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Oscar's Toothpick Collection - Holding Place


#1

Materials: Sterling Silver, Wooden Toothpicks
Dimensions: 3" x .75"

Sterling silver hand-fabricated toothpick dispenser, created by the artist for her father who habitually uses and reuses toothpicks from the visor of his truck. Fresh toothpicks emerge one-at-a-time when the user shakes the dispenser.

Photo credit: Ginger Meek Allen

Ginger Meek Allen
LEDE Studio & Gallery
Wake Forest, North Carolina. USA

Ginger Meek Allen is a metalsmith and studio jeweler working in her collaborative metals studio in Downtown Wake Forest, North Carolina. In her work Ginger combines artisan skill with aesthetic finesse in making handmade rings, pendants, earrings, wedding bands, bracelets and necklaces. Her skills at the bench when linked with her eye for contemporary design generate a unique and expressive body of work that conveys the mark of the human hand.

Whether commissioned by a custom client or generated by Ginger’s personal artistic vision, each piece is a meaningful celebration of the power of both art and fine craft to inspire, commemorate and preserve.

Ginger works in gold, palladium white gold, platinum, sterling silver, copper and enamel. She incorporates found objects when appropriate, and insists on heirloom quality.

Dubbed the RingLeader of her venue LEDE Studio & Gallery Ginger coordinates the showing of two- and three-dimensional work of 25 other artists in addition to herself some in special exhibitions and some year-round. The gallery is paired with Ginger’s metal studio in the rear of the building which she shares with other metalsmiths, generating a dynamic creative shared environment.

Artists statement: "I believe in story. I speak metal. I combine the two
to honor the narrative."


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.