Bowl & Fork - Holding Place

Materials: vitreous enamel, copper, sterling silver
Dimensions: 5" x 5" x 2 1/2"

forged and enameled bowl, fabricated fork: tessellated copper, enameled copper, forged sterling.

Photo credit: Bill Lemke

Gail Nelson
Gail Nelson Enamels
Fox Point, WI. USA

“As important as inspiration and creativity, so is the understanding and love of one’s materials. There is something miraculous about fusing glass to metal to create a new entity. The two materials when fired correctly will remain in their state without fading or degenerating for centuries to come. I enamel on silver, steel and copper. In some of my work, 24k gold is also fused into the glass. Enameled pieces require multiple firings at 1350? to 1550? often as many as 20 times until the desired results are achieved. My ideas generally evolve from a deep reverence for and connection with the natural world. It is about revealing small pieces of information the underlying significance of organic minutia and the beauty and comfort it provides when observed. As the creative process takes over, these raw ideas continue to transform during the multiple applications of glass and firings. Both the technical and artistic endeavor are exciting and challenging. Each piece is one-of-a-kind. My work includes jewelry, two and three dimensional works.”

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.