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The Water Bear - Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Juniper wood, silver, nylon, diamond.

Burnt, frozen, radiated, raised from the dead – the water bear an evolutionary masterpiece.?

The water bear is a 0,5 – 1 mm animal. A bit chubby, segmented with eight legs and an amazing survivor. In experiments it has been exposed to 340 degrees of heat, hypothermia, radiation and drought. But in situations where all other creatures give in, the water bear endure. This little animal can go into a state of cryptobiosis, where all the things we normally define as life are shut down. Encapsulated in this state it can slumber waiting for things to get better. It can lie like this for decades until one day when times has changed, the conditions has become better, the spark of life is lit and the water bear wakes up.

Karin Roy Andersson, Sweden

"Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder" is a visual trip through contemporary jewelry design from around the world, focused on some surprising material choices. This exhibition features work by jewelry artists who are exploring the concept of jewelry as wearable art using a wide range of materials, many not commonly thought of as “jewelry” materials. One of the driving goals of the exhibition is to show the quality and range of work that can be created using materials other than the “big three” - platinum, gold and silver. While these may be used as accents in the work, they do not compose the primary material.

Design choices drive material choices, and the entries in this exhibition show the tremendous range of possible materials which can be used to create cutting edge jewelry. Materials used range from metals used for thousands of years, such as copper and bronze, to “new” metals such as titanium, to natural materials such as vertebrae and wood, to surprising man-made materials such as plastic drinking straws and colored pencils.

This truly international exhibition features work from every continent and many sub-continents. Artists range from mature artists with international reputations to students still learning their craft. Many of these artists focus on the use of “green” materials, and explore the re-use or “upcycling” of materials into wearable art.

It is our hope that viewers will enjoy the exhibition and be inspired to stretch the limits of what they perceive as acceptable materials in jewelry.