I have developed and created bracelets that are functional, aesthetically pleasing, and conceptually challenging. My work focuses on sizing issues and the mechanics related to this function. The body of work on display raises several questions. Why must we size our jewelry? Could the wearer manipulate the jewelry for proper fit (thus heightening the intimacy between ornament and wearer)? Could the mechanics of this “manipulated-sizing” form the basis of an aesthetic?
I began this project after working in an industrial setting, where I observed machinists who were highly capable in their field, but saw no artistic value in their methods or techniques. I have combined industrial and machining processes with contemporary jewelry design, in an attempt to join these two diverse disciplines. The use of a mechanical clamp with a threaded rod is an example of one mechanism that I have used in this method. The transcription of a clamping device from the industrial setting to a bracelet, within the world of contemporary jewelry, has provided the basis for several variations on this theme. Using an engine type lathe and vertical milling machine, (smaller, manual versions of the same machines used in industry today) enhances this aesthetic. The use of bright color and highly reflective surfaces attracts the viewer and invites them to more closely study the bracelet’s mechanisms. The work’s appeal is layered: the bracelets appeal to the art world through their design, and the bracelets appeal to craftsman/machinists through their complex multi-angled machine techniques. Finally, the bracelets reflect an aesthetic to all people through the knowledge of how the bracelets were designed and created. In this process lies the basis for an appreciation for my work.
As a child, I was fascinated by how things “worked”, and I recall taking things apart for the sole reason of figuring out the “workings” of the device. I would hope that through the use of modular construction, the viewer would recall childhood memories of putting together models or puzzles. This is an aspect of my life that has led me to appreciate the aesthetics of everyday objects that can stimulate design, specifically the design of machined functional jewelry.