A linear development

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Arts & Architecture


Jewelry provides a framework with a long historical tradition. I work within that tradition and find it both comfortable and challenging. While submitting to the functional restriction of the brooch (that it pin), there remain many possibilities to be explored. In this group of pins, I have tried to allow that function to remain unconcealed while still dealing with aesthetic considerations. There is a technical challenge inherent in the making of jewelry which fascinates me. The possibilities for mechanical inventions as well as manipulation of the image are unlimited. Sometimes I emphasize these technical solutions, while at other times I prefer to hide them as much as possible in order to play logic against the illogical. In many cases, the properties of the materials themselves suggest solutions to technical problems, thereby contributing to the aesthetic development of the piece. Tantalum, for example, is a malleable metal which maintains strength and integrity even when drawn out to thin wire. It cannot readily be silver soldered, however, and this has led me to develop other means of connection which then become a part of the visual content. All of the pieces in this group deal with line in some way. In some it is the literal spring tension that is emphasized. The line is pulled around and then restrained. In others, it is a playful disappearance and reappearance of the line that is important. I choose different metals for their color, their degree of strength and resilience, and their ability to support and maintain a quality of precision and elegance. I am concerned also with subtle variations in surface texture and pattern. The hollow forms and packaged shapes possess a sense of mystery because they are enclosed, encased spaces. Many of these soft forms have their source in rock shapes - the solidity and softness, and intimations of an interior space within, as of an egg. These forms contrast with the straight-forward, obvious lines that compose the rest of the piece. Playful and sensuous shapes are juxtaposed with sharp, dangerous looking ones. Patterns are often imposed on or into the surfaces of these organic or less controlled forms. Essentially logical human structures, patterns act on the form in much the same way that the intrusion of man-made structures on the environment can often be very beautiful and mysterious. The word 'jewelry' evokes many images. Fashion, personal beauty, and wealth are most frequently brought to mind as associated with the possession of jewelry. In part, I make jewelry in order to dispell these cliches about the function of jewelry. Jewelry, properly worn, is for the wearer, not the spectator. It has a character and implications, disturbing or pleasant, for the wearer. It should stimulate a sense of intimacy and affinity between person and object. It should contain a sense of mystery and magic, if only in the imagination of its owner.




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