PARTICIPATORY SPORT FOR CRAFT ARTISTS
Jewellery is not only a decorative and beautiful product; it is also the culmination of a designer's ideas and focus. Chinese culture emphasises the calm, serene attitude which influences and cultivates internal thought and life-style. My playful and harmonious collection of jewellery pieces reflects both the influences of Eastern values and Western aesthetics.
Organic plant-like structures are the recurring theme in my pieces, which I achieve by arranging, restructuring and accumulating repeated elements. I am inspired by images of spring - delicate, tender and comforting, with features of buds and fruits and their round, smooth and plump characteristics.
In our busy and fast moving world I hope that my wearable art jewellery can not only embellish but also offer a sense of serenity and gentleness.
Olivia S.C. Yao
The unique and constantly changing colours of the sky during sunset and the randomly patterned clouds are the theme of my work. Astonished by incredible colour combinations and the untouchable softness of the clouds I aim to capture the beauty above us. I have taken numerous photographs of clouds and selected those which have the most splendid colour and pattern combinations and used them as the inspiration for my creation. I am always surprised by the random yet balanced tone and dispersion of this natural phenomenon.
To best capture the colour and texture of clouds, I used Nuno felt fabric as the basic material for my design. Positioning my work as catwalk jewellery allows me to make it large scale and dramatic. My technique uses wool fleeces and silk fibres delicately felted on to woven fabric, creating a smooth colour gradient with contrasting random patterns.
By using an internal structure of boning blended with the weightlessness and transparency of the fabric I am able to build up the volume of my design so that the pieces become wearable. This lightness and flexibility creates an organic movement, as the model walks down the runway. The swing of the pieces creates a visual sense of lightness as if floating in the air.
I use extensive processes on materials such as copper, wood and bamboo fibres with the aim to achieve an appearance of decay and ephemeral transience. My pieces represent properties associated with the impermanence of nature.
My work draws on natural forms and hollow shapes that create intriguing shadows in contrast with the naturalistic, but vibrant, colours achieved during the making process. The egg, symbol of life, is present in each piece.
Inspired by the Eastern philosophy of Wabi-Sabi, I create objects that transmit to the viewer feelings of fragility, the beauty of the imperfect and incomplete together with reflections on ageing and death. In Pagan and Zen beliefs, old age is valued for its wisdom and dying is accepted as part of life, as necessary and welcome as birth. For all who live life seriously, reflections on death can show the right direction and the right choices. Death has a meaning only when combined with a renewed glance at our life. In this way a meditation on death and decay reflects a meditation on our life.
I am interested in ordinary stories that have something special hidden beneath their surface. This arouses my curiosity and imagination. Imagining the possibilities seems more fun to me than knowing the whole truth behind these stories.
Growing up in the vibrant culture of Thailand, everyday life is full of rituals. Religions and superstitions merge together inseparably. These ancient beliefs developed over time and now co-exist with modern lifestyles, creating colorful contrasts. Everyday rituals seem ordinary, yet hidden within them exists a flash of the extraordinary.
I want to express these contrasts of visible and invisible, outside and inside, the co-existence of old and new. I use translucent acrylic, a material which can be seen through but still obscures, to present my ideas. The Industrial process of laser cutting contrasted with hand painting presents a mixture of different styles. The use of vivid colors and complex structures is inspired by Thai street culture.
My aim is to create jewellery and decorative objects that have these hidden values which can be discovered and enjoyed.
(Lewis & Oliver)
I created Lewis & Oliver which produces handmade luxury leather products that appeal through high quality, restrained design and fine detailing. Keeping within a strict minimalist ethos, each piece is designed with the least amount of components made from the best materials and highest levels of craftsmanship to produce a timeless range that at present includes a MacBook sleeve, iPad case, messenger bag and a wallet.
Using the rich, tactile qualities of the material and working with its inherent natural flaws and variations, as a contrast to the precision of technology, necessitated a new approach to how the leather was worked. I worked with the best English leather artisan Steven Harkin of Essex on centuries old techniques such as pressing and blocking but I used them in new and contemporary ways.
The raw untreated material will age and change over time so will turn an object into a treasured possession.
Lewis & Oliver will be a luxury brand covering a wide range of products, with emphasis on limited editions and low volume pieces, giving the customer a feeling that they have discovered something new and very special.
Why are beautiful patterns so often seen in paper designs? Why can they not be wearable pieces of jewellery? Two-dimensional patterns and images may be able to interact with three-dimensional structures; this has become the main focus of my work.
In the process of creating my jewellery I get inspiration from images of organic shapes, flowers, butterflies and other romantic imagery. I draw them out, by hand and digitally, to achieve striking patterns which I translate into laser-cut materials. I connect those multiple patterns and make them into a single wearable piece. I use red thread as a material for connecting the components as well as for decorative colour highlights. In this way it allows for the pieces to be worn in many different ways.
In my work I use line and form that have a delicate quality, using mark making methods to describe grid-like patterns, which are inspired by architectural structures. The impact of line and pattern on how we read an object’s shape and volume provides a map of movement, it is descriptive. The cut lines record movement on the material creating pattern through negative and positive space.
I use white rubber as a blank canvas to cut into and shape around the wearer; through the gaps of negative space your own clothes can be seen. Creating the work in rubber means that the pieces are constructed more like garments; patterns are made and cut in order to facilitate the moving body.
As a maker I relish the challenge to manipulate the two-dimensional sheet into items of three-dimensional jewellery. Only through my understanding of the flat sheet can I create a totally transformed object.
I am inspired by my background in architecture and interested in methods of construction that contribute to the environment and influence the way we live. In my opinion structures in nature equal the most marvelous art in the world; the exquisite compositions, elaborate patterns and colours always touch me deeply.
I discovered that uncomplicated shapes repeated many times create intricate compositions that form the basis of every organism. I therefore chose some life forms and analyzed them; I was interested in different combinations between the simple and the complex. It was like disassembling a toy and then reassembling the parts in other ways.
I rely on the ability of the viewer’s eye to blend the colour spots in my pieces into a fuller range of tones. I use patterns of coloured dots to express subtle colour variation and gradation in a similar way to Pointillist and Impressionist paintings.
Chen Chih Liu
My jewellery design focuses on capturing the playfulness in an imaginary world of childhood memories.
When we grow up, we no longer have the time to indulge in fantasies like children, though we may wish we could, I aim to draw attention to this feeling of childhood freedom, and remind us of something we have unconsciously lost.
Multiple layers of paper represent a growing person who accumulating knowledge and experience to solidify the form of the self. My use of bone is a reference to memory and the imagination, connecting the wearer with nature through its tactile qualities. I intend for my work to encourage the wearer to regain the pleasure of this lost time; providing them with a visual delight.
My attention is focused on contrast, colour, texture and form; I am interested in the subtle relationship that exists between them and how they coexist within three-dimensional objects.
I combine traditional making approaches with newly developed materials and technology, creating a dialogue between the old and the new. With this methodology I have been investigating the effect of natural processes and aging of materials, creating intricate patterns and textures on my objects. I use a deconstructive approach towards my materials, chipping away at the very essence of what they are in order to create something new, pulling the alloy apart to create texture and form, peeling back the layers to reveal its true identity.
I aim to create compositions that reflect my personal taste, but at the same time are balanced in their use of elements and structure of their final form. In this process of creating a new piece of work I re-contextualise the motivations for my practice to simultaneously enable a new making experience.
The rice paper used for traditional Chinese painting is characterised by its pliable and tough texture, absorbency, white colour and long lasting shine. I create the multiple layered paper works by rolling small strips of paper together and painting marks directly on its surface. My work presents only two elementary geometric forms, a circle and an ellipse; creating subtle contrasts between emotional painting and rational shapes, straight lines and sensual curves. I aim to emphasise the rice paper’s natural materiality and texture by making wearable jewellery pieces and sculptural objects.
Hsuan Wei Chen
Why can’t we wear a painting? Why can we see paintings only on the wall of a museum or gallery? I have always been fascinated by the great painters and my interest and inspiration derives from my admiration for the material qualities of their incredible paintings.
Drawing on my own experiences, I compose abstract three-dimensional forms by combining paint on canvas with other painted features and so create new contemporary jewellery and wearable art.
Initially, I work with a specific intention, but I try to keep myself open to intuitive discoveries and surprises. Works are complete and alive when there is a balance between the deliberate and the uncertain.
By using buttonholes as fittings I release the work from the oppressive constraints of being conventional paintings and by placing the work on the body I then allow for the body to become a work of art.
Fragile and crystal-like, I create glass jewellery. It is a meaningful creation exploring the transience of life and the illusion of existence. To create is a constant negotiation between the mind, the subconscious, selfhood and external influences.
The collection of jewellery pieces I have made uses glass test tubes with enamel techniques. Elements are built from metal mesh, then glazed and assembled in a furnace. They are then fired to a high enameling temperature of just under 900℃, where the glass and enamel combine on the metal mesh.
I use my creative intuition and ideas of organic forms and landscapes to express the irregular and seemingly random pattern of plants. The emotion I am trying to portray is the struggle of everyday life, whether it is human life or plants and animals, and in turn, the beauty of creation.
My creative enquiry looks at the unique visual appearances of outer space and cosmic phenomena. I am inspired by the absent boundaries and abstract patterns of cosmic space, the contrast between empty space and occupied space. In my collection of pieces I explore surface qualities and innovative use of material combinations. I create new forms within jewellery by combining natural materials such as pearls and precious metals with rubber and painted enamels. The work explores layers and depth of space in order to create visual illusions.
My material and aesthetic choices reflect my fascination with abstract forms and appearances and my work looks to emphasize the mysterious characteristics and beauty found in the universe.
"Brooch" 30 x 25 cm gold plated electroformed metal glass rubber enamel
"Necklace" gold plated electroformed metal glass rubber enamel
"Brooch" 15 x 20 cm silver plated electroformed metal glass rubber enamel
Jewellery for me is like my diary - my work illustrates my changing path through life and the experiences that are important. My life is constantly changing, so change is the only constant theme in my work. I use humour to record and describe these changes because Buddhist philosophy teaches us to laugh at those moments that are painful. In my work ovals and circles can be seen everywhere, symbolising the endless reoccurrence of life and reincarnation.
Thin steel tape is my main material, it is flexible, it can be bent into an oval shape and it can be fixed with tiny silver nails. When my pieces are worn and the wearer moves, my work changes too by showing different images. I prefer eye-catching colours, such as yellow, to show my feelings about change. Contrasting colours, contrasting materials and different philosophies are motivating my work and I hope that my work is seen as fun, while at the same time engaging with different philosophies of life - whatever change might happen, please smile!
“The Lily of lamplight Brooch:8×5×2cm Steel, silver, readymades, acrylic, magnet, paper
"the unemployed" Brooch:8×9×2cm Steel, silver, readymades, acrylic, magnet, paper
"Where is your home?" Brooch:9×5×2cm Steel, silver, readymades, acrylic, magnet, paper
Physical therapy can often be painful, repetitive and dull. Continuing rehabilitation exercises at home, outside of a clinical environment is important to the successful recovery of a patient. This however can be difficult to feel motivated to do. My aim is to make hand therapy a more enjoyable experience and therefore a more beneficial process for the recovering patient.
This research is directed at creating an enjoyable activity that exercises the hand effectively but also diverts the patient’s attention away from the therapy. This is achieved with positive audio feedback when an action is completed correctly. Different musical notes can be achieved when squeezing each finger to the thumb through the object. The difficulty of bringing the thumb and finger together can be adjusted to suit the patients injury and recovery rate.
Distraction is a well-documented form of pain relief. Engaging and succeeding achievable goals can lift the morale of the patient which in turn can improve the rate of recovery.
This product does not conform with other hand therapy aids that are already on the market. It is designed rather than engineered and therefore, whilst still being highly functional, is not solely focused on utility. The working mechanism for the aid is housed in a rubber outer form that could differ in colour, shape or size to appeal to different audiences. The unusual and contemporary form makes it surprising as a physical therapy aid and gives it potential to become an intriguing addition to the home setting.
"Bob" and "Rupert" 20 x 15 cm rapid prototyped model, spray painted
I am fascinated by the nostalgia of historical interiors. This collection of work addresses themes of a lost world of decoration; the 18th century, a period in history which witnessed changing attitudes in society and a time of great optimism in contrast to the rigid moral conformity.
Interiors were outrageous in their ornamentation; a reflection and testimony to the opulence and foreign influences of the time. I look to recapture the essence of this period through ornate hand piercing, embellished textures and colours which reflect this romantic fussiness of grandeur.
This collection adorns the body with an heir of antiquity. It looks to narrate the relationship between changes in history, the influence it had on attitudes of the time and how this in turn is witnessed through the interior domain.
"Hat Pin" Collection assorted 15 x 18 cm
"Alternate Canvas" assorted brooches: handpierced metal, craquleur effect, gold plated, electroformed fabric, patination, domed, goldwork embroidered
"Howard" brooch hand pierced metal, bronze plated, electroformed fabric, domed 10 x 10 cm
My work is used as a platform to visually communicate my concern for the welfare of elephants that are used as a tourist attraction within the cities of Thailand.
I use concrete as my main material to represent the urban environment and the aesthetics of graffiti and street signs to contrast with the forests where the elephants should belong. The street is like a public canvas where everyone can make their opinions heard.
Jewellery similarly can be used to convey a message. My work looks to raise questions about how we live and what we value.
This body of work entitled ‘Please walk on the grass’ is a reaction against traditional ideologies associated with the typical gallery space.
Throughout my creative practice, I have come to question the restrictive boundaries which are enforced within these spaces. Usually when entering an art gallery or exhibition we are expected to adopt a certain ‘gallery etiquette’ which can prevent us from truly experiencing the work. I address this issue by creating a collection which can be engaged with in an environment which is inviting and comfortable. My aim is to let the viewer interact with the work without apprehension or supervision; I feel this is the only way one can really discover my pieces.
The collection consists of several brooches which have been inspired by sites across the UK which are significant to a time in my life. The materials, forms and colour schemes depicted in the pieces have been directly informed by a photographic diary collated from these locations.
Some pieces are exhibited in the open environment at these sites through the aid of a contemporary treasure hunt. The remaining work is to be placed in a gallery space, in a manner which juxtaposes all traditional ideals. Gone is the plinth and the glass cabinet; instead these wearables are integrated into a warm and relaxed space reminiscent of the home.
"Caroline Road" 8 x 3 cm base metal, handpierced, found object, spray painted & gold plated
"Fairy Dell" 5 x 7 cm base metal, hand pierced, laser cut carpet and wood, spray painted
"The Edge" base metal, handpierced, press formed and spray painted
My work derives from an exploration of the relationship between architecture and Japanese traditional origami tessellation. I create wearable fashion and accessories. I aim to create products that invite interaction and arouse interest beyond the merely beautiful. This work explores extravagant solutions in three-dimensions, sculptural construction and variations in scale and application.
Pleating gives structure to the architectural paper, while allowing for flexibility. Thus the pleated sheet can be bent and shaped into a variety of configurations. Alterations in the folding patterns result in the discovery of new forms. The architectural paper is tear and water proof - my pieces are stable and washable. Contrasting surfaces of pale silk add another dimension which overall establishes a sensual and intriguing visual aesthetic for each piece.
When people interact with my work I want them to smile, to enjoy the silk cloth, bringing their own subjectivity to the appreciation of the relationship between product and wearer.
60 x 30 cm paper & fabric
Bunvara Tey Wannapin
I aim to create jewellery that evokes a sense of fantasy and magic. I create images which can be seen but cannot be touched. By using laser cutting, mirrored plastics and image transfers, I explore ideas of illusion and reflection to delight people’s optical perception.
My style is inspired by pop culture and manga cartoons. This is reflected through my design of colourful and playful graphics. My work aims to be fun, quirky and trendy.
"Necklace" 14 x 5 cm mirrored acrylic
"Ring Two" 5 x 5 cm mirrored acrylic
"Ring" 10 x 5 x 3 cm mirrored acrylic
I want to capture the ephemeral, something which does not last. The ephemeral jewellery I am interested in is a mixture of performance art, video, installation and jewellery.
I use fire as a symbol for passing time and hope that the wearer might be attracted to the process it describes. Watching the jewellery burning on the skin can bring wonder and intrigue to the viewer, an effect mixed with elements of surprise and shock. It will both attract and repulse at the same time.
The candlestick, on the other hand, has a molten texture, a flexible form, reminiscent of a shadow or a line-drawing. It is a static, object-based, way of expressing my idea. No matter how static or dynamic the method, I hope my work records the beauty of transience.
"Brooch" 10.5 x 9 x 3 cm sealant wax and cotton
"Brooch" 13 x 11.5 x 4cm sealant wax and cotton
"Necklace" 32 x 24 x 15cm sealant wax and cotton
Aesthetic experience is not a rational process; it seems rather to be a matter of instinct and intuition. I am interested in themes related to 18th Century debate on emotional responses to the arts, like ideas of the sublime, the beautiful and the picturesque. I am inspired by experiences which promote a strong emotional response, a feeling of fear, of intrigue, of excitement and of serenity.
I have developed my work to create a collection of seductive table based objects which juxtapose traditional manufacturing techniques with cutting edge materials and contemporary processes. I have a passion for material development. As well as developing new and original materials, I like to push and evolve existing materials to create unexpected and innovative outcomes. My forms and colour combinations come from photographic documentation of moments of turbulence, fleeting seconds where I can capture an emotion or an energy. I find these brief moments of transience stunning.
I am very interested in emotional perception. I like to observe the details of life and I favour what is easily ignored. My work is designed to draw people’s attention to feelings that go often unnoticed.
My interest originates from observations of shadows which are rarely noticed. The idea of using film to represent shadow-stories comes from the moments when I am alone. I noticed that the existence of shadows is hardly perceptible but they are always around. I use the unfixed shadow to represent the mind and suppressed emotions which we ignore or don’t want to accept.
I have chosen light and delicate materials in dark tones to create wearable objects which represent shadows broken from the physical form to liberate the emotions. The films are made using these material objects to project those struggling emotions and experiences. The title of the film is “The Confession of the Shadow”.
What is the evidence for something to truly exist? For me it’s memory, but how to prove that memory is true and not a self-constructed mirage? This is what I am puzzled by…
I use fragments of memory to create a dreamland. The true memory always seems far from me when I try so hard to touch it. So I give up searching for the answer and I sit down and talk with my memory. I sense an old friend, sometimes close sometimes a stranger. I am not told the answers I want, but I feel I can read myself more clearly.
I use clear resin to seal and to keep objects, cut them, then remix them. I use the difference between artificial and organic things, and symbols of falsity and truth. Sometimes I use symbols like animals which are a materialization of the sub-conscious. I want to express my understanding of memory to analyze myself. I feel a dialogue with my work every time I am making. I will seek the truth but I will only ever get close.
"The Babel" resin and acrylic
"Big Fish" resin and acrylic
"Chaos" resin and acrylic
Sketchbooks are an integral part of my life, I use them to record my emotions, events and fleeting moments; they contain my memories. I fill them with sketches, photos and paper ephemera as a reminder of days past.
These sketchbooks are the inspiration for my jewellery - my collection is about capturing the vestiges of memory and creating artefacts that allude to moments in time.
I use mostly found wooden objects in my work as they retain the marks of wear, traces of past lives and speak of the previous owners. I utilise playful mechanical movements and inventive methods of attachment to emphasize the hand-made aesthetic that I favour. I place these unusual wooden objects together in compositions to create humorous, surprising and unexpected narratives.
I treat every piece of this collection like a small sculpture. I am inspired by architecture and the idea of negative space, and I aim to create a diversity of form that is rhythmic and modern. My acrylic jewellery is based on a kinetic and variable concept reminiscent of childhood games playing with Rubix Cubes.
The forms reference Bauhaus design so I create simple geometric units which connect into a more complicated whole. These pieces transform into a variety of compositions to allow the wearer the play and freedom of interaction — one piece, multiple possibilities.
“Seeing is not believing” is inspired by the magician’s magic chest. I aim to design pieces which contrast the exterior and interior through the use of form and colour. This creates a sense of mystery, discovery, surprise and a sense of fun within my work.
The multi-functional elements of the pieces allow the wearer choice and a further level of interactivity and play. I also use images of familiar everyday objects to further explore ideas of contrast.
My work focuses on forms and textures. I aim to create functional objects with innovative appearances by balancing form and function. The forms of my work were created by repeating, arranging and organising simple elements into complex patterns and structures. Dramatic textures are produced to strengthen the visual impact of my work.
My making techniques are self-developed by building moulds from ‘plasticene’ constructions. I make the forms by building small ‘plasticene’ pieces in a particular order. My working method applies spontaneous making processes to create unrepeatable one-off pieces. The silicone rubber offers a unique sense of touch; it is soft and pleasingly tactile. This sensation contrasts with the sharp and dangerous way the objects visually appear.
In this collection I made both, tableware and wearable jewellery, including vessels, rings and necklaces. As a group of objects my work contrasts and compliments each other in terms of form, texture, colour and scale.
Silicone rubber vesels
My curiosity in light manipulation has inspired this collection. Through the use of computer aided design and laser technology, forms are constructed from multiple layers of acrylic. These are then hand dyed, providing me with the necessary control over the colour, tone and shade of my work. Each layer is treated individually and colour is applied, accentuating and creating a sense of intrigue.
Applying the theory of refraction, the clean cut edges of the acrylic provide a medium from which natural light can resonate and bounce. This reveals a newly found depth in the objects as the light guides the viewer’s eye through the entire form. The pieces possess sensuous qualities which makes us want to interact and touch, glistening and capturing light through the wearer’s movement and thus bringing the pieces to life.
laser cut and dyed acrylic rings and brooches
“Office Folk” explores what happens when the spirit of ‘folk’ interrupts the usual
expectations of an office environment. Bored office workers, who linger in the stock
cupboard, find alternative uses for the tools and stationery they discover.
In an effort to counter the abstract labour and diminished autonomy of the office, workers develop tactics to make their environment more habitable. They fashion ad-hoc solutions in response to banal situations, making inventions that serve their own needs not those of the management. With no obvious ways to change the system, office workers (beneath an appearance of conformity) set about improvising handiworks which evidence and attest their humanity and look to propose alternatives to formal office culture.
Employing makeshift methods office workers mis-appropriate and adapt common
place objects to create escritoires (desk companions) to tickle, cheer and interrupt
the daily grind. “Office Folk” is an exploration of what can be improvised under the cover of 'office administration'- creating pieces of quiet rebellion.
"Tie holder" 10 x 7 x 2.5cm
"Performance Evaluator" 21 x 50 x 5.5cm ruler, lanyard, bull dog clip, desk, brown tape, filing system, fasteners, calendar.
"Clocking Off" 10 x 7 x 2.5cm typewriter, ruler, pen, pencils, tape, paper clips, staples.
I have always been attracted to historical objects such as antiquarian books, houses and old streets. Compared with the beauty of old things, new objects have visual impact but they feel transient.
The inspiration for this collection comes from the visual effect of old walls, particularly the cracks, peeling paint and graffiti. I started to explore the question ‘why do I find a piece of damaged wall beautiful?’ It is a place that shows people’s emotions, a canvas of the imagination and it is also a shield for people’s privacy and protection. Walls have carried the emotions of people and every little change has been accumulated over time; these changes are fascinating.
I intend to show this beauty. I use concrete combined with other materials which relate to the architecture of the present and narrates the stories of the old.
I am very excited about fashion, the way it enables the wearer to express their personality and style everyday without ever having to speak a single word-this fascinates me.
'The art of getting dressed allows the wearer to prepare the body for society, choosing whether to conform to the idea of what is normal or not.' (Entwistle)
Fashion is about making a statement, whether consciously chosen to make one or not. Everything defines us, whether it is jeans and a T-shirt or a dress made of meat, each is a statement. I am interested in making a statement and causing a reaction.
I use experimental and advanced plastics to create playful pieces and I combine textiles, metal and anything I can lay my hands on to explore a wealth of textures and colours.
Alice Wenxiu Yu
My work uses geometric patterns and optical illusions to create new visual surprises and beautiful contrasts. Optical patterns are usually seen on flat surfaces, they create the illusion of three dimensional space, depth and perspective. I have taken this a step further by warping these patterns three-dimensionally.
I use traditional jewellery skills and combine them with the use of new technologies. My digitally generated graphics are then computer engraved onto acrylic which after heating becomes flexible to fold and curve around metal frames; bending, stretching and transforming the original graphic patterns. Led by intuition, I probe the relationship between material and multidimensional space to create equilibrium and find new beauty.
About the Curator:
Sian Haigh-Brown is a jewellery designer-maker who has recently graduated from her MA Jewellery Silversmithing & Related Products at the reknown School of Jewellery Birmingham. For more information about her work, please visit her website and connect via twitter.
We would all love to hear comments on this exhibition, or email the curator email@example.com
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