Nyan Cat - Changing Hues

Materials: copper; powdered enamel
Dimensions: 3.5cm x 5cm

Nyan Cat is the name of a YouTube video, uploaded in 2011, which became an Internet meme. The video merged a Japanese pop song with an animated cartoon Pop-Tart cat flying through space, leaving a rainbow trail behind it. Enamel was a material that I rarely had access to - so for this project I wanted to do something with metal that I usually could not with the tools that I usually work with - use lots and lots and lots of colour.

Photo credit: Liane Vaz

Liane Vaz
Liane Vaz Designs
Toronto, Ontario. Canada

In 2009, Liane began the first of four (and some) years at OCAD University in the Jewellery & Metalsmithing program. Now, Liane has graduated OCAD University and works as a studio monitor in two different jewellery studios. Liane is currently working towards releasing several new collections set at different price ranges - from the more student-friendly and affordable to high-end luxury brand… as well as accepting commissions. She also volunteers her time at the Metal Arts Guild of Canada, and is taking various online courses on Business and Entrepreneurship. Her dream is to open up her own collaborative jewellery studio.

You can find Liane in the studio working either on her own projects or helping someone with theirs. And when she's not in the studio she's usually attempting to keep up with various television shows and online lectures, watching Disney movies or documentaries, or planning events and group activities.

The exhibition explores metal works whose primary theme is color embraced as their primary visual focus, whether that be using colored materials, exploring creating colored surfaces, or encasing the object in color.

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.

In total 303 artists contributed 814 show pieces for the permanent online exhibition.

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.

Hue is one of the primary properties of color, it refers to the place the color occupies on the visual spectrum. Humans have used hues throughout time, to create cave paintings, to decorate themselves, their clothing and their housing.

Different hues have taken on different meanings throughout time. Gold traditionally has been a color of purity - the metal gold is relatively unchangeable, and the hue of gold has come to stand for gods and goddesses, for royalty, for durability and for purity. Red has often meant love, or passion. Hues often reflect the meaning of the seasons, with pastels referring to spring and the burst of new life after the pale hues of winter. Summer is reflected in vibrant, deep hues, followed by the browning of hues in the fall as plants go to seed and die, and the land turns fallow.

The worth of a hue has often been tied to what is necessary to make the pigment that creates the hue, and the expensive involved in the process. Often created from crushed stones that had to be mined and carried by caravan over thousands of miles, or from fermented roots of plants only grown in certain areas, or the carapaces of rare insects - the creation of hue in a way that could be used by man was an involved and generally expensive process.

In today's world metalsmiths have access to perhaps the widest range of materials and hues in the history of man - and in some of the most affordable ways ever.

This exhibition celebrates hue - color - as an integral, inherent element of the work. We talk of the "richness" of color, and examples of this abound here. One expects hues from the colors of gemstones used in metalsmithing, but we also have hues from some less expected places. Glass enamels are an ancient way of adding color, as are a variety of patinas. Today's artists also use synthetic man-made materials to add color in ways that didn't exist a century ago.

We invite you to enjoy this celebration of hue, and the ways hues and their use have changed over time.