (JVL on Flickr) uses scrap from a prior class and a broken glass bead. It feels so alive, like a strange new anemone. Some things just come together, even better for not being planned.

As is turned out, the mysterious Joyce was Joyce Ramdan who created this piece during a class with Jana Roberts Benzon back then. Joyce seems to have wandered off into other crafts since then but has several examples of her reinterpretation of the technique, all of them quite beautiful, as you can see here on her Flickr. photostream.



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Polymer or Porcelain?

I couldn’t resist a last little guessing game for this week.

When I was looking through my Pinterest boards, I found this set of beautiful, organically inspired bracelets by Armenian artist Sona Grigoryan, but I couldn’t be sure if they were ceramic or polymer. So what do think these are made of?


Sona is an Armenian  living in Barcelona and she is in love with polymer clay.  I think it is the antiquing color added to these bracelets that give the polymer that almost translucent porcelain look. Most of her work would not make you think of polymer straight away. Her pieces look more like to be made of bone, wood or other natural materials. Take a few minutes or more to look through her fantastical work on her Flickr pages.


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A Little Chaos

For our last bit of scattered art, I did want to look at the whole of a design arranged in a scattered and random looking manner. Necklaces lend themselves well to this kind of design being there is a fair amount of space in which to “scatter” the components.

Russian artist Oksana Aleksandrovna Vedernikova working under under the name silverpepper23 on Flickr, looks to have a penchant for a little chaos. This necklace is a great example of not having to engineer your pieces with symmetrical arrangements.


Chaos isn’t really the right word for most of Oksana’s work. Maybe intricate and definitely busy–but not in the overdone manner–would better describe this jewelry artist’s work. She is heavy into wire wrapping and stones as well as polymer and goes back and forth as well as mixing her materials. But regardless, it is really quite bold just how close she gets to chaos without going over the edge.


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Outside Inspiration: Is it a Necklace?

I had a great conversation this past week with the wonderful Mitchell sisters. We are, all three of us, very big on function. Just because something can’t funtion as the object it was created as doesn’t mean it’s not art. But if it can’t function as the type of object it is labeled as, should it actually be categorized as such?

For example, look at this ‘necklace’ … it’s huge! I don’t see it being worn comfortably or well for any length of time. So is it a necklace? Some people will say yes–it fits over the head and rests on the neck and shoulders. But what is a necklace for? It is to adorn the wearer, right? But what if no one will wear it long enough to say the person was even adorned with it? If something doesn’t really fit its function, I am for simply calling it art, usually sculptural art since sculpture doesn’t have a particular function. But if not, do we call if a failure for not fulfilling its function? I don’t know if we should go so far as to say it’s failed. let’s reserve that bit of labeling for things like bad toupees and monstrous high heels.




I am certainly not saying this piece is a failure or not worthy of our consideration. I saved it for a reason. I like the careful consideration of every plane on this piece–the sides, top, bottom, and insides are all colored and coordinated through their saturation. And the artist, Marjorie Schick, recognizes that her work pushes the boundaries of what can be called functional. A book collection of her work was titled “Sculpture to Wear” rather than something about art jewelry or sculptural jewelry. The work is acknowledged as sculpture first, and so we can say it fulfills its primary intended ‘function’–as art to be viewed without undue expectation about how it will operate and survive as anything beyond that.

But this brings us to a notable point about our work. If you are making something that is expected to perform a particular function, it should be able to fulfill the role–it should be able to hang, stand, or move as needed, it will not come apart when used with reasonable care, it won’t harm people when it is worn or displayed, etc. Looking good is, of course, important; but if you neglect to consider how it will hold up, how it will be worn or displayed, or whether it will be comfortable enough for the wearer to keep it on for the day or even a few hours, you haven’t made a successful piece, not to mention you’ll probably disappoint someone. Creating functional art means creating the functional aspects as well as the art.


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Sculptural Jewelry

How do you work with polymer clay? Do you consider yourself primarily a maker of jewelry or do you prefer sculpture? Do you ever combine both. Janet Wilson does just this with her tree pendants.

2180814147_ddb95d656e_zOne of the joys of jewelry art is that someone can wear and show around a little piece of their art collection. It is a piece of art not relegated to viewing by only those who visit the owner’s home or stop in the office it’s placed in.  Creating a sculptural vision that can also be worn really takes advantage of this aspect of jewelry. And probably gets the wearer a lot of attention?

Have you ever used sculptural imagery in your work or created a scuplture that can be worn?



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