Materials: Etched copper, enamel, sterling silver, patina.
Basse-taille is an enamelling technique in which I create a low-relief pattern on copper using the etching process, a translucent enamel is then applied to the metal, allowing light to reflect from the relief and creating an interesting effect.
My objective is to explore and develop this technique, working with copper, enamel, sterling silver and gemstones to arrive at jewellery forms and small objects that elicit visual stimulus and tactile qualities.
Melody Armstrong graduated from Alberta College of Art and Design with Distinction, majoring in Jewellery and Metal in 1999. Working with silver, gold, titanium, and stones, Melody's style is best described as Industrial-Organic. Melody maintains a professional studio and is the jewellery instructor and artist in residence at the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan. Melody Armstrong's recent accomplishments include being selected for the "Prairie Excellence: The Today and Tomorrow of Prairie Craft" exhibition, being published in "Art Jewelry Today 2" by Schiffer Books, "Art Jewelry Today 3" by Schiffer Books, "Anodized!" by Lark Books, "New Rings" by Promopress, and receiving an "Independent Artists Grant" from the Saskatchewan Arts Board. In addition Melody Armstrong's "How to Build a Gear Neckpiece" was a Cover Story in Art Jewelry Magazine, January 2012 issue.
"What is particularly distinctive about my jewellery is its naturalness of form, free from fashionable compromise and extravagance. My jewellery designs testify to the textural dynamic and technical volition behind my work, seemingly to have evolved from organic origins taking on an industrial influence. The ever changing interplay of colors and textures creates dynamic contrasts evoking a vividness of exquisite dimensions is rich, alluring and of the utmost elegance."
These containers and vessels definitely hold their place in the world of stunning art objects as well as in the world of metalsmithing.
Since the dawn of time humans have created containers to hold things that were important to them, from large vessels to hold food and harvests to intimate containers for small precious things. They might hold memories, ashes, medicine, beverage, fruit or food - but all spring from the imagination and skill of the maker. Some have specific religious functions, some are meant for everyday use. When one thinks of a vessel or container the inclination is to think of something with solid walls - yet many of these works involve the exploration of positive and negative space, and the use of negative space to help create the illusion of the wall of the vessel.
As the world's largest jewelry related internet site, Ganoksin strives to develop exhibitions showcasing work from around the world. This exhibition was open to all metalsmiths, professional and amateur, advanced and beginner. Participants are from The Netherlands, the USA, Canada, Australia, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, Israel, Hong Kong, Colombia, Romania, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia and Denmark. While most of the pieces are by an individual metalsmith, some are collaborations, one of three artists spanning 50 years.
In total 319 artists contributed 729 show pieces for the permanent online exhibition.
Objects in the exhibition include boxes, lockets, urns, ash containers, bowls, wine cups, reliquaries, match holders, vases, teapots, pitchers, sugar bowls, baskets, nests, pillboxes, clutches and a range of sculptural forms. A variety of techniques are showcased covering a wide range of metalsmithing techniques. Materials used include everything from gold and silver to less expensive metals. Ornamentation includes the addition of enamel, chasing and repousse', gemstones and found objects.
The exhibition was curated by Beth Wicker, President of the North Carolina Society of Goldsmiths in the United States, and Adjunct Instructor at Northeastern Technical College in South Carolina. Director of the exhibition is Hanuman Aspler, founder of The Ganoksin Project, the world's largest internet jewelry site.