I am a firm believer that a piece of jewellery is completed when it finds its owner and is worn. Maybe thats why I love making glass beads; technically they are unfinished until I or someone else creates jewellery with them and they are worn. Having said that, they can be finished when anything decorative is made with them and they are placed where intended. I have spent this weekend looking at some jewellers who push this theory a bit further. I discussed Ted Noten last week, with his ‘Chewing Gum’ project. The eventual wearers of the product had a huge involvement in the process as well. I think this is so important, and I aspire to take on a project that involves the wearer to such an extent in the future. So lets talk about some of the others.
Tiffany Parbs “challenges and expandes contemporary definitions of jewellery”. A lot of her work is interactive with the body to the extent she uses people’s actual skin as a canvas. Here is Blister Ring, 2005.
She is inspired by the abstract jewellers of the 1970’s, she is “especially intrigued by the features and embellishments the body absorbs over time”. Well, it is definitely jewellery that interacts with the wearer, admittedly to a further extent than anything I make will, but I still like the dedication of the wearer. It makes me think of tattoos, though the Blister Ring is, in my opinion, more of a collaboration between designer and wearer.
I also want to talk about the work of Madeleine Furness. She makes rubber coated jewellery as a means to protect those struck by lightning from scars as a result of metal. Furness collects pictures of victims of lightning strikes, and where metal they were wearing has struck them. The black rubber coated jewellery she creates has the illusion of being frazzled by a lightning strike.
She is of a current trend of jewellers who “utilise existing jewellery”, and her interaction with the wearer is what I consider to be a caring one, once again the jewellery is complete upon wearing, serving its intended function.
Finally, Arthur Hash is described as ‘Artistically Unconventional’. He seeks to “question the role and value of body adornment”, finding that with the definitions of jewellery constantly changing as they are currently, he needs to rely more on his own personal inspiration. I particularly love his Rubber Stamp Bracelet, 2005 made of a rubber stamp and ink.
When describing his work, he says he considers most of his ‘finished’ pieces work in progress.
What do you think?