Saturday, November 22, 2008

Exploring Elegant Armor...

  Above Left:  Cocktail Ring by Ruth Radakovich made in 1969 of 14k gold and titanium rutile.  Above Right:  The Museum of Art and Design in its new location in Columbus Circle.

Left:  Nova Bronstein, student of Jamie Bennett, demonstrating enameling techniques. 

Today I had the pleasure of attending, Exploring Elegant Armor.  It was a day-long look into the Museum of Art and Design's collection of contemporary jewelry featured in their current exhibition, Elegant Armor: The Art of Jewelry.  The event encompassed studio techniques, from standard enameling to cutting-edge CAD (Computer Aided Design) based Polyjet and Perfactory 3D Printing, ideas of contemporary art jewelry in a pedagogical environment, a guided tour of the new inter-active jewelry gallery by the museum's jewelry curator, Ursula Ilse-Neuman, and a panel discussion between artists and educators, Jamie Bennett, Iris Eichenberg, and Stanley Lechtzin (moderated by Ursula Ilse-Neuman).  

I feel as though the new Tiffany Gallery at MAD is a rare shining jewel that reflects the unique and diverse possibilities in jewelry – expanding upon the field, fleshing it out, and showing it in three-dimensions.  I particularly enjoy how broad of a definition they give art jewelry.  It was exciting to see the different veins of inspiration and conceptual underpinnings, and how it translated into wearable (sometimes not-so-wearable) adornment.

I was really inspired by this trip to the museum.  I think it is easy sometimes to lose sight of the outside world when you're locked up in your studio.  Today was particularly remarkable in that my eyes were opened a little wider and that I walked away feeling good about the field.  Iris Eichenberg made a really good point during the panel discussion that stuck with me.  She talked about how she didn't want to approach the (jewelry) artist in a self-deprecating way, but to embrace the luxurious role of being someone who has created an object where another person has to walk away with said object and decide to cherish it – decide to value it, to love it, to hold it precious.  It made me feel like an alchemist, not merely of metals and materials, but of memories and magic.

1 comment:

jennifer said...

well said.