Dorothea Prühl – One-off Exploration

Dorothea Prühl was born in Germany in 1937. She’s been a maker, teacher and curriculum influencer for a loooong time. Art School at the age of 19, a diploma at 25 and a teaching position at Burg Giebichenstein (the University of Art and Design, Halle, Germany) at the age of 29. I’m guessing that her experiences at art school; the rote learning of traditional techniques and styles later influenced her desire to teach her own students by ‘defying prescribed orientations towards design and without preconceptions about what constituted artworks.’ I imagine she must’ve ruffled a few feathers in the staff room with that unorthodox approach, but that didn’t stop her. In 1994 as director of the jewellery school at Burg Giebichenstein she started a more subjective approach, that of one-off exploration. I’m liking her already.

Prühl describes her own work as ‘spaciously gestural’. She says that it’s ‘based on a sculptural idea that takes proportion and scale into account. Concentration on essentials, empathy in the extreme and vigorous plasticity are the distinguishing features of these works. They are the critically reflected expression of an entirely subjective artistic agenda. More or less recognizable, the object visualized contains no subliminal messages; hence it permits no interpretations containing extrinsic references. These are works that are exactly what they purport to be. They are not ambivalent. There is no narration, none at all.

So, a departure from historical references, from cultural references? Modern? Individual? I get it.

I love this aluminum piece below even though it reminds me of pull tabs (which incidentally were invented in 1959 in case you were wondering).

Check out her website to see her full range of gorgeous one-off explorations. And maybe thank Dorothy Prühl, for helping to take jewellery design out of the hands of a few into the lives of many.

Collier aluminum 1966

Collier, aluminum. 1966

Star cherry wood 1999
Star, cherry wood. 1999
Tree animals gold, titanium 2002
Tree Animals, gold, titanium. 2002
Hawk, 2006 elm wood
Hawk, elm wood. 2006
Collar titanium stainless steel Gold 2014
Collar, titanium, stainless steel, gold. 2014

Jelizaveta Suska

Jelizaveta Suska was born in Latvia. She has a BA from the Art Academy of Latvia in Metal Design and is a graduate of the Academy of Design and Crafts, Gothenburg.

From Klimt02 her artist statement gives you an idea of why she crafts her unusual pieces…

You have probably heard of the fairytale Thumbelina written by Hans Christian Andersen. When I was a child I imagined myself being as tiny as her; the gigantic world seemed to me to be more beautiful and full of tempting adventures. I still think that, sometimes.

It’s striking where our imagination can take us. When I work on my jewelry I aim to be a demiurge, to create my own new world. At times, I craft my works so that if I were to become tiny and drop onto my jewelry, I would see a marvelous landscape. Such associations, are for me a vessel that transfer ideas to the material’
Very unusual interesting pieces.
30x30ringonergb_orig
From ‘Transition’ series, 2016 Row baltic amber, copper
Frozen in Amber crushed amber, polymer
From “Frozen in Amber’ series, crushed amber, polymer
frozen-dream- silver oxide, titanium, crystal
From ‘Frozen Dreams’ series, silver oxide, titanium
I walk in tokyo
Untitled
Frozen Moment Polymer, crushed marble
From ‘Frozen Moment’ series, crushed marble, polymer

Anouk Van Puyvelde

This is some of the work of maker Anouk Van Puyvelde. And I must admit as a beginner sand caster I’m in awe of her aesthetic; liquid silver flowing in and around bits of stone or brass in gorgeous random paths. Or rustic silver forms on their own. All so inspiring for someone like me who’s still amazed when a simple ring form completely fills during my regular attempts at this haphazard process.

As you can see none of the pieces are titled as per her website. And for some reason my stupid translate option isn’t translating her dutch into my english so I’ve very little information to pass on here. All I can say is check out her website.

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Luke Maninov Hammond

Have you ever wondered what the Biophilia Hypothesis is and what it has to do with jewellery? No? Me neither. But when I came across the work of Luke Maninov Hammond I decided to find out.

The word biophilia was first coined by the German social phychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist and humanist philosopher Erich Fromm and it means ones’ innate ‘love for humanity and nature, and independence and freedom‘. In other words, we humans are naturally drawn to the life force, to survival itself. It’s a concept that Luke likes to explore in his jewellery and I’m guessing that’s because apart from his work as a jeweller he’s also a neuroscience imaging technician who spends a lot of time in the realm of high resolution 3D microscopic imagery of cellular forms within the brain. So while his scientific side facilitates the study of things like sleep and consciousness along with diseases such as Alzheimers and Schizophrenia, his artistic side ‘is focused on reimagining biological form to explore themes of impermanence, consciousness and the connection between all living things. Through the study of organic structures that define life his novel creations instil a sense of wonder whilst also connecting complex biological and metaphysical ideas’.

Take a look and see what you think…because thinking is what it’s all about 😉

-gold-shield-ring_ 18ct white and yellow gold, austalian parti shapphire
Gold Shield Ring. 18ct white and yellow gold, austalian parti sapphire
cerulean-odyssey- object. sterling silver, gold plating australian spphirrs, london blue topaz blue apphites white saphhires 300 mm tall
Cerulean Odyssey Object. sterling silver, gold plating, australian sapphires, london blue topaz, blue sapphires, white sapphires. 300 mm tall
silver-cajal-ring_.jpgsterling silver,patina yellow australian sapphire
Silver Cajal Ring. sterling silver, patina, yellow australian sapphire
upright-towers-ring_9ct rose gold and white diamond 31mm x 10mm x 2.7mm
Upright Towers Ring. 9ct rose gold, diamond
LMH_Surfacing-earringsblue green sapphires 14 ct gold
Surfacing Earrings. blue green sapphires, 14ct gold
luke-maninov-hammond--graceful inner-islands-cufflinks_oxidized silver fused gold leaf
Graceful Inner Islands Cufflinks. oxidized silver, fused gold leaf

Per Suntum

It takes 9 pages to cover the schooling, awards, grants and exhibitions on Danish Per Suntum’s website which translates into a highly skilled maker, who graduated from the Hans Hansen Silversmithy with a silver medal in 1965. Subtle, minimal and well crafted, Suntum says…

‘The basis for my work with jewellery is the singular moment,
where man meets material and
purpose stirs the soul
into expression’.

So if you’re into brooches, prepare to have your soul stirred.

belleblanche brooch 2007 silver
Belle Blanche. Brooch, 2007. Silver
calm luna brooch, 2010 silver, fine silver
Calm Luna. Brooch, 2010, Silver, Fine Silver
Savannah brooch 2013 shibuichi, 18kt gold, 18kt palladium-white gold
Savannah. Brooch, 2013. Shibuichi, 18kt Gold, 18kt Palladium-White Gold
closeup savannah
Closeup – Savannah Brooch
dive #2 brooch, 2005 silver, niello, enamel
Dive #2. Brooch, 2005. Silver, Niello, Enamel
interplay #4 brooch, 2011. Isolith, 18kt gold, silver
Interplay #4. Brooch, 2011. Isolith, 18kt Gold, Silver
pinfungi brooch 2005 silver, niello
Pinfungi. Brooch 2005. Silver, Niello
sea flower brooch 2005 silver
Sea Flower. Brooch, 2005. Silver
thisearth - this jewel brooch 2010 24kt gold, diamond cone
This Earth – This Jewel. Brooch, 2010. 24kt Gold, Diamond Cone

Omer Arbel

I’m stepping beyond jewellery, ceramics, paper and even kittens in this post to venture into the world of Omer Arbel, creative director for Vancouver/Berlin based Bocci. Environmental scientist, architect, industrial designer and sculptor, Arbel was born in Israel and moved to Canada with his family at the age of 13. Israel’s loss, our gain.

An immense curiosity and a willingness to experiment with the potential of his chosen material is what I find so interesting about this maker. It’s been said that Arbel and his creative team push boundaries by ‘designing a system that produces form rather than designing the form itself’ and that those systems lead to roughly 20% of their explorations resulting in commercially viable products (which may explain why Bocci lighting doesn’t come cheap and why each piece is a unique piece of art). Just imagine taking molten glass and shoving it into heat resistant ceramic fabric. This is how the stunning Bocci #73 came into being (see below).

If you want to take a more immersive look into Arbel’s projects including and beyond Bocci I highly recommend checking out his office site here.

71-White-featured
Free Exploration for Project 71 (2015) – Chromium and Steel
71.0ix
Free Exploration for Project 71 (2015) – Chromium and Steel
MonteClark-OA-9-full
Free Exploration for Project 71 (2015) – Chromium and Steel
DIMOREGALLERY_LIFE-ON-MARS_-118
Photo courtesy of the Dimore Gallery, Milan
30-Hi-mage-by-robert-kezeire-copy
Project 30 – Fused Glass (2015) image – Robert Keziere
73 semi rigid
Project 73 Semi Rigid (2015)
87FRONT
Project 87 (2016)
Bocci-44_A-542x764
Sand Cast Aluminum for Project 44
44_FahimKassam_79_Berlin_1392
Project 44 Berlin Installation

Fabrizio Tridenti

If I could understand the Italian language I might be able to make sense of this makers’ artist statement (see below) which I’m guessing has been translated from Italian to English. Sadly I don’t understand so all I can tell you about Fabrizio Tridenti is that he was born in Italy, that he graduated from the Istituto Statale d’Arte, Penne, in Metals and Jewelry Design in Italy in 1982, that he apprenticed between 1983 and 1992 and that he opened his own studio in Pescara in 1993.

So let’s let his work speak for him; the twisting, rusted, industrial clash of angles pushing in all directions…bella!

p.s. I apologize for not having titles for some of the images here. Hopefully you’ll enjoy them anyway 🙂

 

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Untitled, 2009. Bronze, acryclic enamel

 

2010-2-Premio-FABRIZIO-TRIDENTI-

Anello, alluminio, pittura acrilica 2010
Untitled, 2010, brass, acrylic paint
Untitled, 2010 Brooch brass steel acrylic enamel
Untitled, brooch, 2010. Brass, steel, acrylic enamel

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Restricted Area, 2010, brass, acrylic paint
Restricted Area, 2010, brass, acrylic paint

 

Artist statement from klimt02

Jewels cannot be confined within the limits of their function. Through liberating jewels from these limits, infinite experimentation fields are opened, which may lead to fruitful artistic experiences. The founding assumption of these attempts is the wish to return the central role to the intangible aspect in relation to the tangible aspect of jewels. 

By asserting the primacy of the intangible aspects, jewels are seen from a different perspective, an entire scale of values is refounded, with the privilege for the finest perceptions. 

Another aspect combining these attempts with conceptual art is the indifference towards the aesthetic value, which is strictly connected with the formal value. 

The main purpose of this work is to provoke reactions, start discussions, rouse considerations, and open new debates on jewels. The point is shifting the focus from the aesthetic to the intellectual experience, or rather the aesthetic experience is the intellectual experience. 

To obtain this result, the direction followed was to confute the traditional aspects of jewels: the functional, formal, and aesthetic values. 

“Virtual” is a way to create the visibility of what cannot be realized in the tangible dimension. The new technology offers these new expressive opportunities. 
The idea of the body or body parts as jewels also develops: a sort of zero degree of jewels. It can also be considered as an inversion operation: the body changes from traditional support of jewels to jewel itself; from background, it turns into protagonist (subject).
In the photo “the room as bracelet”, the concept of jewel is reversed: traditionally, hard materials are made to surround the body. On the contrary, in this case the body is an accessory of an architectural structure. This inversion appears not only as a limitation of movements, but universally as the present condition of human beings suffocated by structures produced by the society. A house is not considered as a shelter and protection, but as a limit to our ability to move, expand, an inorganic, static, and unchangeable shell for an organic, dynamic, and continuously growing creature. In this condition, these barriers can only be crossed through thought. 
In the photo “ring”, the concept of ring is brought to the extreme consequences of dematerialization. Not only the ring does not exist, but also the part of the body supporting it is removed. The visual result is anyhow that of a ring, a ring of “absence”. However, while the object is self-limited in a shape, here the absence of the object gives space to the observer to imagine something, a personal ring. Therefore, this creatively activates and interacts with the observer. 
I want to exploit our bigger attraction for what we cannot see, for what is not there, for what is indefinite. 
“It seems to me that ’Nothing’ is the most powerful thing in the world”, said Robert Barry. 
For me, art is not an exact science. There is no evidenced truth. Art is a field where creativity experiments infinite directions towards freedom. Art responds to the stimulations of contemporary culture and uses the scientific and technological progress and knowledge in all their branches. 

Fabrizio Tridenti

Cheryl Ann Thomas : Fragility and Chance

Oh man! Yet another ceramics artist; this time American Cheryl Ann Thomas who graduated from the Art Centre College of Design in California with a BFA in 1982. I have to admit I came across her work this morning on Instagram and thought I was looking at a cleverly suspended pile of linen. I had no idea it was actually porcelain!

Thomas has been working with this material for at least 16 years and says it all began with a question…

How thin and how tall can I make a column using the coiling method and what will the results be?” I found that the columns were too thin and too tall to hold their form and would collapse during the firing. I chose to limit my colors to black, white and gray.

Five years later, another question arose, “What will happen if I combine two or more fired columns and re-fire them?” I found that the forms would continue to reshape and enfold one another.

In another five years the next question arose. “What will happen if I add white to my black clay.” I assumed I would get another variety of gray. Instead, I got blue. Then I wondered what other colors I could develop.

I assumed that my investigation of process would not be personal but merely academic. In hindsight, I realize the purely objective pursuit is impossible. Looking at my work as it surrounds me in the studio, I learn that I an drawn to fragility, accident or chance and reconciliation. The intuitive grows stronger as I continue my exploration’.

Just look at what a curious, creative and persistent maker can do. Such an inspiration for someone like me who gives up after the first failure 🙂

2002-Relics-6-7
Relics 6, 7  (hand-coiled porcelain) 2002
2002-Relic17
Relic 17, (hand-coiled porcelain) 2002
2014-BlueTower
Blue Tower, (hand-coiled porcelain) 2014
Relics Hand coiled porcelain
Winged (hand-coiled porcelain) 2014-15
Shadow-copy
Shadow (hand-coiled porcelain) 2016-17
Spring2
Spring 2 (hand-coiled porcelain) 2016-17

Junko Mori’s Uncontrollable Beauty

Thank you Hilary Brown, for introducing me to the amazing work of Japanese-born, North Wales-based Junko Mori.

Using mild steel or fine silver Mori creates truly amazing sculptural objects drawing inspiration from nature, particularly her childhood fascination with life forming and multiplying under the microscope. And! she doesn’t start a project with a plan in mind. She designs as she goes!! That in itself just amazes me.

In her words…
‘I am always drawn to the visual impact of an aggregate assembled with many small components and find infinite possibilities of the form multiplied by the vital power beyond the physical space, such as cell division through a microscope.

My work consists of multiples of individually forged steel or other metals, and the subtle difference of each piece results from hand hammering. No piece is individually planned but becomes fully formed within the making and thinking process. Repeating little accidents, like a mutation of cells, the final accumulation of units emerges within this process of evolution.

The uncontrollable beauty is the core of my concept”.

Propogation Project; Small Petal, Bulb, 2012. Forged mild steel wax coated
Propagation Project; Small Petal, Bulb, 2012 (forged mild steel, wax coated)
British Hedgerow Cups, 2017 Fine Silver 999
British Hedgerow Cups, 2017 (fine silver 999)
Plants Exotica Chandelier, 2016. Forged waxed mild steel
Plants Exotica Chandelier, 2016 (forged, waxed mild steel)
Propogation Project; Bird Rusty Leaf, 2017 Forged Mild Steel wax coated
Propagation Project; Bird Rusty Leaf, 2017 (forged mild steel, wax coated)
A Silver Organism; Dense Larch, 2015 Forged Fine silver 999
A Silver Organism; Dense Larch, 2015 (forged fine silver 999)
Propogation Project; Roots, 2014 Forged Mild Steel, Wax Coated
Propagation Project; Roots, 2014 (forged mild steel, wax coated)

William Llewellyn Griffiths

Self-taught and fabulous, William Llewellyn Griffiths proves you don’t need to set foot in a jewellery school to make some pretty cool jewellery. Motifs and references from medieval, renaissance and baroque architecture rise up from his rings holding sparkling gems in silver and gold. Skilled in lost wax carving and more recently 3D printing I can’t believe the amount of detail he creates. If you want to see more of his work you can check out his website here.

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Alchemist Ring, 9ct yellow Gold, Topaz
Blackhearted Cupid Ring Smokey quartz, Death and Glory Collection
Blackhearted Cupid Ring, Smokey Quartz from Death and Glory Collection
Efflorescence ring, Tanzanite, tsavorite garnets ruby petals
Efflorescence Ring, Tanzanite, Tsavorite Garnets, Ruby
garnet-ruby-skull-eyes-low-res5
Enthroned Immortality Ring, Garnet, Ruby, Diamonds
Obesession Ring, 18k gold, rose gold morganite, diamonds
Obsession Ring, 18k gold, rose gold, Morganite, Diamonds