Field Study 15: Felled Mulberry, 2012 - Holding Place

Materials: steel, beeswax
Dimensions: 71" high x 18" x 21"

Photo credit: Vermillion Photography, AZ

Kim Cridler
Bennie/Cridler Studio
Rockford, MI. USA

Kim Cridler: Notes on the Field Studies

Several years ago I began a habit of drawing the living things from gardens and fields around my home. Although drawing had always been part of my practice, for a time it became my only work. Making a drawing a day kept me engaged in careful looking, gave time and space for a methodical and contemplative task, and sharpened my consideration of pattern and ornament in even the most modest and ordinary life forms.

The Field Studies are the outcome of this practice, developing ornamental form from these sketches into vessels of collection and ceremony. Ornament, unlike many other art forms, is almost solely concerned with giving pleasure. Incorporated into vessels that have been used throughout history as containers for grain, for wine, and for the bodies of our dead, these works are a reminder of the sensual world of making and using as well as the cyclical nature of life.

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.