Ikebana study - Holding Place

Materials: copper, enamel, walnut, pearl
Dimensions: 6" X 6" X 8"

Foldformed flower is enameled and connected to forged stem. floral element is connected to metal lid construction and fit onto painted walnut bottom

Photo credit: Serena Nancarrow

Patricia Ann Nelson
Ball State university
Muncie, IN. USA

Educated at the University of Washington and at SUNY New Paltz, I have been teaching metals at Ball State University and creating work for decades.

My work has always been a combination of shapes and forms reflecting my interest in technical issues, in the history of art and design, and in the scientific realm. For a long time the work has been based on geometry ranging from squares and circles to more complex polygons. My floral forms start as copper triangles, hexagons and octagons, cut and formed to resemble flowers, and then enameled. I want to create a symphony of forms, each one of which may be colorful and complex, but controlled by a cool intellectual and rational geometry. I use mathematical forms to create a sense of order and hierarchy in the patterning and decoration. This is a formal design decision but also a way of acknowledging the basic structure of things, both macroscopic and microscopic.

I am most comfortable making functional objects. The demands of making something that performs a task - be it pouring liquid, storing small precious things, or holding a burning candle, appeal to me and create instant and interesting problems to solve.

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.