Last weekend Gallery Loupe hosted the Mathilda Fund, an annual event that supports the fight against ovarian cancer. This year internationally recognized contemporary jeweler Pat Flynn created a commemorative brooch to help us raise awareness and money to help find a cure for this horrible disease. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to Pat for his hard work and dedication. Renowned jewelry historian Toni Greenbaum gave a beautiful speech in honor of Pat and we wanted to share it with you.
“In his catalog essay for Pat’s 1998 solo exhibition at the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, fellow jeweler Bruce Metcalf called Pat “a really good goldsmith.” Indeed, most contemporary metalsmiths rarely achieve Pat’s standard. His unusual combination of materials – steel or iron with gold, platinum, opal, and diamonds – is edgy, and unexpected, full of contradictions between medium and process. The jewelry, along with his gracious hollowware, manifests an underlying tension between, as Pat states, the “wildness of forging” and the “elegance of goldsmithing.”
Bracelets, brooches, neckpieces, and rings appear rough and rusted, recalling ancient artifacts buried for millennia. Pat’s objects display a colorfully corroded presence, a visual poetry usually reserved for the natural patina of time. Nonetheless, Pat manages to alter metal so that his surfaces fairly explode with all the hues and tonal variations possible within the material; he files, sands, burnishes, and otherwise manipulates those surfaces, revealing layer upon layer of texture that often changes subtly, even within the same piece.
Pat’s attention to detail is mind-boggling. Each hinge, closure, and stone-mounting is completely handmade – commercial findings would never enter Pat’s technical vocabulary. His craftsmanship is impeccable. Nevertheless, Pat is a truly modern maker; his designs reveal a contemporary organic abstraction, but with a sensibility rooted in the archeology of the past.
Pat’s jewels are made to be worn; in fact, he regards them as incomplete until mounted upon a body, communing with the owner in a personal way, as well as communicating with others, within the wearer’s arena.
His consummate skill has earned Pat many awards; including 3 National Endowment for the Arts Craftsman’s Fellowships, a New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and designation as a Master Metalsmith by the National Ornamental Metal Museum.
Pat’s work is included in numerous museum collections, among them the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Arts and Design in New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; the Yale University Art Gallery, where a beaker by Pat is on permanent view; and Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum, Trondheim, Norway.
One of Pat’s signature series is his heart pins. As Metcalf stated in a 1996 article for Metalsmith magazine, entitled “Heart and Art:” “Since the heart is the standard symbol for affection in this culture, and since jewelry remains one of the most permanent and intimate of objects, it’s no wonder that Flynn’s heart pins have proven so popular over the years….symboliz[ing] and condens[ing] powerful emotions…close to the sight of those feelings.”
Pat has created a special limited edition heart pin in honor of the Mathilda Fund, with all proceeds going directly to support Ovarian Cancer research. The pin, available with either a ribbon of sterling silver or 18K gold, can only be purchased here at Gallery Loupe, where an exhibition of Pat’s jewelry may be viewed through this weekend, with a percentage of those sales being donated to the Mathilda Fund as well.”