Mermaid's Treasure Box - Holding Place

Materials: copper, enamel, velvet, vintage Japanese kimono silk, embroidery floss
Dimensions: 3.5" x 3.5" x 2.9" H.

A raised and chased copper sea urchin lid, enameled on the inside, covers a velvet and silk lined copper box, which holds treasured memorabilia.

Photo credit: Abigail Heuss

Pippi Konstanski
Boise, ID. USA

The ocean has been a common theme in my artwork for years, and a great fascination to both my sister and me since our childhood. When I think of my sister I immediately think of her favorite ocean creature, the mythical mermaid. Since my sister’s passing last year, this theme has become entwined with my memories of her, and my art a means to express those memories in a physical form.
After her death, I was given several boxes of little items and craft supplies from her belongings, and have been incorporating them into reliquary pieces to celebrate her life. I feel her spirit smiling down on me as I put her little treasures to good use. With each piece I create, I feel as if I am trying to somehow make up for the beauty the world lost with her passing.

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.