We went to an opening for the book "100 Necklaces" - maybe the #
is wrong, but it was the necklace one. One of the pieces was street
signs (like stop signs, etc.) cut into marquise kind of shapes,
like 300 of them. That's goofy enough, but they told me someone put
it on and it weighs about 45 pounds. It's art, for sure - I'm not
so much making any point but that it was one of the most extremely
un-wearable things I've ever seen. I won't mention it was poorly
made, that wouldn't be nice at all...
I believe the neckpiece described above is made by the metalsmith
Boris Bally. To hear his work described (or implied) as being poorly
made comes as a surprise. I have known Boris and his work for many
years and have never seen poor craftsmanship exhibited. He is one of
the most respectful and gentlemanly people that I have ever had the
pleasure to meet. Also one of the best craftsmen. I urge anyone
participating or lurking on Orchid to visit his website at
borisbally.com or the Velvet daVinci website velvetdavinci.com--
which is the gallery hosting the necklace show. Using the word
"goofy" to describe a piece, of course, says more about the personal
inclinations and taste of the person describing the piece than it
does the piece.
Whether or not an object is wearable is a very grey area. Certainly
there is jewelry that is truly not suited for the body and an
argument can be made that this disconnect would eliminate its
qualification as jewelry. I might even agree wit using the terms
"ornamental" and "functional"
But "wearability" is mercurial term. How wearable does an object
have to be? Must you be able to wear it every day? How about cocktail
rings? Must you be able to wear a brooch on a silk blouse? Is a
strand of huge wooden beads not jewelry because it isn't made of fine
It has been my hope in the years that I've participated on Orchid
that this "is it or isn't it jewelry" or the "my kid could have done
that" discussion or the "ottist" thread would cease to be a
recurring theme. Discussion is always a good thing. But the
bitterness and intolerance that I have heard off and on when SNAG,
Metalsmith or exhibitions and publications that push the envelope and
traditions of "fine jewelry" are put on the table leaves me tired and
disappointed. I may not find a lot to interest me in a shiny sterling
pendant set with an amethyst but I will try not to dismiss it or
describe it with a yawn.
Happy Holiday, I'm off to Denver.
Andy Cooperman www.andycooperman.com