The transformative power of tears - Differences Unite Us

Materials: copper, steel, resin, leather, silk
Dimensions: 7" x 9"

Tears are evidence of our humanity, of our ability to feel deeply. While experiences may affect us differently, we share this emotional language. Patinas were created to illustrate the challenges of life that occur over time. Resin flows over it all and forms in drops, like tears that wash away our pain.

Photo credit: Mary Jane Dodd

Mary Jane Dodd
Neptune, NJ. USA

My work is a study in following the threads that weave our personal experiences into that of the greater universal experience. While we are connected now in a way that has never been before, many feel isolated and afraid. Quantity of contact is not quality of communication. Sensory overload abounds - and one can easily lose touch with their innermost being. Each piece I make is imbued with intention - and by using mixed materials and various techniques, I strive to filter the message to its essence, providing an amulet for the wearer.

I earned a degree in Art History with High Honors from Douglass College, Rutgers University. My focus upon adornment began 12 years ago and since that time I have been avidly learning techniques and integrating materials to create mixed media work.

The natural world and the experience of life in all its balance inspires me.

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.