In making jewelry I am interested in exploring the cultural and social functions of adornment. I am fascinated by the function of craft objects beyond utility. Specifically, I am interested in how jewelry functions to signal identity, power, fraternity and status as well as its ability to communicate ideas about the wearer, project a desired image, attract, and seduce.
Much of how a piece of adornment functions is determined by the materials and the value attributed to these materials. Pearls, for example, are highly valued and have many different, sometimes diametrically opposing connotations: prestige, status, wealth, power, glamour, celebrity, purity, innocence, corruption, and seduction. The pearl operates as a signifier of these cultural constructs. But considering its origin, a pearl is a scar, an imperfection that has been glorified, elevated to a status of preciousness, and ascribed a high monetary value. For all of its cultural conditions, prestige and historical statue, it has meager a beginning as a mere irritation, an anomaly. The Pearl Necklace Series explores the cultural value of pearls by transforming small fresh water pearls into an image of a large perfect pearl necklace. The juxtaposition of precious and experimental materials questions the cultural value of precious jewelry. Various strategies, such as blanking, silhouetting, inflating or flattening the image transform the work into iconic images of jewelry. The pieces are both literally and culturally images of a pearl necklace.
15 images, 2005-2009