The following manifesto relays my core values as a jeweler, artist, and maker.
The rapid pace and innovation of digital manufacturing inspire me, but I struggle with the sterility of automation. For this reason, I combine the “hand” and “machine”. As I grew up in the post-digital age, this combination of digital and hand-made comes naturally to me. My hand fabricated work is first drafted using computer modeling, and my 3D printed pieces are assembled and post-processed by hand. For example, Gauntlet (2018) was made on an FDM printer by pausing the print, hand placing elastic rings, and continuing the print. This pause-and-print permanently traps the elastic in place.
When I face an obstacle, I examine the inherent properties of my materials and processes to overcome the limitations. Once scored and folded, paper has dimension, structure and movement. The elasticity of silicone rubber creates tension in a design. Complex geometries and interlocking mechanisms can be created by computer modeling. I appreciate materials not for their economic value, but for what I can do with them. I carry this belief through all materials, including the body.
In jewelry I consider the body as context, canvas, form and material. The Hickey Brooch (2016), attaches to the body by suction. When the brooch is removed it marks the skin with the image of a heart; this mark becomes jewelry in and of itself. In this work, I critique the social taboo of female promiscuity considering the historic objectification of their bodies. A billboard advertising lingerie can show a woman suggesting sexuality. Meanwhile, marks left from real moments of intimacy (hickeys) are inappropriate and shameful. Jewelry lives on the body and should interact with it. In some cases, jewelry can can be a voice for the body.
I see jewelry as a habitat for the body, and therefore it should follow certain rules: it should be lightweight, it should be comfortable, and should move with the body. My jewelry is made with the body in mind, so the body completes the work. In isolation the work is beautiful but lifeless.