Set of Six Coasters - Holding Place

Materials: brass
Dimensions: 3" x 3"

Set of six brass coasters inspired by leather coasters my mom made in high school.

Photo credit: Marina Shaltout

Marina N Shaltout
Champaign, IL. USA

I am a junior in the undergraduate Metals program at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I grew up in Normal, Illinois and went to a small high school where I took every art class that was offered. I’ve known my whole life that I wanted to pursue art but it wasn’t until I took my first metals class U of I that I realized it was the medium I was meant to work in. These days I mostly work in brass because I personally find it to be the most beautiful metal in it’s natural state. My work typically has some naturalistic aspect to it, either through its organic form or the nature inspired content. While I enjoy making jewelry and wearable art, my favorite objects to make are those which are sculptural and/or functional. After making a piece, I find it fascinating to look back and compare it to items which are not handmade. I believe it is that appreciation of craft which drives me to make the work that I do.

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.