Caitlin Skelcey


Medium/Materials: ABS plastic, sterling silver, automotive paint and clearcoat

Dimensions: 3 x 5 x 1 inches

Year: 2015

Artist Statement: 

Subsect is a piece of transition, a set of brooches cut from a larger 3D printed piece. The original piece printed, painted and clear coated with automotive paint. These pieces were created during a shift in my work that compelled me to cut apart previously created work, an exercise I used to challenge myself to dispel the internalized concept of a precious-ized pristine painted surface. Finding these slices had new significance apart from a whole, they are reminiscent of sections of human biology, but maintain their original anatomy of a printed part. The settings are a traditional fabricated sterling silver tab setting fit for each slice, the back cutouts mimic the patterning of the print layers exposed through the paint on the reverse side of the pieces, and reveal the printed support lattice. These pieces were made from a maker’s compulsion to gain physical and metaphysical knowledge and understanding through creation; to understand the way different modes of making, and how physical objects relate to each other, the interiors and exteriors, and why objects are made they way they are. In a fusion of new and traditional craft, they are bodily yet machined, with materials both precious and common. The plastic printed aesthetic bestows upon the pieces a material immortality; simultaneously the forms suggest a distorted fleshy human biology, acting as a facsimile of the biological forms at work beneath the wearer's skin, yet suspended forever in a saccharine, extruded, plasticity. 

Artist Biography:

Caitlin Skelcey is an art jeweler currently earning her MFA in Metals at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. In 2011 she received BFAs in both Metals and Jewelry Design and Fine Art Painting from Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her work is an exploration is one of the body, for the body, and by the body. It it through process and tactile material knowledge that 3D printing technology, traditional adornment, and craft practices are fused to critique, and blur the dualities of human biology and machine; to question the nature of the human connection to the artificial. In her work, created bone and bodily forms contort and fragment with the fusion of the maker’s hand and the machine, creating a site of trauma, fragmentation, reassembly, disassembly, healing and growth. Embracing fragmented and distorted forms, printed forms and traditional fabrications are used to set materials such as pearls or screws; they become reminiscent of the human anatomy such as teeth, or bones with medical implantations meant to bend the body to their wilI. It is only through our own bodies that we can experience the world, and through these experiences that we create meaning, construct identities, and rationalize our reality. Using body as the site for the work, her work aims to explore issues regarding identity, mortality (and immortality) in a post human reality, as well to challenge the ways we relate to and empathize with each other in and outside of our bodies. 

See more from this artist on their SNAG Maker Profile Page.