Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Red and Blue Sculptural Trade Bead Jewelry
Here is a preview of my latest work for senior project.
I am using up my Ilha de Moçambique trade bead collection and making large, dimensional necklaces and bracelets. Each piece is woven with multiple yards of silver wire. I'm happy that my thesis work is turning out to be fun and colorful.
I find it ironic, however, that this is basically the same work I was doing pre-CCA (technically speaking at least). Trade beads and wire wrapping. Of course it's totally different, too.
I would have been incapable of making these pieces four years ago, not because of a lack of soldering or stone setting skills, but because my perspective has shifted so hugely. My eye has changed, my intention has changed, my sense of composition and balance has been sharpened.
This is why I wanted to go to art school as opposed to a trade college (there is a world class jewelry school here in the Bay Area, the Revere Academy, that would have been a valid but different option for going about my career change). At CCA I have been pushed and questioned and encouraged and criticized in a way I doubt would have happened at a trade school. I have had a major breakdown, many smaller crises, a handful of breakthroughs, and one gigantic "aha" moment. The entire experience has changed me as a person, for sure.
The process of working with old beads and wire is the same as it always has been: stringing, wrapping, tightening, forming. But the result is totally different, as is how I feel about the work.