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What art do you surround yourself with in your home or office? Does it remind you to love more and appreciate the people in your life? This sculpture and wall piece do just that.
In creating my series, The Skin Within, I focused on the skin we don’t see - the layer just under the surface that we use to protect ourselves emotionally. That invisible membrane that allows us to show or hide vulnerability.
I often tend to create in pairs. It seems most of my ideas require 2 versions to fully tell the story.
In both pieces of art, my goal was to capture a sense of emotion bursting through the surface. With color representing the many facets of people we love, their unique personalities, and range of temperament.
I think of these copper and glass enamelware sculptures as the the 2 sides of connection. In one, a person is showing vulnerability and revealing themselves outwardly, and in the other, a confidant is seeing that person from an outside perspective, viewing in. Both might reveal similar attributes, but the experience of understanding them is slightly different.
I was newly in love with my boyfriend when I made these, so I couldn’t stop thinking about the process of getting to know someone in a deep and intimate way. In the process of uncovering the layers of a person, you find out more about yourself as well.
The making of both pieces posed interesting problem solving challenges, both technically and aesthetically.
Here you can see me welding the textured sections of the vessel where the copper meets the enameled sections. I had several projects going at once in preparation for a show, so I’m penned into the smallest work space with other parts of the process piled up around me.
Enameling the copper diamonds seemed straightfoward enough, until they started warping in the 1500 degree kiln. Curses! But I managed to get everything fitting well enough.
Hammering the copper vessel was a no brainer - that is something I can do in my sleep (I’ve spent thousands of hours hammering copper over the years). Fitting the vessel halves with the glass enameled diamond shapes was another matter. While I don’t mind if I’m in the right kind of mood, it is still tedious to get things to fit together properly, especially when there are factors out of your control (like heat causing warpage).
Above you can see the process of keeping everything straight - laying out the colors and pattern and then slowly fitting all the sections together.
The three sections of the finished vessel are held together with friction, beautifully supporting itself by the nature of the orb shape.
While I think of Prevail as a representation of a person exposing their vulnerable side to you - Unveil expresses how You experience the vulnerability of the other person from the outside. Two sides of the same coin, seen through two different lenses.
In the case of this wall piece, determining the color and pattern of the varied diamond shapes was something of a puzzle, much like the process of uncovering the many facets of a person.
Laying out the pattern was the first step, seen above.
A glimpse at the diamond shapes being fused with glass enamel - out of the kiln, the strong layers of black oxidation pop off to create a dusting of burnt snow everywhere.
In this case, each copper diamond has 3 thin coats of glass fused to each side. If you only enamel one side, the imbalance will cause the glass to crack off.
I hammered the copper to fit around the copper diamonds like a sheet of leather skin exposed in the middle. As a jeweler and metalsmith, I’m smitten with making sure small details are just as important as the overall piece.
I fabricated a steel frame to fit the sculpture, giving the organic nature of the copper a crisp structural framework.
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