Materials: Sterling, fine silver, 22k gold
Dimensions: 5" x 4" x 2-1/2"
Russian filigree, Eastern repoussé, chased, pierced, and fabricated tea infuser, strainer, and stand
Photo credit: Victoria Lansford
Atlanta, GA. USA
Jazz. Fire. Dance. Earth. Ancient alchemists sought to transmute the plain into the precious. My modern day version of that ancient quest similarly seeks to transform the simple into the complex...the mundane into the beautiful...the ordinary into the extraordinary. Raw elements crafted into three dimensional explorations of time and space, express the vulnerability and passion of the human spirit, paradoxically contained within the seemingly timeless materials of metal and mineral.
Like a New Orleans jazz pianist or a Delta blues guitarist, who takes 88 keys or 6 strings and weaves a unique, vibrant and intuitive variation, my pieces are an ever evolving expression of technique, instinct, and lineage tracing its roots back millennia to the metalsmith who picked up a hammer to express his devotion to the infinite. My art becomes the individual expression of those elements into something that draws its roots from many cultures, many places and many eras but remains at its heart quintessentially American in interpretation, articulation, and voice.
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.