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The Aesthetics of Sculptural Jewelry

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 Carl Andre (b. 1935) is a sculptor and poet who works often with found materials such as brick and metal. His installations emphasize the materiality of his artworks as well as their object history. Materiality, object history, and a sculptural aesthetic are concepts common to jewelry designers Hvnter Gvtherer, Parts of Four, and Lee Brennan Design. The Santorini Lux Ring by Hvnter Gvtherer, for example, is crafted of sterling silver with a textured black enamel coating. With wear the enamel weathers away, and the silver below shows through. This way, the wearer takes part in the process of creation, and the ring’s object history—its wear—becomes an integral part of its design. 

 "Carl Andre: Sculpture as Place, 1958-2010" at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. (Museum of Contemporary Art) Photo via The LA Times.

 

The Crescent Channel Bracelet by Parts of Four is designed with similar concepts in mind.  The bracelet Is made of brass substrate, electroplated with 18-karat gold and then submerged in an acid bath. After allowing the chemical reactions to take place, the bracelet is finally burned to ensure its texture. The result is a unique topography for each piece. The nuanced design of the cuff’s surface is juxtaposed against the symmetry and balance of its form—an elegant crescent tapering toward the ends, with a valley between two plated ridges. The form allows a large surface area for texture, while also creating a sense of balance in its shape. 

 

Each piece is created with an artful attention to material and detail, such as in Andre’s sculptural installations. Likewise, where the artist incorporated object history into his works, Hvnter Gvtherer and Parts of Four use weathering and erosion in their work to forge unique pieces with the wearer in mind. 

 

Written by Isabelle Sakelaris

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