The Vibrant Symbiont - Holding Place

Materials: Copper, Vitreous Enamel, Color Pencils, Patina
Dimensions: 32.4 X 10.5 X 11.4 cm

The vessel is a form inspired by sea anemones. The characters of the vessel are represented by the duality of robust and frail. The body of the vessel is the robust part, in which it is strongly constructed by the raising technique into a round and bulbous form. An organic shape with curved contour is to suggest the fluidity, organicity, and spontaneity of the anemones, as well as suggesting the underwater feeling. The frail and delicate lid and wires on the narrow end contrast with the sturdy body. The wires at the end are used to represent and mimic the fragile and flimsy tentacles of the anemones. The rolled edge and the tentacle-liked element on the lid also convey a sense of delicacy and frailty. The choice of enamels is to suggest the symbiotic relationship between the anemones and green algae. Different shades of green and purple are to give a more naturalistic look and a more pleasant yet vibrant visual effect.

Photo credit: Helen Shirk

Karen Lee
Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Body ornaments have always played a big part in my life; I am infatuated with metalwork and jewelry and passionate about jewelry-making at a very early age. In the process of creating a piece of artwork, there is always a special and intimate connection between the piece and the artist. It is not only about the patience and the careful handling of the materials and the actual pieces; the most intimate and enjoyable part is that I can incorporate my own ideas and design pieces to express my interests, intentions, as well as personal feelings and emotions. Most of the pieces I created are based on my personal history, experiences, and my love for nature.

These containers and vessels definitely hold their place in the world of stunning art objects as well as in the world of metalsmithing.

Since the dawn of time humans have created containers to hold things that were important to them, from large vessels to hold food and harvests to intimate containers for small precious things. They might hold memories, ashes, medicine, beverage, fruit or food - but all spring from the imagination and skill of the maker. Some have specific religious functions, some are meant for everyday use. When one thinks of a vessel or container the inclination is to think of something with solid walls - yet many of these works involve the exploration of positive and negative space, and the use of negative space to help create the illusion of the wall of the vessel.

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. Participants are from The Netherlands, the USA, Canada, Australia, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, Israel, Hong Kong, Colombia, Romania, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia and Denmark. While most of the pieces are by an individual metalsmith, some are collaborations, one of three artists spanning 50 years.

In total 319 artists contributed 729 show pieces for the permanent online exhibition.

Objects in the exhibition include boxes, lockets, urns, ash containers, bowls, wine cups, reliquaries, match holders, vases, teapots, pitchers, sugar bowls, baskets, nests, pillboxes, clutches and a range of sculptural forms. A variety of techniques are showcased covering a wide range of metalsmithing techniques. Materials used include everything from gold and silver to less expensive metals. Ornamentation includes the addition of enamel, chasing and repousse’, gemstones and found objects.

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.