Touch - Holding Place

Materials: Sterling Silver, acetate
Dimensions: 5 1/2” X 3 3/4” x 1 1/4”

Sterling silver box with tray. Fabricated, Etched, patina.

Photo credit: Dan Grych

Kim Vorel
Woodstock, IL. USA

Artist Statement:
Art is what we reveal of ourselves and our place in the world. Although we know intellectually that we are all on this planet together we rarely take time to think about the ramification of our actions on this interconnecting web of our humanness. My work attempts to address the manner in which all of humanity is interconnected; through our most basic and universal human needs, to our search for spirituality, our interaction with our environment, our economic ties, or just understanding our need for personal connections. I believe that as human beings we are all connected - through our relationships to our environment and to each other – something that is brought home over and over by global upheavals in the form of natural disasters and economic crisis that have forced us, at the very least, to acknowledge our interconnectedness. My work is about recognizing these connections and attempting to understand what they mean to each of us on a personal as well as on a global level.

Finding the visual vocabulary to express these concepts includes not only the consideration of imagery, but of material. Often we think only of the construction of the form, and neglect the meaning associated with the materials themselves. Copper – one of the most basic of metals, pervasively present in our lives though often overlooked, speaks to the basic connections between all of us. Rice is food, sustenance, plain and universal. Materials communicate without manipulation, but paired with the image or idea, the power of this silent, visual connection reaches to the heart of what we know to be true. Material, form, and concept come together to stand as a single entity, and touch a place in us that cannot speak.

Art has dominated my life in many forms through the years. Metalwork is my first love, but I am drawn to many materials and processes. I studied art intensely in high school, but drifted away in the pursuit of career. After a successful period in Information Systems, I found myself pulled back to the art in my soul and finished an MFA in 3D Studio. Currently I teach Jewelry and Metals while working as an independent artist and a custom jeweler.

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.