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Size and Consumption: A Balancing Act - Changing Hues


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Materials: Sterling Silver, recycled aluminum cans, found materials
Dimensions: 15cm x 4cm x 4cm (overall length 183cm)

Colorful printings on aluminum soda cans communicate product information as well as entice consumers to their contents. With carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, and caramel colors often in the top three ingredients, these primary ingredients have limited to no nutritional value. Influenced by taste and short-term body simulation, consumers are challenged to balance soft drink consumption in a healthy diet. The Size and Consumption: A Balancing Act piece utilizes color on the recognizable form of a plum bob to convey this balance and the self discipline needed to maintain it.

Photo credit: Tim Thayer

Nicole DesChamps-Benke
Helotes, TX. USA

Nicole DesChamps-Benke is a Senior Lecturer in Metals and Coordinator of 3D Design Foundations at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Her work exhibits the dichotomy between precious and non-precious metals by pairing colorful surface printings from recycled aluminum soda cans with silver. The combination of color and precious metal serves to heighten awareness of the value added by aluminum as a versatile resource and amplify complex health and societal issues associated with artificially colored contents and their production.


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.