Tales From the Tool Box - Chapter One


Tales From the Tool Box - Chapter One

Thank you for viewing this on-line exhibition

This exhibition is a showcase for narrative work, with over 234 images it was decided that the exhibition would be in two parts with chapter two being on-line in January 2015

I would like to personally thank all the makers who took the time to submit work for this on-line exhibition. 

Image left: Dauvit Alexander

Title - "Blood Will Have Blood: A Macbeth Brooch"
Image Credit: Photography by Andrew Neilson, Neilson Photography.

Members: 35
Latest Activity: Jun 13, 2016

Jo Pond

Title: ‘Barren. Catharsis for consolation’, 15cm wide x 31cm long x 2cm deep, 2013.

Materials: Repurposed Materials: watering can rose, repurposed tin, ribbon, paper.

Many of us are not fertile, not capable of initiating, sustaining, or supporting reproduction; instead we are labelled as unproductive; labelled as barren.

We live discontent with our childlessness, bearing an undisclosed ache, a sense of emptiness; tender from the blunt questioning, presumption and surmise of others.

Through this piece I have explored the emotional and psychological associations of what fertility means to those who are not. The watering can enables each and every one of us to feed and nurture. That which we are inherently designed for is sometimes transferrable. The challenge lies in accepting that we are enough.

Image: Jo Pond


Professor Jack Cunningham

Title: Fragments and Curiosities (Series)
Dimensions: 80 x 135 mm
Materials: Oxidised silver, Perspex, cultured pearl, 18ct gold detail, amber, ruby.

“Relationships, family and place, are factors of particular significance in the narrative dialogue present in the work of Jack Cunningham. Equally important in the process of communicating his ideas are the materials incorporated, most recently, found objects and ready-mades. In the series titled Fragments and Curiosities, the objects and imagery allude to museum cataloguing and our fascination with Cabinets of Curiosity.

Through the process of association and personal viewing methodologies, Cunningham is interested in the dialogue that is consequently established between the maker – the originator of the artefact’s statement, the wearer – the vehicle by which the work is seen, and the viewer – the audience who thereafter engages with the work.”


Sophia Georgiopoulou

Title: "My Grandmothers Were Strong": Stitched, Impearled and Confined 

Year: 2013

Materials: Sterling silver, 18k gold, Burma ruby, found objects, seed pearls, garnets, silk

Dimensions: 3.25 x 2.25 x .25'

The female's asphyxiating enclosure into social stereotypes has made her strong. The elaborately dressed female figures on the tin type image are surrounded by the ornate, pearl stitched flourishes of the brooch frame. The only breach of the confining frame is doubly secured by knots of pearls and a garnet garland. Their strength lies in their fragile observation of decorum.,

Image Credit: Sophia Georgiopoulou


Tamizan Savill

Unchastity Belt, a poem in silver & soundbites for my women friends and their inner sluts.
Materials: Silver, reticulated brass, keys treated with various platings and finishes. Approx 80 cm long 2005

This piece started with all the keys I found in my grandfather's house; a lock without a key could be used for a chastity belt, so an excess of keys without locks became this Unchastity Belt. I asked women friends for short phrases about their various partners, and these were punched into the rings forming the belt.
So... the hunk, the punk, the drunk, the user, the bruiser, the loser, the one that got away. "Marry you? please!! I'm 17" , "marry me please, I'm 35" and yes, "The key to my heart". The keys were treated in various ways: salt to rust some, polish to shine some, gold and silver plating.

Image Credit:T Savill


Rosie Deegan

Hand Saw
Found objects, glass, silver, hand-pierced brass and ebony.
Saw – H: 75.5cm, W: 17cm, D: .12cm

The collection of “For a Man of Substance” from Impotent Tools consists of a range of non-functional tools, with the intention of subverting function and gender. Made from various materials associated with femininity, fragility and luxury, the collection brings together the unashamed decorativeness that women can openly enjoy but men cannot. Often men may use functionality as an excuse for their appreciation of beautiful objects, whilst women are stereotyped as being masculine for enjoying practical activities. This piece brings together practicality through the use of once functional found objects, and decorativeness in an open, frank and ironic way.

Image Credit: Yasmin Ensor



Title: 'Eos' (Red Rose wrist corsage)
Year: 2011
Material: flower, leaf, resin, metal, crystal
Size: 15x11x7cm (LxWxD)

Goddess of Dawn, Eos is described having 'rosy fingers' with which she opens the gate of Heaven in order to herald the approach of her brother, Helios, God of the sun. The red roses in this wrist corsage express Eos's fingers in the navy blue sky at daybreak.

Image credit: Steve West


Eden Silver-Myer

Daphne 2012
Materials: Cast bronze H: 11cm W: 6cm D: 7cm approx

Daphne is a piece of hand jewellery based on the myth of Daphne and Apollo. Daphne, the beautiful nymph being pursued by Apollo, calls upon Gaia for help, who transforms her into a bay laurel tree so she may escape. The jewellery depicts a point mid-transformation. Mirroring the imagery of the myth, Daphne is uncomfortable and restrictive to wear, yet delicate and intricate.

Image Credit: Charlie Cooley


Hosanna Gilbert

Health & Wealth, 2013
Dimensions: front length 6”, back length 16”
Medium: cast silver, cast bronze, silver rod, chain, and beads
Description: Choker with seven silver syringes, twenty-two bronze spikes, and twenty bronze syringes on a silver rod. This necklace was an exploration of the inequality I have seen in the monetization of health care; the best goes to only a few, while the rest of us make do with what is left over.

Image Credit: Michael DeLeon

Barbara Minor

Title - "House with Banana Palms"
Year 2008
Materials - transparent and opaque enamel on copper, 24 kt. gold foil, fabricated sterling silver
Measurements - H: 3"/77mm x W: 2"/52mm x .D: 25"/7mm
This pin is a part of an ongoing series addressing where we live and why we love the place we live. "House with Banana Palms" describes part of where I currently live in the deep south. Banana palms are everywhere. They make everyone smile, they get shredded in hurricanes and they turn brown when the temperature goes below freezing. They also yield the sweetest bananas when they bear fruit.

Image Credit:Ralph Gabriner


Mae Alandes
Latón, brass, laiton, 2012.

¿Por qué el dedo corazón es el favorito de las mujeres?
Why the middle finger (in spanish "heart") is the favorite of women?
Pour quoi le doigt du milieu (en espagnol "coeur") est le favori des femmes?

Porque es el más largo
Because it is the longest
Parce qu'il est le plus longue

Image Credit: Mae Alandes


Dauvit Alexander

Title - "Blood Will Have Blood: A Macbeth Brooch"
Year - 2012
Materials - Found, corroded iron cap from an oil-tank; silver; pure iron sheet; polycarbonate reflector material from a crashed car; carved obsidian skull; garnets; strawberry quartz; black spinels.

Size - Approximately 70mm x 85mm x 22mm.
Narrative - For many years, I have wanted to make a piece based on Shakespeare's "Macbeth" and this was the result. Taking the line from Act 3, Scene 4, "It will have blood; they say blood will have blood", I created this Gothic brooch in the form of a traditional "penannular" kilt brooch, reflecting the darkness of the play.

Image Credit:  Andrew Neilson, Neilson Photography.


Carol Hunt

Title: Tyrant?
Year made: 2013

Materials: 925 Silver with garnets and diamonds / L: 115mm W: 22mm D: 26mm

The Tyrant? full-finger ring is based on the legend of Richard III's reputation, evoking references to armour, the red and white roses of York and Lancaster, and stones chosen for the magical properties they were believed to have in Richard’s time. Historical references are contrasted with a contemporary aesthetic influenced by couture and luxury fashion. 
Tyrant? invites the viewer to make their own judgement.

Image credits: James Champion


Martina Elselein

Title: 'cementiri personal'

Made in: 1995

Materials: bones, brass - outer diameter 9 cm, widt 5 cm

This bracelet is the most emotional piece I've ever built.
I did it after three of my family members died shortly one after 
another, and onthis occasion it is made of bone.
The three central elements are for one person each, the exterior 
elements are the door to the cemetery.
It is a bracelet, because I wanted to wear the memory on the pulse of my 

Image Credit: Martina Eiselein


Elin Flognman

Title:I found a fork.

Materials: Fork, silver, bristles

The fork was lost in the tall grass. I imagined it’s past and where it was heading. This fork intended to become an artist and in the process of becoming one something was lost.

Image Credit: Elin Flognman


Nuno Borges

Title: Ladle's Gumption
Year: 2014
Materials: cast bronze, silver, rose and olive wood
Measurements: real size ladle for bronze (H 23cm) and pin brooch size for silver ones (H 7cm)

This body of work came into being through an intuitive dialogue with the materials that it is composed of, that is, wood and metal.
The empathy, or lack of it, between people, is the starting point for a jaunt around the kitchen table. Ladles are quite analogous to people, their behaviour and spirit, both collective in nature and yet individual in body.
The making process was a crucial part of the project, labour intensive but highly rewarding techniques were employed, such as sand casting and wood spinning.
The results are presented in a way that resembles the ordinary and the everyday, with a focus on textured surfaces and subdued tones.

Image credit: Nuno Borges


Sophie Main

Bag Lady 2013

Materials: Paper Shopping Bags, Silver
Cut, Assembled 380 x 120mm

I have a collection of shopping bags, most of which are in storage in my Grandma’s attic. I worry that something is going to happen to the bags while they are not in my possession. To alleviate my anxiety I have constructed this neckpiece. By cutting out a piece of each bag an amulet has been created, enabling me to carry a record of my collection on my person.

Image Credit:Sophie Main. Copyright Sophie Main


Diana Greenwood

‘There is always one moment in childhood…’

Mantel Box 230 x 330 x 45 mm

Mantel Box in Cherry wood with a hinged glass door, containing a silver vessel marked ‘drink me’, marbles, sweets and found objects

A piece about childhood, forgotten toys, favourite stories and the loss of innocence as the future beckons, inspired by ‘Garden of Love’ by William Blake.

Image Credit: Diana Greenwood


Chrysoula Papachatzi

Title: Dream Factory
Materials: Sterling silver, bronze

While we are asleep, the motionless body hides a mind that tirelessly creates a new reality. We wander freely in places and situations, we change identities and we are visited by strange creatures. The mind becomes a factory of dreams and we live our personal adventures in Wonderland.

Image Credit:Chrysoula Papachatzi



Jennifer Wells

Title: “Apple Brooch” ,
Year 2011
Materials: copper, sterling silver, liquid enamel,
1 ¾ ” x 1 ½” x 2/8”

The drawing for this piece came from a dream I had where a pregnancy test involved a sliced apple, three of the slices were dehydrated. I was abruptly woken from the dream by my radio alarm blaring a morning Church sermon.

Image Credit: Jennifer Wells


Lisa Kröber

title: heaven II
year made: 2013
material: silver, wood, moonstone, photo, resin, spray paint
measurements: 13cm x 27cm x 2cm

And then you´re just left behind,
between clouds and the air,
between dreams and wishes,
between worlds and words.

Image Credit: Lisa Kröber


Andrew Kuebeck

Title:  Brick Mason Brooch
Year:  2008
Materials:  Copper, Brass, Enamel, Sterling, Photo on Enamel

This work is from a series that depicted the emotional implications of my choice to have a career in jewelry design and metalsmithing.  Each brooch looked at a traditionally "masculine" career path that past men in my family choose, each piece taking the form of a tool that they would have used in their careers.  Within each brooch I staged a self-portrait battle, pitting an authentic self (one who is following his own path in life) against one that is trapped in the cloak of tradition and familial expectations.

Image Credit: Kevin Montague


Marianne Casmose Denning

Title: Medal for a painter
Year 2009  

Materials: found iron, fabric, thin nylon cord, stuffing, steel

20 x 25 cm

I was doing pieces for an entry test – create medals for persons you admire – and outside a shop I found the remnants of an iron lamp shade. I was with my parents at the time; they saw an odd piece of iron, whereas I saw a potential. The situation reminded me of the H.C. Andersen fairy tale: Jack the Dullard.

Image Credit: Federico Cavicchioli



Tracy Hills

Title - Red Riding Hood, Mechanical Pendant:

Year 2014

Materials: Sterling Silver, Garnet, Glass Eye, Sterling Silver Chain. Height 55mm x Width 40mm x Depth 20mm

Within a layered framework of trees, Red Riding Hood and the Wolf are on small sliders, allowing them to be moved sideways, or back and forth within a channel in the base.

Image Credit: Tracy Hills


Harriete Estel Berman

Title: Desirable
Bracelets and Fruit Crate Display from the California Collection
Who can get through a day without some chocolate? Definitely not this California Girl.
All three chocolate bracelets highlight brands originating from California – Scharffenberger, Williams Sonoma and Ghirardelli Chocolate. The reuse of post-consumer material reflects my advocacy for recycling along with innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of California.

"Scharffenberger Cocoa Powder "bracelet
"Williams Sonoma Hot Chocolate" bracelet
"Ghirardelli Chocolate " bracelet

Three bracelets displayed in a custom made wooden fruit crate. Bracelets and fruit crate label constructed from recycled tin containers, 10k gold rivets, aluminum rivets.

Dimensions of fruit crate: 8" H x 17 3/4” W x 7 9/16" D

Image Credit:Philip Cohen


Mark Fenn

Title: Brooch May 1

Materials: 925 Silver 

From Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death.

This brooch is about loss, the loss of loved ones taken too early, three in one month and the month was MAY

Image Credit: Mike Blissett


About the Curator :- Mark Fenn


Mark Fenn is a contemporary studio Jeweller and Silversmith with a BA (Hons) degree in Silversmithing, Goldsmithing and Jewellery from UCA.


Mark’s studio work is informed by the narrative and the personal. Mark is an award winning silversmith and a graduate member of Contemporary British Silversmiths. He is also a full member of The Association of Contemporary Jewellery and also sits on the ACJ advisory panel. He is based in the seaside town of Whitstable, Kent, UK. Mark's web site can be found here www.mark-fenn.co.uk

Comment Wall


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Comment by Kimberly Nogueira on January 14, 2015 at 10:36pm

Reading about each maker's thought process behind these narrative wearables opened up my world a bit more, thank you!

Comment by Harriete E Berman on October 26, 2014 at 3:23pm

I just love the way Dauvit Alexander uses his materials. While the selection of a "corroded iron cap from an oil-tank" and a "polycarbonate reflector material from a crashed car" are unorthodox choice of materials, they are skillfully integrated into the whole pin. The found materials are handled as thoughtfully as the garnets and spinel. The  "meaning in the materials"  contributes to the whole. We can learn a lot from this thoughtful strategy.

Comment by Cyd Rowley on October 26, 2014 at 2:10pm

Very thoughtful pieces.  Thank you for curating these

Comment by Sophia Georgiopoulou on October 24, 2014 at 11:25am

Thank you for curating this exhibition. The works are beautiful and striking. Looking forward to Chapter 2.

Comment by Linda Kaye-Moses on October 24, 2014 at 9:39am

Strong and beautiful exhibition. Thanks for giving us the chance to see this work.

Comment by Tom Supensky on October 24, 2014 at 9:26am

Narrative can have a very wide definition.  I think my work is narrative in that I try to express some form of communication with my clay sculptures.  How can I get my work in the January show?Cheers,



Comment by The Justified Sinner on October 24, 2014 at 9:20am

Superb collection! Can't wait for part 2. 

All my work is "narrative" and I tend to like work by other makers which is also narrative. 

Comment by Lorena Angulo on October 24, 2014 at 9:09am

What a fantastic exhibition! Narrative jewelry has been a favorite of mine and I truly enjoyed each one of these wonderful pieces of art.
Thanks !


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