Talisman - Differences Unite Us

Materials: Enamel on fine silver, silver, 22k gold
Dimensions: 3" x 1.5"

Photo credit: Lisa Hawthorne

Lisa Hawthorne
Coquille, OR. USA

s far back as I remember, art has always been a major influence in my life. My father was an architect and my parents collected art locally from the Detroit suburb where I grew up, and throughout their travels. It was in high school where I developed my love of metalwork, the cool feel, the malleability created with heat along with the textures, and shapes formed with a hammer.

With the desire for more color in my work and the expansiveness of color enamels offered, I began working with them. The shading that can be acquired, blending from one color to the next is incredible, I knew I had found my niche. Cloisonné is the enameling technique I use most, the term coming from the French word “cloison”, meaning an enclosed cell or area. I bend 24k gold, or fine silver ribbon and wire into designs that is then adhered on to fine silver with clear glass and fired in a kiln. Once cool, ground glass in a variety of colors is added to the piece and then re-fired at 1450 degrees for 2 minutes. Layer upon layers of glass are added with as many as 20+ firings.

I like to create pieces that follow the natural lines of the body as in my “Boa” series. enamels and gemstones are set in silver that curves around the neck and slithers down the chest in a gentle curve.

Ganoksin hosts the jewelry list Orchid, with over 13,000 list members from all over the world, speaking from a wide range of technical and aesthetic experiences. The exhibition theme grew out of a desire to celebrate the creativity encompassed in this wide variety.

Artists were free to interpret the theme in any way they chose. Each artist could submit up to six pieces. Interpretations include uniting different materials into one cohesive form; intellectual and emotional “unitings”, where the meaning of the piece unites multiple concepts; the uniting of time - past, present and future; and a number that focus on the harmony created when uniting multiple materials and/or concepts.

The work submitted involved a wide range of jewelry techniques, from very traditional to very cutting edge, as well as using materials from traditional precious metals and gemstones to “re-purposed” and “up-cycled” materials.

The exhibition showcases 330 images chosen from entries from over 111 artists representing 26 countries.

Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Serbia, Spain, Trinidad, Turkey, UK, USA, Venezuela, and the Virgin Islands

Many of the participants began their interest in jewelry at a young age. Some are relative newcomers to the field, and some have over 35 years of experience as professional jewelers and goldsmiths. While some grew up in families that were goldsmiths, and followed in those footsteps, others only began creating jewelry as adults.