I've been working on pieces to submit for a show at The Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, OR called Touching Warms the Art - it is a play on the warning "TOUCHING HARMS THE ART" that often accompanies art jewelry in a gallery or museum. The idea is to have work made from non-precious materials using non-precious processes. The work will actually be handled by the viewers and will remain, as a donation, in the museum's collection for further educating viewers about the art jewelry medium.
Rebecca Scheer, one of the curators, made this statement in an article in Metalsmith magazine which prompted the idea for this show.....
"...imagine if each of the studio jewelers created
a non-precious piece for visitors to handle. Could we
professionals even achieve such working freedom? Does
it devalue what we do? Painstaking craft and hand-worked
detail may be the forte of the craft artist. Nevertheless,
these values generate preciousness, ultimately dividing
the masses from experiencing the pleasures of “real”
studio jewelry first-hand."
My submissions were these rings made of spray foam insulation and steel binding wire. I first played around with these materials about 5 years ago when I was without a workshop and was looking for alternative ways of creating. I purchased these items at a hardware store for about $8.
For the submitted work, the only tools I used were a pair of wire snips, pliers, and a piece of round dowel to form the rings. Additionally, I only allowed myself one day to make the work.
Whether my work gets accepted or not, this project re-reminded me of the creative potential that comes from working outside our traditional media.