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UA Flow - Differences Unite Us

Materials: Iron, 20k gold, 22k gold, 1.61 ct. spinel
Dimensions: 6 x 3.5 x 4.8 cm

Many of us have a creative vision which unites us. We may choose various mediums to express our visions which are the differences, but the intention is to create wearable and distinctive art jewelry.

Photo credit: Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson
Pagosa Springs, CO. USA

I have always been fascinated with metals. I retired from a diverse career path as carpenter, building contractor, estimator and project manager in 2000. I began my metalsmithing career in 2001, and found that I loved the torch and fusing metals. I initially worked in silver, and then almost exclusively worked in gold as it was easy to fuse. I took many classes from some of the best teaching metalsmiths in the US, and learned to work in many traditional techniques. I began alloying my own golds in-studio from pure postconsumer recycled golds, making all my own wire, sheet, tubing. A class in the traditional Japanese technique in Zougan aroused an interest in working with iron. I began to experiment fusing the 7 various alloys of gold that I work with over hand textured iron. Huge learning curves developing fluxes and patinas for iron that are environmentally friendly.

The “urban-armour” line and branding of my iron and gold art jewelry was launched in May, 2010. Since then the line has been shown in top shows in Evanston, Ill. and NYC.

I have almost always lived on or near the beach, and have lived in rural mountains for the past 10 years. Many of my inspirations come from organic forms and textures. I spent 7 years developing my metal skills, before there was any interest in selling my work. The skill development allows for me to visualize pieces and often let the work and designs flow in a meditative state where the hands already know the skills required to manifest the piece. Often I haven’t a clue where the designs come from, and I do not question the source.

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.