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Handle with Care, Bowl and Spoon - Holding Place


Materials: Sterling silver, copper, and glass
Dimensions: 4.5" x 16" x 10"

Part of the “Handle with Care” serving series.

Photo credit: Lisa M. Johnson

Lisa M Johnson
West Palm Beach, FL. USA

I started my career in fine arts at Miami University earning a B.F.A. in 2004 and received an M.F.A. from Indiana University in 2009. I have been awarded the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts Kiln God Residency, The Ronald Hayes Pearson Scholarship at Haystack Mountain School of Craft as a TA for Kiff Slemmons, and an Artist-In-Residence at Arrowmont School of Arts and Craft where I had the pleasure of lecturing and exhibiting at MTSU, ECU, Guilford College, and UNC Asheville with the Arrowmont residents. Most recently, I have been honored to accept the position of Artist-in-Residence at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach. In addition to writing my first technical article for SNAG News in January 2012, I was very excited to contribute to the Educational Dialogue at the SNAG Conference in Arizona. I exhibit my work nationally and participated in my first international exhibit at the Riga Porcelain Museum in Latvia during the International Exhibition of Small Forms Porcelain this past year. I plan to live as an active artist and educator that will continue to push the boundaries of my studio practice.

The work I create exhibits vast methods of construction from traditional metalsmithing and jewelry design techniques, to ceramic disciplines, and experimental glass working. In my studio practice, the materials and techniques I use are determined by conceptual elements and needs of the piece.

Often the content of my work arises from an interest in the juxtaposition of puns, translations, irony, and duality that are a direct expression of observations or experiences in life. The content of my work is then expressed through the use of identifiable objects. Redefining the recognizable communicates as appealing, stimulating, and sometimes humorous work.

My obsession with transforming found objects through various processes to use as a component in my work has expanded my creative capacity and my ability to communicate ideas in a visual language. By incorporating the use of transformed ordinary objects, I am also highlighting the decision making process of selecting the particular object and placing it into context. Through diverse modes of alteration in the realm of sculpture, functional objects, and jewelry I assign new meaning to everyday things.

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.