Vase with Pearls - Holding Place

Materials: Sterling & cultured pearls
Dimensions: 5" h x 3" dia.

This piece was raised from a rectangular flat sheet of .040" sterling. As the raising progressed, stress cracks formed and were an integral part of the design. Five pearls were pegged in these cracks. The edge is checked and both interior and exterior surfaces are highly polished.

Photo credit: Bill Hicks

Jeffrey Herman
West Warwick, RI. USA

I began my life as a silversmith in 1976 while in high school, taking night courses at Southern Massachusetts University (now UMass Dartmouth). I went on to earn a BFA degree in silversmithing and jewelry making from Maine College of Art where I studied under Harold Schremmer and Ernest Thompson - two outstanding designer/craftsmen. Upon graduating, I was hired by Gorham as a designer, sample maker, and technical illustrator. When I left Gorham,

I took a position at Pilz Ltd. where I created ecclesiastical ware and learned the fine art of restoration.

In 1989 I founded the Society of American Silversmiths to preserve and promote this beautiful art form. I have owned my own business for the past 28 years, specializing in the restoration, conservation, and preservation of silver objects.

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.