Jool Box - Holding Place

Materials: Sculpted in Maya, printed in FDM nylon, copper electroform, patina
Dimensions: 3.5" x 3"

“The Aeon is a child at play with colored balls.” -Heraclitus

This container is an example of pure design. It speaks of nothing save itself.

Photo credit: Shawn Lopez

Shawn Michael Lopez
Bowling Green, OH. USA

I am a naturally curious person and one of my biggest fears is to die with unanswered questions. While a great deal can be discovered through a variety of sources, I’ve found no substitute for active participation. Between the ages of 18 and 36, I engaged life through the eyes of an Army medic, factory press operator, bicycle messenger, copy jock, communications director and graphic designer. At 37 I felt it was time to switch gears. I came back to school in an attempt to tie all these disparate threads together, to make sense of all I’d seen, to weave a sort of wisdom from the raw wool of experience. Now, in my fourth year of art school, I’ve begun to gain an understanding of the creative process and to assemble a personal artistic vocabulary without being gratingly autobiographical. In my art, as in my life, I’ve tried not to limit myself to one genre and happily incorporate a variety of media and techniques in my finished work. At heart, my work is about the exploration of pattern. From the cycles of life and death, to the procession of the seasons and the phases of the moon, I find my truth in the rhythms that unite us all.

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.