There are a lot of symbols, objects and creatures that could be
considered distasteful by anyone, or awesome by anyone.
This is an interesting subject, and one I’ve thought about a good
Like most things in life, its all in how it’s done. As Lalique
showed, gorgeous jewelry can be made with spiders, bees, wasps, bats,
dandelion fuzz, all sorts of things.
So, what is inherently ugly?
Several years ago, I asked myself this question after becoming aware
of the Ugly Jewelry Contest, in which viewers vote on the ugliest
piece, so the makers are trying to make something ugly. I took part
once. It is surprisingly hard to make something truly ugly, in a way
that others will agree on. For me, a flower or a frog or an owl
covered in pave is unbearable, but others pay thousands for them.
Though I never entered the contest a second time, I thought long and
hard about inherent ugliness. I decided that a necklace made of photo
negatives, stapled together, of photos of cockroaches and spiders,
might win. But the idea I really liked, but could not bring myself to
actually make, would have been a graduated, symmetrical necklace made
out of cigar and cigarette butts found in public ashtrays. I think
those are ugly by absolutely any standard whatsoever. Even our
natural tendency to create balance and composition that pleases the
eye could not change that.
But the point is, there it’s almost nothing that cannot be adapted
to the pursuit of beauty. Scorpions, after all, are not evil. Same
for any other creature.
It might be tough to make beautiful jewelry that featured
earthworms, but I’m sure it could be done. OK, cockroaches might
actually be impossible.