I Keep My Cage Close - Differences Unite Us

Materials: Plastic, Enamel, Bone, Porcelain, Copper
Dimensions: 11" x 8" x 11"

This piece seeks to blur the lines between materials, creating the effect of softness and delicacy, all the while restricting the wearer through the placement of sharp, static forms. The materials, ranging from base hobby-store plastic to hand-formed porcelain, blend together to form a rich, sensuous look that is not wholly of one medium or style.

Photo credit: Émilie Mulcahey

Émilie M Mulcahey
Richmond, VA. USA

Western society has long held very narrow definitions of beauty and femininity. From Victorian corsetry to present day plastic surgeries, we have become obsessed with altering the female body to suit our vision of the ideal form. Women are constantly pushed, prodded, stuffed, and squeezed into unnatural shapes that they might be considered desirable and sexy. This body of work serves as an exploration of the sensuous imperfections inherent to the natural female; an investigation and celebration of her narrative.

Ganoksin hosts the jewelry list Orchid, with over 13,000 list members from all over the world, speaking from a wide range of technical and aesthetic experiences. The exhibition theme grew out of a desire to celebrate the creativity encompassed in this wide variety.

Artists were free to interpret the theme in any way they chose. Each artist could submit up to six pieces. Interpretations include uniting different materials into one cohesive form; intellectual and emotional “unitings”, where the meaning of the piece unites multiple concepts; the uniting of time - past, present and future; and a number that focus on the harmony created when uniting multiple materials and/or concepts.

The work submitted involved a wide range of jewelry techniques, from very traditional to very cutting edge, as well as using materials from traditional precious metals and gemstones to “re-purposed” and “up-cycled” materials.

The exhibition showcases 330 images chosen from entries from over 111 artists representing 26 countries.

Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Serbia, Spain, Trinidad, Turkey, UK, USA, Venezuela, and the Virgin Islands

Many of the participants began their interest in jewelry at a young age. Some are relative newcomers to the field, and some have over 35 years of experience as professional jewelers and goldsmiths. While some grew up in families that were goldsmiths, and followed in those footsteps, others only began creating jewelry as adults.