Joshua Kosker (Pennsylvania)
Cubic Tangelo Necklace I
Medium/Materials: Tangelo peel, plywood, and steel
Dimensions: 15.75" x 8" x 2.25"
My work comes from a playful capacity to re-imagine the physical, tactile memory of material. Fusing emerging technologies with traditional craft practices –laser cut dried and pressed plant matter, biological artifacts, and geometric organics– my current body of work is twofold, seamlessly resting somewhere between raw and manufactured. By embracing manual labor, daily experiences, and serendipity through the thoughtful inclusion of everyday artifacts, I hope to present a more or less unusual view of the ordinary.
I view objects as narrators of time and place. These experiences are central to my thinking; how objects are shaped as they pass on. In the case of a picnic, a piece of fruit is a thing to behold –ultimately to be eaten– and so to embody its skin would be something else. I believe there is much beauty in the peel and promise found hiding in the flesh. Through the tradition of body adornment and a sensual hands-on practice, I am reinterpreting the fruit rind and underscoring its unseen potential.
I treat Minneola peels like animal hides, labeling the rinds by date and pinning them up to cure. My approach is informed by the process of angle raising, where a flat sheet of metal is transformed into a seamless hollow vessel; however, my work starts with a round object and de-forms it down to a flattened state. By reversing this traditional forming process with tangelos and thereby flattening the peel, I am altering the material into planate workable shapes, which are then recomposed into volumetric forms that contain new meaning. This work-hardened rind is the fruit of my labor.
Joshua Kosker is a studio artist based in Western Pennsylvania, whose practice is rooted in contemporary craft and body adornment. He received his MFA in Jewelry Design and Metalsmithing from Bowling Green State University in May 2015 and earned his BFA with a focus in Jewelry and Metals from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2011. A recipient of the Ethical Metalsmiths Emerging Artist Award in 2014, Josh has recently been awarded his second SMM Merit Scholarship from the Society for Midwest Metalsmiths. His work has been exhibited widely; recent exhibitions include: CraftForms 2015 at the Wayne Art Center in Wayne, PA, Art Jewelry: Strong Voices at Dedee Shattuck Gallery in Westport, MA, and 2015 So Fresh + So Clean: Second Annual Ethical Metalsmiths International Student Exhibition.