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The Garden - Differences Unite Us

Materials: Sterling Silver
Dimensions: 5 x 4 x 0.8 cm

Fabricated sterling pin/pendant. Inspired by nature and challenging myself to use fusing of Argentium wires to created the flower forms. Hollow form base.

Photo credit: Geoff Carr

Lona Northener
The Metalady
Louisville, Ky. USA

I was originally a painter and pencil artist until I saw a demonstration of metalsmithing. I was hooked right away and began taking lessons from the lady who did that demonstration. After a couple of months, I was reading jewelry making books and experimenting on my own. I consider myself to be self-taught and still love to experiment with techniques that I find in books. I have been making jewelry consistently since 1993 and teaching other people to do it since 1994 which I still do today.

I am inspired greatly by nature and most of my designs are abstract and contemporary. I work mainly in sterling with some gold accents. Sometimes I have organic items cast to use in the fabrication of my designs. I am also a lapidary and have cut a lot of my own stones, but lately, I am not using as many stones and prefer to work mostly with the metal. Although I have been using some drusy that I bought in the rough state as I can cut it to any shape I need. I also love to do very geometric pieces and like to keep my designs clean and not cluttered.

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.