Yin Yang - Differences Unite Us

Materials: 18K gold, Sterling Silver
Dimensions: 1/2 inch across

In Taoist philosophy, Yin Yang is used to describe complementary opposites that interact within a greater whole, as part of a dynamic system. The symbol reminds us that without darkness you cannot have light. The two forms exist within a perfect circle, the symbol of oneness.

Photo credit: Mary Ferrulli Barker

Mary Ferrulli Barker
Pianeta Jewelry and Metal Arts, LLC
Los Gatos, CA. USA

As a metals artist, I love the challenge of translating vision into substance; of using technical skill and beautiful materials to form a tangible object. I have always felt that even everyday objects can be crafted with both beauty and function. I love creating things that people feel beautiful wearing. To me, the wearer becomes a part of the art, which is as unique as the person herself.

I find inspiration comes from everywhere. I live in the mountains in Northern California, surrounded by wildlife and forest. I visualize simple and sleek shapes that reflect my natural environment as well as man’s technical achievements. I like to combine materials in unusual and exciting ways.

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.