Often jewelry is created to celebrate and mark milestones in life. As part of marking her milestone of turning 40, jewelry artist Tegan Wallace has invited a collection of artists to take a prototype or unfinished object from Tegan’s own work and breathe new life into them. These Bits and Bobs will become reflections of what Tegan has achieved so far while celebrating the metal community that had given her so much and continues to influence her own artistic growth.
As a part of being in this show Tegan gave me a piece of her work to finish up – incidentally, the pierced dome work that appears in the top third of the photograph above – that she began in her teens. She lovingly and ingeniously created this piece at her parents coffee table, and despite a lot of recent protest that it was practically done already, she didn’t consider it finished. It may not yet be, but for this show I’ve taken it and added my own parts, in steel and liquid enamel of course, and turned it into a piece of jewellery.
Come see it, and even say hello to me and Tegan at the opening, from 6 – 9pm this Friday. The show runs until November 28th.
Danaca Design Studio
5619 University Way NE
Seattle WA 98105
In answer to a reader question; yes, the material that makes the work My House – Tanya Lippe’s Lunch Box is all from Tanya’s old lunch box, barring the stainless steel rivets, c-shaped connections, chain (handmade and otherwise) and cable that joins the altered parts together.
In fact there’s actually a few parts missing. The plastic handle and chrome fittings are not part of the design, and there is a series of five small pins (about 27 x 4mm each) that are not part of the installation. One of these I have kept (not a habit of mine, but these were particularly meaningful to me, in a piece that became surprisingly personal over the course of the design and making), and four were given to Micki before the piece was installed.
What you can’t see in this image is the hinge pin that was removed, the handle tethers, and an internal feature meant to hold a thermos flask in place in the top section of the box (it was roughly the shape of the stylized ‘V’ on the front.) All this was wire, in approximately 1.5 – 2mm diameter steel, which was cut up, drilled into, enameled and re-joined to make the chain that holds the big ‘snowflake’ section in the centre.
Images of my latest work, as installed at the Bellevue Arts Museum.
Tanya Lippe’s Lunch Box
Micki Lippe gave me the lunch box that used to belong to her daughter. She also gave me a book of poetry written by Tanya, published posthumously. Together they formed a commission; use one to make the other into something, which at least would get the old black relic out of the basement.
As an implement, a lunch box suggests forward planning, nourishment, and the day-to-day banality of life. But without its rightful owner? As an inheritance, the container became a reliquary. Though less tangible, the poems are a more instructive fragment of her life. They reference her – her feelings, her body. Yet her eyes never saw nor skin touch the bound object.
The box’s meaning again shifted when transferred into my hands, radically. Through reinterpretation it is now literally intertwined with the poetry of Tanya’s life, its former narrative burden becoming the liberator of its form.
Forget Them – but can we? A show about charms, amulets and talismans at Brooklyn Metal Works. Check it out!
“There are no angels, demons, or ghosts. Immaterial spirits of any kind do not exist. The creatures with which the Greek and Roman imagination populated the world—Fates, harpies, demons, genii, nymphs, satyrs, dryads, celestial messengers, and the spirits of the dead—are entirely unreal. Forget them.”
Yet it seems that despite our best efforts, we can’t. This show examines humankind’s perennial struggle between personal autonomy and spiritual guidance, and how these ideas manifest and inspire the fabrication of physical objects. All cultures throughout the ages have taken abstract concepts like gods, demons, imps, and spirits and translated them into material items that are often housed in esteemed spaces. Shrines that celebrate, amulets that protect, and totems that commemorate these enduring theologies and phenomenons. Perhaps the most resilient form of piety, the belief that objects imbued with spiritual reverence might protect or reward the owner withstands the test of time, often despite our better judgment.
Forget Them is an exhibition of “Talismans, amulets, shrines, and charms that have been created to wear, carry, or look upon. These objects convey a specific power, intend to protect against superstition, or commemorate.” curated by Steven Gordon Holman, Brian Weissman and Erin S. Daily, currently on at Brooklyn Metal Works. My collaboration with Jill Hermans, the Charged Charm Cards, are on display, and, as you can see above, we’re in illustrious company 🙂 Check it out until the 27th of November.
An image of Melissa’s wok is in the newspaper, along with a insightful commentary about Micki Lippe’s piece in the same show. Connections abound!
An article entitled: Transforming metal: ‘Metalmorphosis’ exhibit at BAM shows new possibilities by Gayle Clemans was published in the Seattle Times newspaper today. It’s a review of the Metalmorphosis exhibition at the Bellevue Arts Museum here in Seattle, and features an image of part of my installation My House: Tanya Lippe’s Lunch Box (the print version has a large reproduction of the brooch section of my piece next to the article – online it’s in a slide section, of the image included above) as well as an insightful commentary about Micki Lippe‘s work, among others.
As you might have guessed I was pretty chuffed when I found out, doubly so as the news came via an excited email from Micki this morning!
And yes, for those of you yet to see the show or not familiar with local jewellery doyenne Micki Lippe, Tanya is the name of Micki’s daughter. I’m not trying to tease with my lack of details – in fact there’s been some descriptions in Instagram of the work – but I’ve been refraining from posting full images of the installation until Micki has seen it, as due to other commitments she missed the openings at the start of the month.
Right, I’m off, to go get a copy of the newspaper 😉