I just read through the the latest Metalsmith (or at least the parts I was interested in,) I'm always wishing I get a little more life out of it before I stow it away on my shelf, so I'm sharing some thoughts.
I was drawn most to the article "Mining History: Ornamentalism Revisited" by Lena Vigna and Namita Gupta Wiggers.
The article itself talks about the individual jewelers' work separately, but with so many common threads I was ping-ponging the text to reorganize the info so it made most interesting as a whole. Referential silhouettes seemed to be the strongest theme, present in all work except Lauren Kalman's Lip Ornament. The substitute, or absence, of materials was also important.
To me these pieces rely on our collective memory to fill in or juxtapose the "historical." In this sense, it is similar to cut steel and berlin iron jewelry, which were popular in comparable contemporary circumstances. Is it stange that, as a group, these pieces remind me of our sour economy and war?
-Also, anyone else notice the "Look" spread was absent from this issue? I left a comment over on SNAG's Forum, it was the best part of the redesign!