5 July 2013

A not so thick skin

There are a number of contemporary jewellers who are particularly interested in the relationship between the body and jewellery. Arguably, jewellery needs to be worn in order to fulfil its function, so to ignore this relationship would be foolish.  In addition to being worn on the body, jewellery is also often first attached to an item of clothing (eg. a brooch pinned to a lapel).  

For my final major project on the MA, I am exploring the relationship between these three elements - body, clothing and jewellery.  Is there a point at which one can function as another, or the qualities or aesthetics of one be echoed by the other two?

I have started looking at a few of the places in garments that are used to wear or carry objects, such as pockets but have yet to look closely at the body.  Until today.

At the start of the MA I experimented with applying a plastic coating to various found objects, with the initial intent to 'neutralise' their colour and form in some way.  What I discovered however, was that the plastic significantly altered the feel of the objects.  Cold, hard, metal objects became tactile once coated in this new skin, and almost warm or soft to touch.  Perhaps applying a 'skin' to found jewellery forms might be a way of acknowledging the body in this relationship?  Coating a chunky beaded necklace (found in a local charity shop) in an appropriately coloured skin, allows the form to be reinterpreted, and the beaded structure starts to take on the form of something much more skeletal.  I think I like!

Studio work - Skinned Alive  © Vanda Campbell 2013
Studio work - Thick Skinned  © Vanda Campbell 2013

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