Thursday, December 9, 2010

Break Time

I just wanted to take a moment to let you all know that Devienna and I will be taking a hiatus from the chromophilia blog for the season. We plan to reprise the exhibition next year, but haven't begun planning the next show yet. As a result, we will be taking some time away from the computer until we get the proverbial ball rolling again.

Chromophilia was a great experience, and we look forward to producing another exhibition of amazing jewelers next year... Until then, I'd like to invite you to become a follower of my blog, Evocative Objects, which focuses on contemporary jewelry and my studio practice.

Thanks a lot,

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

Chromophilia got reviewed!!!!

I'm excited to have Chromophilia get a review in one of our local papers, The Providence Phoenix. The article, by Greg Cook, highlights some of the work in the exhibition and touches upon the aesthetic of the show. Personally, I'm always so glad to have contemporary art jewelry written about, because it hardly ever happens and I appreciate that critics are willing to learn about this emerging field and present it to a larger audience. I've posted Greg's review below, or you can read it here.

Review: '10 Most Endangered Properties,' plus 'Chromophilia'
The title of the "Chromophilia" exhibit at Craftland (235 Westminster Street, Providence, through October 10) focuses our attention on the bright colors of contemporary studio jewelry, which follows the 1980s revival — a la American Apparel — throughout fashion. But the bigger trend that curators Devienna Anggraini and Islay Taylor identify is a Post-Modern, catholic use of a wide variety of non-precious materials.

Mike & Maaike, a San Francisco studio led by Mike Simonian and Maaike Evers, fashion flat leather necklaces and broaches based on pixilated photos of famous jewelry (Daisy Fellowe's "Tutti Frutti" necklace, Imelda Marcos's ruby necklace, the Hope Diamond) found via Google image searches. Mariana Acosta Contreras of Providence strings folded leather into scarf-like necklaces resembling strands of flowers or shelf mushrooms. They often have a neutral main color (gray, white) with bright hues (reds, greens) flaring from inside folds.

Islay Taylor of Providence crochets webs of thread to hold cascading strands of orange and red beads. San Francisco's Emiko Oye turns Legos into bright, blocky, fun bracelets. One cheekily puns on Mondrian's blocky early 20th-century abstractions. RISD-trained Jimin Park's broaches look as if she's fashioned bits of metal and fluorescent plastic junk she picked up off the street into Post-Modern tribal talismans. Oye and Park's work highlights a distinguishing characteristic of this jewelry: a spirit of play.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chromophilia Installation Photos

Here are some photographs from the installation of Chromophilia at Craftland. This show, which I co-curated with Devienna Anggraini, features the work of Emiko Oye, Anthony Tammaro, Mike and Maaike, Jimin Park, Jenny Bradley, Amy Weiks, and Mariana Acosta.
I have to say that the final display looks wonderful. The work really brightens up the gallery with the highly saturated hues and tactile materials that each artist used.

Enjoy the pictures, and if you want more information about the show or artists check out the Chromophilia blog!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Originally posted on Evocative Objects.

Here's the show card for Chromophilia. Feel free to download it and email it along...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Getting Colorful at Chromophilia

Originally posted on Evocative Objects.
Devienna and I met today to install our upcoming show, Chromophilia, at Craftland. It took us only six hours to get a majority of the work done, and I'm very pleased with the results! Devienna was the brave one climbing up and down the ladder all day, while I laid out and secured most of the work... Clearly, we were a perfect team, and I'm honestly shocked at how quickly we worked together. I felt like a jewelry-installing zombie towards the end, but it was worth it! So many mono-filament knots.

Now that all the work is laid out in the gallery, the chromatic theme of the show is becoming brazenly apparent. Craftlands gallery has been transformed into a prism of color, texture, and material. Saturated reverberations coming off each artists work and just light up the space. All of the jewelry looks compliments each other nicely, and there is a good balance of styles of making and materials also.

Here are some preview pictures of the exhibition from when we were setting up today. I'll post more detailed images after the show opens.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The work has started coming in...

Yesterday I met with Devienna to talk about the fast approaching show. We visited the gallery at Craftland to check out the space, discuss display, and check out some of the work that's already started coming in. I think that we must have looked like two little girls in a candy store as we thoroughly investigated every little bauble that's arrived so far!

One of the artists that who we've received work from is Amy Weiks. She has sent us a series of exquisite brooches from a series titled Equal and Opposite, which I've always admired... But, finally getting so experience them in real life totally blows away my expectations! I was honestly kindof flabbergasted at her craftsmanship, her composition, and her unique hardware. The gallery was a cacophony of 'Oohs' and 'Aaahs' as we unwrapped one brooch after the next.

These brooches subtly investigate her explorations of material, form, and function. They also reflect her working process quite nicely, leaving her hammer marks as an honest portrayal of her method of forming. I really can't say enough about these brooches... I can't wait to see what else comes in the mail, and finally how the show looks fully installed!

Top image: Dev and Margaret fawning over a brooch
Bottom image: Equal and Opposite brooch by Amy Weiks

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jenny Bradley

With an emphasis on form, color and pattern, Jenny is invested in the question as to what jewelry can be in our world today. Dissecting her materials to then reconstruct them into new objects, she creates jewelry that explores structural and systemic elements. Her interest in non-traditional materials spark her investigations into the found object which she reformats to interact with elements constructed by her own hand. The work is a celebration of material and form meant to inspire curiosity, celebrate life, and create an appreciation for the little things.

Her most recent body of work focuses more directly on creating systems that move and therefore become interactive with the wearer. The jewelry is graphic and reflects an awareness of the way our world is built. The work is inspired by simple mechanics found in our daily surroundings. These same systems become the central element of her wearable objects. Her jewelry reminds that amidst structure and order it’s okay to get a little crazy and enjoy life at the same time.

Jenny is a recent grad from the SUNY New Paltz Masters program in metal and received her bachelors from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2005. She was chosen to participate in the 2005 Graduate Student Show at Gallery Marzee in the Netherlands and has subsequently shown at the Sienna Gallery in Lenox, MA, and the Heidi Lowe Studio in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Jenny also helped develop the jewelry program at the community arts organization, the Steel Yard, in Providence, RI where she has taught several classes.

Blue Mardi-Gras Earrings, mardi-fras beads, silver
Pink Mardi-Gras Brooch, mardi-gras beads, silver, steel

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Anthony Tammaro

Anthony Tammaro is a designer of couture and production jewelry who takes advantage of a number of technological advances and materials developed over the past decade. These include the digital design environment of 3D-modeling software, as well as a number of additive production processes that, in his work, allow for creativity in form and function unattainable with typical production means. Since standard metal jewelry production methods were limiting in terms of scale, he began to devise techniques to assemble large-scale, dramatic body ornament.

Tammaro holds a BFA as a Crafts major at The University of Arts in Philadelphia, is a graduate of the Masters Course of Industrial Design at Domus Academy in Milan, Italy, and an MFA graduate in the Metals-Jewelry-CAD/CAM program at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art.

In his newest body of work, Tammaro continues to collaborate with fashion photographers to reach beyond the typical scenario of presenting objects of personal adornment in isolation. His work has been exhibited nationally in galleries including Wexler Gallery (Philadelphia, PA), Velvet Da Vinci (San Francisco, CA), Gallery Loupe (Mont Clair, NJ), Sienna Gallery (Lenox, MA), and at The Philadelphia Museum of Art. Upcoming exhibits include a solo exhibition at Quirk Gallery (Richmond, VA), Design Philadelphia and in the national touring exhibition of “Lark’s 500 Plastic Jewelry Designs.”

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

emiko oye

Inspired by haute couture and salvaged materials, San Francisco artist emiko oye creates one-of-a-kind, urban jewelry and sculptures from recycled materials in combination with precious metals and gemstones.

Her jewelry strives to subtly transform the identity of everyday mundane objects to create new dialogues about our relationship with the environment and our culture.

In her sculptural work, alternative materials such as factory scraps, discarded toys and LEGO®, and sands from US internment camps are utilized to spark discourse on current socio-political issues. Topics of focus are consumerism and value, corporate greed and the media, and war and civil rights violations. Jewelry as a seductive vehicle for awareness.

Both her jewelry and conceptual sculptures are shown in exhibitions across the United States and in Europe, and are in the Museum of Contemporary Craft Teaching Collection.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mike and Maaike

Mike and Maaike is an industrial design studio led by Mike Simonian and Maaike Evers. Formed as a design laboratory, the San Francisco studio works both independently and with clients to create progressive solutions for products, furniture, technology, wearables, environments, and vehicles.

Maaike Evers is Dutch, Mike Simonian, Californian. These distinct backgrounds inform a diverse body of work marked by experimentation, substance and strong conceptual narratives.

Recent collaborations include: Google, Belkin, Steelcase, Xbox, Blankblank, Council, Coalesse, Dupont, Fritz Hansen, Ironkey, and the City of San Francisco.

Stolen Jewels is an exploration of tangible vs. virtual in relation to real and perceived value.

Using Google Image Search, we browsed through some of the most expensive and often famous jewelry in the world, the low-res images we found were stolen, doctored, then transferred to leather, creating a tangible new incarnation. With the expense and intricacy of the jewels stripped away, their essence and visual intensity are extracted. These pieces are applied to printed and scored leather.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Jimin Park

Jimin Park received her MFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2007. Currently, she lives, works, and teaches in Washington DC.

Imagination generates product. My body of work is manifested in theory and traditional insight regarding imagination as a core. After I majored in Metalsmithing in college, I worked for a high-end genuine European antique jewelry gallery. Spending my childhood with cartoons and comics, major culture industries in Asian countries, I found myself still enjoying them. These sculptural and cultural environments culminated in a deeper inquiry of jewelry.

My sarcastic approach can be attributed to a parody of reality. I am striving to revive classical forms, combined with contemporary approaches. In the series of Wonderland (2009), plastic materials and found objects were merged using the cartoonish inspirations: exaggerated shapes, bright colors, and surreal narratives. The bitter reflection projects the scene of abundant fakeness in the reality.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Amy Weiks

Amy Weiks is a nationally exhibiting artist with an artistic background that is materially and technically diverse. This diversity has greatly influenced the way she makes work, often moving fluidly from one material or process to another and blurring the lines between traditional media. It is the intimacy and interactivity of the object that draws her to jewelry and metalsmithing. While a desire to communicate her ideas through the objects she creates tends to dictate material choices, she also works very intuitively, often playing with a material or process until an idea emerges and aesthetic decisions become more conscious and deliberate. Some of her material choices include precious and non-precious metals, fiber, thread, beads, and paint.

The series, Equal and Opposite, is an exercise in form and function, an exploration of materials and an investigation of contradictions. Through repetitive hammer blows the metal is stretched and formed from flat sheet into its unique shape. The inside and outside are painted or patinated for dramatic contrast, accentuating the delicate edges. Each brooch hangs from a long stainless steel pin stem that arches above it thus requiring a balance of materials to combat the forces of gravity. Thread or beads are attached to provide visual or literal weight and balance. Due to their atypical pin mechanisms, the brooches are also reversible further pushing this idea of equal and opposite.

Weiks received a BFA in Photography from Western Michigan University in 2004. She has also studied at prestigious institutions such as the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland (printmaking) and Virginia Commonwealth University (jewelry/metals). At HCCC, she will share a studio with her partner, Gabriel Craig, through August of 2010. For more information, visit

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

In Celebration of Color

I've attached a wonderful advert from Sony Bravia featuring 350,000 bouncy balls stampeding down Divesadero Street in San Francisco. It's an amazing video with a beautiful soundtrack from Jose Gonzalez. Enjoy this touch of color and vibrancy in a season of murky rain.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mariana Acosta-Contreras

Mariana Acosta Contreras was born in Mexico. She holds her BFA in Graphic Design from The Gestalt School of Design,Veracruz. She recently earned her MFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from Rhode Island School of Design.

As a Mexican artist, but also as a woman living in the United States, she feels the urge to guard herself from the desolating grayness of the long northern winters. By manipulating perceptual notions of form and color, she assembles gradations of circular units, infusing the body with the energy of warm saturated hues that perform as protective shields.

Image above: Blossom, acrylic on canvas, 2009, 8" x 59" x 6"