2019 Halstead Design Challenge
What’s old is new again. Karma. Rebirth. Revival.
Any which way you want to look at the topic of CYCLE, explore the 2019 Halstead Design Challenge theme by playing with your ideas on continuity, loops or lifecycles! 2019 is a special year for SNAG as the organization celebrates its 50th anniversary. Such occasions are a time for reflection on the past and the future. Show us your interpretations of repetition or progression, fabrication techniques and creative use of a found object – all brought to life as a neckpiece or pendant!
Hilary Halstead Scott
Scott is the President of Halstead, a wholesale supplier of jewelry chain and materials that was established in 1973. The family owned and operated firm supplies thousands of jewelry artists around the globe. Scott is passionate about helping small jewelry businesses and entrepreneurs. To that end, she founded the Halstead Grant in 2005. The Halstead Grant is a business development program that awards start-up cash and recognition to an emerging jewelry artist each year. The rigorous application process is designed to encourage sound business practices in the jewelry industry. Scott has an MBA and a Masters in International Management. She worked in Madrid, Spain prior to returning to the family business. She is an active member of The Society of North American Goldsmiths and the Women Presidents Organization.
Bové is a practicing artist, educator and former board member of SNAG. He has organized and curated several international exhibitions and lectures between the United States and Japan, including the cross-cultural exchange, Metalsmiths Linking. He recently completed an artist residency in Portugal where he explored landscape inspired forms. Jim’s artwork was selected for Metalsmith magazine’s Exhibition in Print, ‘Fresh’. His artwork has been featured in several books, Humor in Craft, 500 Art Necklaces, On Body and Soul: Contemporary Armor to Amulets and most recently in Cast. His artwork resides in collections in the United States, Japan and was awarded Honorable Mention in the Cheongju Craft Biennale, South Korea and was accepted into Schmuck as well as being exhibited in the Taiwan International Metals Crafts Competition.
Martin is currently the Executive Director of The Furniture Society. She created the online social network CRAFTHAUS in 2008 to foster camaraderie and professional exchange within the international craft community. As the site’s editor she connects the membership with the larger craft world while offering a place to show work and discuss thoughts and ideas about craft. Martin founded a Craft Think Tank in 2011 and continues to organize the convenings in cooperation with the American Craft Council. Martin published Humor in Craft, which won the Finalist award at the 2012 USA Best Book Awards and a Gold Medal at the Independent Publisher Book Awards in 2013. Martin curates and juries exhibitions nationally and she is a regularly contributing writer for American Craft Magazine. Martin is a past-president of SNAG and a public speaker on topics of social networking, online community, artist development and art entrepreneurship.
The Cycle of Unintended Consequences
Sterling silver, copper, brass, neoprene, gold, and encaustic pigment
5.25” x 3.5” x 1”
Our work has always been about storytelling and narratives. The work often serves as a catalyst for a story that is completed by the interpretation of the viewer through the perspective of their own experiences. This piece, “The Cycle of Unintended Consequences” is a story of lost and found. Loosing something and finding something are both serendipitous events that set in motion a cycle of consequences, mostly unintended.
This particular piece recreates the circumstances in which we found a “Baby” locket, deep within a forest floor covered by leaves, which becomes the found object for the Halstead project. Who lost it? How long had it been there (it is quite old)? Why was it so deep into the forest? What consequences will arise from it being found? Certainly no one intended it to become part of an art project, not even us when we found it. Someone may have intended this never to be found.
What do you think?
Copper, sterling silver, aluminum, and brass
4.5” x 4.5” x 0.25”
Video by Eric Stanley
This is a piece that looks at fear, and our process of overcoming it. Continually I find myself reacting to certain types of situations with a knee jerk reaction. I then have to step back and ask “why am I resisting so much?” At the bottom of it, there is usually a fear based element. I believe this is within us all, and if left unexplored we continue this cycle of non-growth. To break this cycle we have to see, and notice our fear. Once the fear is recognized, and called by name, it is then that we can start to work with the situation. It is then that we can start to break down our fear based decisions and overcome them. If we take the time to muster a spark of courage and face our monsters, growth is the path. I have modelled my four main segments as masks, specifically monster masks. The aluminum grate – it being my found object – projects the colour of anger, and is accompanied by the warm tones of brass, copper, and the cold shoulder of silver. Each one alone projects its own weight but when brought in together as one, as a whole, it changes, and the fear is disrupted. When looked at as a whole, the piece breaks the cycle of fear, and speaks of growth.
Radial Piston Necklace
Silver, copper, brass, and steel
2.25” x 2.25” x 0.7” (pendant)
Being a field rooted in history and tradition, contemporary metalsmiths often look to the past for inspiration, utilizing historic iconography and design elements to inform the aesthetic and conceptual agenda behind their work. When considering the theme of Cycle, I immediately thought of mining and reinterpretation of historical motifs. The design of this piece is inspired by engineering sourcebook materials (specifically radial piston designs) with classic ornamental scrollwork. My goal with amalgamating these two inspiration sources was to create a cohesive piece in which visual dichotomies also exist (masculine/feminine, industrial/organic). I was also very interested in integrating engineering aspects to further articulate the theme of Cycle through a kinetic element. To enhance the industrial themes within this piece, I chose to utilize two power hand drill driver bits within the chain. This piece also plays with a scale shift by taking traditionally large, industrial elements and presenting them through the small, intimate scale of jewelry.
Constellation of Moon Phases
Sterling silver, copper, brass, enamel, stainless steel, gasketing, and druzys
3” x 3” x 0.25”(brooch) & 32” chain component
Photography by Andrew Clauser
Video by Ken Iversen
My first thought with the theme “cycle” for this year’s Halstead Design Challenge was to explore the cycles of time. I had recently watched a documentary on the Antikythera Mechanism, which was an ancient computer created by the Greeks, used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses for the calendar year. This led me to explore the lunar phases and how it affects the very core of our world. We live and breathe everyday according to the cycles of sun and moon. The lunar cycles affect the tides of the sea, the flow of our blood, our wake and sleep cycles, and is ubiquitous. Ironically, I had created an illustration in my college years that would fit perfectly into this theme (which could also be considered my found object)! I was able to incorporate the illustration into my enamel process to create the dimensional sun/moon/constellation of the brooch. The back is a sterling silver pierced design of the “flower of life”, a series of overlapping circles (19) symbolizing the geometry of the universe and its design on life. There are 19 links in the top section of the necklace which references this design. I used most of the Halstead jewelry components in the design of the necklace chain, but also incorporated some components in the brooch design. The mechanism that permits the moon phase circle to spin on an axis uses my found object, which are salvaged pieces of an old pair of eyeglasses. Another symbolism of having a greater “view” of the universe. I tried to challenge myself with metalsmithing techniques that I’ve never tried and I’m quite happy with the result. I learned a great deal from this challenge and enjoyed using all of the symbolic references to tie my piece together to fit with the theme of “cycle” for this year’s challenge.
AMY LEVITAN & SAMANTHA EAGLE
The Butterfly Effect
Brass, copper, silver, enamel, and crystal quartz
6” x 6” x 1”
Photography by Jamie Eagle
Video by Ariel Levitan
From egg to caterpillar to chrysalis, the magic is in the metamorphosis. Butterflies have a powerful impact on the cycle of life. Given all of our environmental challenges, it is our hope to demonstrate the essential interconnectedness of butterflies to nature and humanity. And to preserve this link for generations to come.
The Lifecycle and Deterioration of a Loved One
Copper, silver, brass, paint on enamel, and sections of gears from an old clock
1.5” x 0.25” x 22"
Photography and Video by Michael Newsome
For my Halstead Design Challenge (HDC), The Lifecycle and Deterioration of a Loved One, I created a piece that represents my aunt Barbara’s lifecycle and her current journey with stage four ovarian cancer. Last time I saw her, I was startled by the dramatic change in her cognitive abilities, especially since she has always been so intellectual. I began memorizing her physical characteristic. Her big beautiful light blue eyes and her hands. When I said goodbye to my aunt Barbara, I felt unsure if I will ever see her again. As a way to process my grief, my HDC piece represents my recent experience with my aunt. Aside from my found object and extra brass and copper sheet, all the materials came in the HDC kit. I began this necklace by piercing out and sweat soldered three circular images; an eye, a hand and a brain. For my found object, I cut up and re-used an old brass clock gear that I sweat soldered to four pieces of copper. The clock represents her life cycle. My aunt is determined to fight, but only time will tell if the chemo is working. It's been hard for me to process my sadness, but this challenge has help me access my feelings and feel like I am honoring her in the process.
Sterling silver, copper, brass, turquoise disk, and quartz crystal
3" x 1.75", 1.25”, & 1.5”
My necklace exhibits the moon cycles from “the man in the moon” to the dark side of the moon, crescent moon, new moon, blue moon and things that orbit the moon. I found the turquoise disk while traveling in the orient and the quartz crystal during a moon watch in Park City. My inspira-tion rose while snowshoeing during the Lunar Eclipse as it cycled thru the night sky.
Bronze, brass, copper, sterling silver, fine silver, moonstone, and creek rock
3.42” x 2.67” x 0.36 (pendant) & 18” chain
Photography by Philip Lepley
Water truly is the lifeblood of our planet, of us all. The water cycle was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw this year’s challenge theme. My personal challenge was to show the importance of this natural cycle, as well as to give my piece a three dimensional appearance using multiple techniques: layering of metal, repousse, and tubed rivets. I used a variety of metals (bronze, brass, copper, sterling and fine silver) and a little moonstone. The moon is strongly connected to our planet’s water, and so I added four aspects of its cycle to the chain, on either side of the center full moon. The drooping chain represents rain, a crucial part of this cycle. The back shows a few representative animals that depend on our water and wetlands for their survival. The found object is also connected to water and to me personally. It is a little creek rock that was gathered and polished together with my four year old grandson.
Madam Moon's Big Drams Tour
Copper, brass, sterling silver, and porcelain
3” x 3” x 0.25”
Photography & Video by Lessley Burke
The mysterious porcelain face once was part of a brooch. She wore a simple hat back in the day, when she lived a somewhat pedestrian lifestyle. And even though she has lost some of her original brilliance, she has maintained a solid appearance throughout her time spent at the bottom of a jewelry box. Now after many years of living in the shadows, she is back in her most notable role to date.
May I present to you (drumroll, please) … Madam Moon.
Reoccurring Rejuvenation: A Reliquary for the Shower Curtain, Toothbrush, & Dental Floss
Sterling silver, brass, glass, shower curtain, toothbrushes, dental floss, and cutter
6” x 6” x 0.75”
Video by Jneifer Thompson
Good Morning! Welcome to the daily cycle of rejuvenation. Revive yourself with a relaxing shower, get centered, energized, and begin your day. Excitement and opportunities await. This piece was inspired by the shower curtain, in the central pendant, that hung at our family cabin throughout my childhood and into adult life. Another part of the rejuvenation ritual is brushing one’s teeth; the necklace includes the de-bristled heads of toothbrushes set as gems and the frosted handles are incorporated as part of the chain. And have you been flossing? The final element of the chain is created from hand dyed dental floss that has been braided using the kumihimo process, along with floss cutters from their dispensers. If you had a bad day; wash it away! This ritual can be used morning to night, whenever you’re in need of a fresh start.
Nocturnal Food Chain
Lake Superior Agate (found object), sterling silver, fine silver, copper, and brass
4” x 2” x 0.375”
Photography by Jana Lies
Video by Rebekah Mackey
Many parts of life and existence become available to our senses because of the environment they are in. Our surroundings help define who we are. Silhouettes from nature are inherent in my designs. By using figure ground reversal, the viewer perceives something that is only visually available because of its surroundings. Like nature, each part is dependent on the other for mutual existence. My passion is crafting quality wearable art fabricated in a socially and environmentally responsible way. I draw inspiration from adventures in the northwoods including fishing, hiking and biking. My cohesive design lines include shorelines, woodland landscapes, pollinators, and a line of Upper Peninsula and Lake Superior silhouette jewelry.
Copper, brass, sterling silver, and sea shell
5” x 4.5” x 1”
This pendant features some of the symbols that cycle in and out of use around the world and throughout time in spiritual and religious contexts. Humans use symbols to refer to wider ideas and concepts, and symbols such as spirals, circles, triangles, eyes, and crosses have been widely used as spiritual references in cultures worldwide. I have carried several of these onto the back in my cold connections. Just as these symbols have cycled throughout human history in various designs and sizes, I have presented them in a range of materials, sizes, and presentations in this pendant.
Sterling silver, brass, copper, fine silver granulation, and Swarovski crystal
5.25” x 4.5” x 0.5”
It was the provided “bits and pieces” part of this exhibition process that caught my interest. I have made some of my most spectacular pieces by sifting through my scrap and letting the metal tell me what it wants to be. Living in Oregon, I first thought of tides when reflecting on the “Cycle” theme. Then what causes the tides…. the constant pull of moon and earth… and ultimately the whole idea of cycles in the cosmos. Beginning nebula to star to supernova to black hole. Going on endlessly and forever. I have represented a few of these cosmic elements in my piece; supernova, moon, planet with orbits, black holes.
Cycle of Decay
Sterling silver wire, brass sheet, cover sheet, brass wire, copper beads, cast shibuichi, brass screen, and sterling silver beads
4.25” x 1.5” x 1”
Cycle of Decay is my submission for the Halstead Design Challenge, and looks at the relationship between decay and life born from it in the decay. The center piece is a cast shibuichi acorn, from which roots are sprouting beneath, showing on facet of life from a seed. The brooch also has little fungus tendrils, which illustrate how life can also form from the decay and decomposition of life, thus making a cycle.
Some Assembly Required
Sterling silver, brass, copper, glass, and keyboard key
2.3” x 1.7” x 0.97”
A cheeky take on the theme “cycle” this piece is intended to to challenge the viewer to get out of their heads and just have a little fun. Originally I set out to create something deep and meaningful. I set my own requirements to ensure it read like my work; intending to incorporate organic castings and fossils, but when I sat down to create, the material kept pulling me in another direction. What came of it was something completely unexpected, but being open to art, a conduit for which it to work, is why I am driven to create. When all said and done, it came together smoothly, it’s as if I was given the elements to make this washing machine and just needed to follow the assembly instructions.
Sterling silver, copper, brass, wood, and quartz crystal
5.25” x 0.25”
This pendant is named, Prediction: Growth and it is based on the idea that we add layers of complexity as we gain years and experiences. The rings of a tree are known for their representation of a time line in years, age, and experience, including trauma in the environment and periods of healthy growth. This cycle holds true for the human experience. The addition of clear quartz spheres is an expression of our desire to know what is to come, like in the crystal ball of a seer. The connections between stations of the pendant are articulated. Halstead sterling and brass wire is used to peg the metal “bark” into the wood slices.
Mixed media including: found seashell, graphite, oil-based paint marker, copper, silver, brass, liver of sulfur, and steel
5.12” x 4.25” x 0.95”
When I think of cycles, I think of pathways. I think of how we move in the space and time that we are provided. I think of the histories that come before, and after. I wanted to make a piece that involves decisive, circular elements but is predominantly overrun with organic, circuitous representations of a cycle - more of a loose rhythm than the organized, delineated way that I often think of a cycle. This piece is intended to be dynamic; it can be worn two ways: a long necklace, or a double wrapped shorter necklace.
Stainless steel, steel, copper, brass, sterling silver, and VCR components
2.75” x 2” x 0.25” (folded)
There are many cycles we measure, track, or commemorate, but none has such an effect on our lives as the cycle of the earth and sun. We have all manner of time keeping devices based on the paths of these celestial bodies. We go places at certain times of day, or on specific dates. We attend meetings and appointments without thinking about the relationship of time to our movement through space. It is fascinating to think that our lives are timed and planned according to the rotation of our planet and its orbit around the sun. For my Halstead design challenge entry, I have constructed a pendant that folds out to form a universal ring sundial. An archaic timekeeping device when compared to modern smart watches and phones. But one that connects the wearer to what we actually measure when we check the time, our position in the universe.
Brass, sterling silver, copper, and bone
4” x 4” x 1” & 20” hand fabricated chain
Pollination references the essential relationship of insects and the fruit we love to eat, a truly harmonious life cycle. Inspiration for the work resulted from a single element provided in the box of supplies from Halstead, the triangular silver jump ring. With no clear path I began making more and more of these jump rings. As they piled up patterns began to emerge, among them flowers. This design process, akin to collaging, is often how I work however I have never made anything quite as sculptural as this neckpiece. You never know where a box of random supplies might take you… I hope you enjoy it!
For My Kids
Sterling silver, copper, brass, compass face, and epoxy resin
4” x 1.5” x 0.25”
The title of this piece is For My Kids. It is about breaking the cycle of generational trauma and family dysfunction. The found object inside the pendant is part of my dad’s hunting compass. He died of a suicide when I was 3 years old. 27 years after his death I learned that his suicide was directly related to his involvement in the cult in which I was born, raised and married. This began my quest to expose all the ways my upbringing dictated how I navigated the world. I wanted to blame the cult alone for my dad’s death and my personal challenges but the more I dug into the truth the more I could see that trauma had been carried on from one generation to the next. My dad’s experiences likely led him to seek the external validation and purpose that can be found in a cult. And likely my grandparents had unresolved trauma from whatever their parents passed on to them and on and on... When this became clear to me, I decided I wanted to do everything possible to stop the cycle, or least throw a significant wrench in it, for my three kids. I learned that the answer was not in blaming other people or systems but in facing my pain and learning self-love, acceptance and approval—this is represented by the triangle. On the back of the pendant is the reminder that the safety of trusting oneself and the vulnerability of trusting others is a constant balance. I am rewiring my perception of myself, my family and my experience and I can only hope that it helps change the future for my kids.
Past, Present, Future
Brass, copper, fine silver, sterling silver, quartz, and aventurine
5" x 2.75" x 0.5"
My pendant was inspired by the concept of Sankofa. The Akan culture of Ghana use communicators (symbols) or Adinkra to express philosophical ideas. The Adinkra Sankofa states “Se wo were fin a wo Sankofa a yenkyi” which translates to: It is not a taboo to return and fetch it when you forget).” Sankofa is represented as a mythical bird with its neck turned towards its back, placing an egg between its feathers. Its feet facing forward, it symbolizes that we should reflect on our past to build our future. I used the materials in the kit to create a medallion, which rotates to show both side when worn. The front is the Sankofa bird. I used a small part of the oval gallery wire for the eye, the triangle blank for the beak, and melted wire for the egg. I have always had a habit of picking up rocks and hoping one day to make something using them. My found objects are 3 quartz rocks that hang from chain on the bottom. The settings are the rondell beads melted and soldered with wire to create the prongs. There is also an aventurine crystal prong set on the top of the frame. The back of the medallion is stamped with: “reflect on your past to build a future.” Floral elements created by fusing, melting and soldering components are wrapped around the frame, symbolizing life. This piece combines pieces of my past with my future dreams and inspires continued growth.
One Small Step
1969 stamp, silver,copper, brass, and glass
6” x 6” x 1”
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first human on the moon, I have incorporated a 1969 Stamp depicting Neil Armstrong stepping off the lunar lander. The cycles of the moon have been etched into silver, brass, and copper. The design is inspired by part tribal, part future, and part 1960’s electronics themes to highlight our connection to the moon from the beginning of time to the hopes and dreams of the future.
Reap What You Sow
Blown glass tube with encased soil, sterling silver, copper, brass, waxed linen, vitreous enamel, and cast bronze bee
5” x 6” x 1”
An interpretation of the lifecycle of the Lemon I believe the metaphor of a fruitful life is a poignant one, and it is something I strive for. Thus, I chose to explore the lifecycle of the lemon fruit. The overall shape of the kit wires became a circle to reflect the theme of cycle. I wrapped them all in waxed linen to mimic branches in nature and integrate the silver, copper, and brass colors. I enameled brass for the lemon seeds on the left and made them look like the were taking root. I blew a tapered glass cylinder to hold the soil (my found object) to signify the beginning stages of growth. Progressing up the branch you have the first green enameled brass shoots and following the branch around the next shoots are accompanied by tiny lemon blossom buds made from enameled copper balls on copper wire. Continuing the progression we find the bee pollinator doing its part for future cycles as it sits atop a full fledged enameled copper lemon blossom next to fully mature leaves. A beautiful lemon fruit takes center stage and the cycle continues with a bug-eaten leaf and finally a diseased, dying leaf on the far tip of the branch which completes the cycle. I was able to use about 65% of the kit: pretty much all the brass and copper sheet, the wire except for the smaller decorative silver wires and the other silver components except the flat round washer style which I was able to use.
Quantum Fog Begets Unbounded Life
Coquina rock, Effectre glass, copper, brass, sterling, and aluminum
5.25” x 4.125” x 1”
The Singularity begat the Quantum Fog. The Fog coalesced into quarks and photons. The quarks begat protons and hydrogen filled the expanding void. The hydrogen begat stars. As the stars converted their hydrogen into radiance, cycles of creation begat the heavier elements including silicon and oxygen. As fusing elements were consumed stars begat supernovas that spread their detritus in rings of fire and ash. The shockwaves of ash-filled death joined with primordial hydrogen and a new cycle of star life begins, with coalescing ash rings that formed planets. One planet around an ordinary star eventually cooled and primordial comet ice melted into oceans and quartz bastions. Chemogenesis life emerged alongside rivulets of molten silicon dioxide. Life surrounded cooling quartz granules of astonishing beauty in the midst of dark blandness. Silicon dioxide sea beds fostered explosions of life and free oxygen filled the now blue skies. Tidal forces from a primordial moon push the silicon dioxide into mounds, and time immemorial repeatedly crushed the mounds into the sands of time. Uncountable cycles turned sands to stones to sands again. Life ebbed and flowed and exploded across the shores. Delicate creatures formed ontogenesis communities, blending their beauty with ancient glass glints showcasing ever cycling life.
Copper, brass, gold fill wire, found beach glass, CD, found dehydrated gecko, leather, and sterling silver
5”x 1.5”x 0.5”
This piece is about the cycle of life and death and is a very personal piece. 2018 was a turbulent year for me. In March, I started working at a stem cell biotech company. I had left biology so many years ago and had completely immersed myself in art and jewelry that I had no idea what was going on in the world of biotech. Shockingly (though, maybe not so shocking to people who pay more attention to world events), there are super powerful, wealthy people in this world who are trying to live forever with stem cells and other related technologies. For those who have not entered this crazy world of stem cells, one might believe that it is all very noble and backed by science. That is simply not the case; it is more magic and voodoo than anything. In my piece, I want there to be a feeling that this is an amulet or talisman of sorts. The coils are reminiscent of transformer coils like the ones for Frankenstein’s monster. The dehydrated gecko that I found whilst cleaning out my desk at the biotech company is seemingly encased in iridescent fluid, awaiting a lightning bolt from heaven to give it life. This piece is the marriage of magic and science; one’s ultimate wish to become a god with the magic that is science. Not that I have a say in any of this, but people were not meant to live forever. We are human. We are mortals, born to die; and with this one thought, we live better lives, knowing that it doesn’t last. I created this piece as a rally against this technological race to live forever. We should live our lives knowing that life is a cycle which includes death. Memento mori: remember that (you) will die. As a good friend once said to me regarding death, “Everyone does it! Even the popular kids!”
Copper/Silver alloy, Brass, Leather, and cotton thread
2” x 3.5”
Uluburun is inspired by the discovery of over 300 OxHide copper ingots, from the Bronze Age, in the shipwreck of the same name. Their shape resembles an ox hide, hence the name. They are also a strong reminder of the Touareg amulets, Tcherot, I encountered in Africa. I imagined the road taken through time by copper, onboard a ship in 1500BC destined to be traded in the Mediterranean basin or forged by the Tuaregs in the Sahara in the late 1800’s. This metal may even have been a part of the Halstead Design Challenge material kit. This romantic idea may be a stretch, but it led me to consider the material in the kit as part of an ongoing cycle. I lit the torch, warmed up the crucible and transformed all the material from the kit into Uluburun.
The cycle continues.
The Wasp and her Flowers
Sterling Silver, copper, bronze, wasp nest paper, and patina
0.75” x 4” x 18”
Photography by Joe Mikos
Inspired by seeds, symbiotic relationships and plant life cycles, The Wasp And Her Flowers celebrates the connections between insects and flowering plants. Small seeds formed from balled wire trickle down in a chain formation to the bronze ground below. They settle and root themselves upon their new home. Each seed sprouts a shoot of handmade paper, made from the pulp of an abandoned Paper Wasp nest. I chose this nest as a found material to explore the relationship that plants have with their pollinators, both in life and in death. In life the flowers feed the pollinator, and the pollinator aids in the plant’s fertilization. Seedlings grow and transform into buds nestled in sterling silver husks. The buds open into full blossoms which hold new life. As the flowers wilt and die, they release their seeds, thus beginning the cycle again. In death the plant is still useful. Paper Wasps create their intricate homes by chewing up bark and recycling dead plant matter, building layer upon layer of material until it can house an entire community. Many living things benefit from this cycle and this neckpiece pays homage to each stage of progression.
Sea fan skeleton, acrylic paint, epoxy resin, sterling silver, copper, and brass
4.5” x 2” x 0.25”
Symbiosis, a mutually beneficial relationship between organisms, is a cycle of reciprocity and interdependency, an evolutionary feat of innovation in the natural world. This piece features a fragment of a sea fan skeleton a close friend found washed up on a beach in Puerto Rico. Being filter feeding animals, sea fans have evolved to orient themselves in line with ocean currents, eating zooplankton channeled through the water. Sea fans are also known to offer themselves as homes for colonies of microscopic alga. In exchange for providing the alga with a suitable place to live, the alga will make food for the sea fan to eat through the process of photosynthesis. The forms in this piece are inspired by images of this plankton and alga, highlighting delicate cycles of survival and reciprocity. The cycles of the sea fan are inextricably linked to an infinity of related oceanic cycles- patterns that are at the same time ancient and continuously evolving. My friend gifted me this sea fan skeleton as a way of sharing her trip to Puerto Rico with me. Over the years we have shared our adventures with each other in this way, by bringing home organic findings the other will appreciate. This piece also speaks to friendship as symbiosis: a form of mutualism, an evolved cycle of reciprocity.
Happiness Through All Phases of Life
Sterling silver, copper, brass, and antler
2.5” x 2” x 0.25”
Photography by Joey Montoya-Boese
My piece reflects the theme Cycle through the seasons, through growth, and through the personal message of Hushtahli – a Choctaw symbol for continual happiness through all stages of life. This symbol lives on the back of my piece, a private reminder to the wearer. I first came across this symbol through the Choctaw House, which bases their care on the Choctaw philosophy of their elderly being the most valuable of the tribe. We all move through our life stages (infant, youth, middle, and elderly) as we watch the same cycle repeat all around us in the seasons, in growth, and so on. The found item is a piece of old antler that was found out in an old barn at my grandmother’s place. I carved it into a barren tree for my winter section. The summer and fall sections are shown together as a single tree, made of twisted wire soldered together, split by a boundary ring. The small sprout-ling is depicted as a subtle relief to emphasize how we often overlook new growth, both in nature and in those around us. Happiness can always be found if we look hard enough and I hope I have captured a little bit of that within my piece.
Brass, copper, sterling silver, and Spirograph gear
3.62” x 3.78” x 0.43” & 20” Chain
Infinite cycles surround us. Day turns to night and we observe the rhythm of nature as the earth spins on its axis and we careen around the sun at 67000 mph. On a cellular level each aerobic organism converts food into usable energy by moving a constant flow of electrons through a series of complex pathways. People are born, the hands of the clock tick by, they age, and they die and in between many devote their lives to understanding and explaining a small portion of the complex cycles around us. Most have fleeting moments of awe as they brush past a cursory or incomplete appreciation of these pathways. Each of us strive to find our place within these cycles and connect with the world around us. Astronomers ponder the dance of the universe, microbiologists study cellular processes, geneticists investigate the minute complexities of DNA, mathematicians identify new prime numbers, painters capture the changing light, future mother’s track ovulation, children play with spirographs.
Two Thousand and Twenty-Four
Copper, brass, silver, found pottery shard, and plumbers mate
4” x 4” x 1”
Video by Andrew McGlashan
This piece is primal based on the life cycle of the periodical cicada however it also encompasses the cycle of jewellery trends. Insects and cicada in particular have been widely used as design statement over the centuries. Cicadas can be viewed seen as lockets in the way they open to reveal their contents. They are something of the past, in the present, with a future. They will next emerge in Chicago in Two thousand and Twenty-Four.
The Gears of Time
Copper, brass, silver, found objects, and prisma color
6” x 6” x 0.5”
My journey into adulthood began at Millersville State College 40 years ago. I took one general education course in ‘Jewelry Making’ as I pursued a degree in Social Work. In the years to follow, I dabbled in many different art forms, but never re-visited the world of metals. Over the past few years, I have returned to college again at what is now called Millersville University. I am pursuing a degree in Art, but I have truly found my voice in the area of metalsmithing. The gears of time have returned me to where my love of art began. The ring, included in the piece pictured, was one I made in my original metalsmithing class. I have included an old spoon handle from the college that I found at a sale. The blue chip on the back of the necklace is to represent my life in between my time at Millersville when I co-owned a restaurant with my husband.
Under The Full Moon
Copper, brass, sterling silver, alcohol ink, and fly fishing lure
3.5” x 3.5” x 0.5” & 24” Chain
For my Cycle Design Challenge I was thinking about life cycles and lunar cycles. I depicted the life cycle of a mayfly. Mayflies emerge from their nymph stage and mate during the full moon which I depicted in the background. The full moon is when the Rainbow Trout feed on the mayflies. When you spin the wheel in my pendant you will see the trout jump out of the water toward the mayfly. I used a fishing lure mayfly as the found object in this piece. Also mayfly eggs are part of the spinner. Mayflies lay their eggs on the surface of the water but they end up settling to the bottom of the river or lake. They lay their eggs on the same full moon that they become an adult and promptly die. When the pedant is turned over you will see the earth behind the compass. This represents how the magnetic field used to power compasses is connected to the lunar cycle and essentially the life cycle of all living organisms on earth. Also I’ve incorporated the lunar cycle in the chain from the moon waxing to the full moon as part of the pendant then to the moon waning to complete a full cycle. I find these cycles very fascinating and I thoroughly enjoyed creating this pendant to represent these relationships.
Like A Woman
Used birth control pack, sterling silver, copper, and brass
5” x 5” x 1”
Like A Woman is a sculptural pendant inspired by birth control packs and the cycles they help regulate. Our current political environment has shaken up feelings of dread and anxiety concerning control over my own body that I did not anticipate dealing with during my life time. These sounded alarms, however, have reinstated an appreciation for these simple devices that have insured my independence. This piece, therefore, serves as an homage to birth control and the control that it has allowed me to have over my own life.
Sterling silver, brass, copper, glass, and milkweed seeds
6.25” x 5” x 1.125”
The milkweed plant is the host plant for monarch butterflies, which are huge contributors to the overall health and wellbeing of our ecosystem and environment. Milkweed is becoming scarce due to urban sprawl, and monarch butterflies have become an endangered species. This piece represents a milkweed seed pod, where the seeds are housed in a precious, sterling silver capsule. The wearer is invited to participate in the cycle of nature, by collecting seeds in the capsule and spreading them to new habitats. They essentially become a transport for these life sources, similar to the way the wind carries milkweed seeds in nature.
Brass, sterling silver, copper, and stone
2.5” x 5.5” x 0.75”
Every time I visit the Oregon coast, I am struck by the changes to the landscape. Some are subtle, like whether the beach is covered in pebbles (hopefully softly tumbled agates!). And some are far more dramatic, usually after a storm, the sand littered with downed trees and rock slides. I study the erosion that has happened since I was there last, the soft soil etched by the surf, scrolling through photos on my phone for comparison. On New Year’s Day, my husband and I scramble to our favorite hard-to-reach little stretch of coastline, away from the crowds of surfers and families. We have the beach to ourselves for agate hunting and studying how it’s changed. Veins of white quartz zigzag across the surfaces of boulders I wish would fit in my backpack. I pick up a dimpled white stone, sharply contrasting with the shiny charcoal pebbles underneath. I turn it over in my hand, feeling both its roughness and the cool etching from tumbling around in the surf. Aha! This will be perfect for my Halstead Design Challenge piece. I can show waves moving around and under the stone, capturing it in this moment of its cycle of erosion. But let me just rub it between my fingers for a little while first.
Beach plastic, brass, copper, sterling silver, and steel
6” x 6” x 0.5”
Video by Addison B Taylor
Connections was made using a piece of beach plastic given to me by Marilyn daSilva at the 2019 Smitten Forum. While working on this necklace, I thought of all the connections I have made in our field, through education, SNAG, workshops and other means. Each of those relationships has enriched my knowledge, practice, and life. We are part of a chain of makers, each taking what others have given us and making new discoveries, interpretations, and expressions. Ideas intermingle, branch in new directions, bridge gaps. And much like the metal in this work, with time the shiny new relationships, as well as ideas, become richer with wear.
JAN HARRIS SMITH
Reliquary for Paradise: Cycle of Trees
Brass, copper, sterling silver, copper enamel, moonstone, pine nuts, pine cones, ashes, glass vial with cork stopper, and antique paper
4.625” x 5.75” x 0.75”
Photography by Jodi McRaney Russo
When I considered the theme of this years challenge my mind immediately turned to nature, the foundation for much of my jewelry. After the year of terrible fires across the West, I wanted to acknowledge the old growth forests, the devastation of forest fires and the eventual regrowth of trees bringing the circle to completion. This necklace is dedicated not just to the Paradise Camp Fire that resulted in such terrible loss, but also to all the forests devastated by drought and beetle damage. The main pendant represents the trees consumed by flames. Each tree and flame cut out with a jewelers saw. From this frame hang four copper enamel pieces representing a healthy forest, a bark beetle, a pine cone and a seedling, representing life, death, rebirth and regrowth. From the copper enamel pieces are wire baskets containing pine seeds and pinecones representing rebirth. In the center hangs a brass vial containing ashes from the actual Paradise California fire. My hope is to inspire others to see the promise of life to be that comes even from devastating destruction and the will of all life to survive
Sterling silver, copper, brass, and gourd
24.5”x 4.5" x 1"
Photography by Jillian Sortore
As a lifelong gardener, I resonate with the forms, textures and colors of nature. My work reflects the variety of forms, gentle curved lines, and delicate textures found in the natural world. I use weaving and textile techniques in my work to soften the perceived hardness of the metal. The meditative movement of weaving is also my favorite part of the metalsmithing process because it soothes my desire for repetition and pattern in my pieces.
Sterling silver, copper, brass, driftwood, wax, and patina
4” x 4.4” x 0.75” (Pendant) & 24” Chain
Video by Charles Shaffer
I am fascinated with the cycle of growth and decay. One particularly dramatic example of decay is found in driftwood attacked by shipworms. As an avid beachcomber, I frequently collect small pieces of such driftwood along the Washington and Oregon coasts. I find the crisscrossing tunnels and channels aesthetically beautiful. For my Driftwood Decay necklace, I used a piece of worm-eaten driftwood as the central found object element in the pendant section. The necklace chain includes multiple copper and brass “worm” links and a worm catch. Small copper beads closely resemble worm eggs, as well. Three clusters of smaller worms dangle on chain segments from the pendant section and move around as if alive when the wearer changes position. The rich patina applied to the sterling silver, copper and brass components unifies the composition, but subtly reveals the pastel tints of the different metals included in the necklace. One worm form serves as the clasp in the front of the necklace.
Be Your Own Master
Silver, copper, brass, and aluminum tin can cans
3” x 4” (Pendant)
I was fortunate to receive a memento from the copious stash of items in a fellow artist’s studio—two aluminum cans of Peace Tea, which were decorated with themes and faces and animals. I often use printed tin in my work, and I saw in these images a life cycle that could speak for artists and makers moving through a challenging time in our history and coping with change and aging. When worn, the layers hang covering each other, but then rotate to reveal the imagery beneath. The beads on the chain and back of the piece use more visuals from these cans. I hope it reflects in a positive way how the cycles of life shown here can represent us all.
Revisit, Renew, Reemerge
Sterling silver, brass, copper, stainless steel, and Alicia Niles handmade glass bead
4.75” x 2.75” x 1”
In this work I engage with the concept of Cycle by revisiting a design from my past and renewing it by reinterpreting it through my current visual vocabulary. I believe this represents a common path for artists, an orbital path. We often travel back through familiar creative territory reengaging with ideas, but it’s never the exact same place. Time has passed, and growth has occurred.
Copper, brass, sterling silver, sea glass, acrylic Plexiglass, circuit board, pearl, and green antique beads
3”x 2”x 0.5" & 24” Chain
The waters might be rising but as long as the moon and Earth rotate around the sun, our oceans’ tides will continue to cycle. Growing up in rural Georgia, I didn’t give the tides much thought. Now that I have spent over a decade in a region known Tidewater, the ocean’s ebb and flow are ever present in a corner of my mind. To me low tide means that treasures like shells and sea glass will be revealed. It means a safer time to swim for my children, and it means that when the storms come the flooding might not be as devastating. While the waters must always rise, may there also always be a low tide.
Cooper, brass, sterling silver, faceted pearl, shell, nail varnish, and epoxy
3" x 2.37" x 0.37" & 21” Chain
As an avid scuba diving instructor, the ocean is a very important part of my life and I have the honor of teaching others how to survive and explore the amazing world that lies under the surface of the waves. As a part of my journey as a scuba diver, I’ve gained a deep respect for the power of the ocean and how it affects and is affected by the rest of the world. The pull of the moon, so far away, controls the cycle of the tides and all the creatures caught up in them. My “Tides” necklace pays homage to this cyclical relationship of the moon and the ocean. A faceted, white pearl and brass crescents represent the moon and its phases. The center of the pendant displays one of the tiny, delicate shells found on one of my hundreds of dives in the Pacific Ocean. It is fascinating to me that something so small and delicate can not only survive the unforgiving environment underwater but also protect the tiny creature that once called it home.
The Killdeer Mother
Copper, brass, sterling silver, enamel, and pebbles
2.5”x 5” x 0.25”
My theme is the cycle of parenting (or more specifically, motherhood). The topic is close to my heart as this past fall my oldest child left for college. When I think of mothers in nature, I immediately think of killdeer and their instinct to put themselves in harm's way to lure a predator away from their nest. These birds are common where I grew up, and I have seen their "broken wing" act many times. I admire their bravery; these mothers are committed. My necklace begins with a killdeer egg clasp of enamel on copper. From eggs come babies, and my little killdeer chicks are enamel decals from my own pen and ink drawings, in a sterling silver prong setting. The main element is a mixed metal killdeer mother. I knew that silver, brass, and patina-on-copper would allow me to replicate the coloring of these birds. In my experience, they are always found close to gravel beds, their preferred nesting spot. My "found object" is pebbles from my own backyard gravel bed, prong set in sterling silver. After much time, we all hope to see our children grow and become independent. My final element is the killdeer chick (in etched brass) now fully grown and flying away to start its adult life.
The Nature of Time
Copper, silver, brass, watch remnants, and garnet
1” x 4.5” x 0.125”
The inner workings of clocks, watches and machines have always intrigued me. They work behind the scenes in perfect alignment, recording the passage of time. I created a bar pendant to represent the dual nature of time, as it is both cyclic and linear. It moves in cycles of day/night month/year and is also infinite, traveling on a continuum. I dissected an old pocket watch to extract some parts for my found object component, and I used rivets and cold connections to attach the various sprockets and gears. I attached the pendant to its chain with copper coils, another nod to the inner workings of a watch.
Goddess of (In)fertility
Copper, brass, plated silver, sterling silver, plexiglass, and ink
6” x 6” x 1”
This work is about the cycle of (In)fertility that occurs in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). The numerous cysts in the ovaries that accompany this syndrome can cause a lot of trouble and if not managed - possible health problem. In terms of fertility, it is often greatly reduced due to the immature ovarian follicles, caused by the hormonal abnormalities that cause delayed or absent menstruation. Hormonal abnormalities are often treated with oral contraceptives; these help to restore the normal menstrual cycle and is one of the ways to help treat infertility. I chose PCOS for the cycle theme because of its many layers of cycles. The obvious and most direct portrayal of the menstrual cycle and fertility/infertility. It is also a result of my contemplation of our universal encounter disease and illness after periods of relative health as well what seems like everlasting political arguments about access to oral contraceptives.
T. Dohrnii, or, The immortal Jellyfish
Sterling silver, copper, brass, and glass
3” x 3” x 1”
In order to maintain immortality, the T. Dohrnii, when it reaches end of life, will shed cells and use these cells to revert to the polyp stage, effectively restarting the life cycle. These particular jellyfish are also what gave scientists the idea to study stem cells and their uses. I enjoyed exploring this and making a basic metal jellyfish with the kit.
Lifecycle of the Blow Fly
Brass, sterling silver, fine silver, copper, cast cement, clear resin, dirt, and discarded artificial flowers collected from a cemetery
3.5” x 3.5” x 1.2”
This necklace represents the final stage in the lifecycle of humans and the beginning of the blow fly lifecycle. The stages of the blow fly lifecycle are represented by the fly that lays the eggs in the corners of the mouth, these eggs hatch into the larvae that form the chain and clasp, which become the pupae cast in resin on the back of the necklace from which the fly emerges. The two found objects used in this piece are the dirt the larvae migrates to pupate in and the discarded artificial flowers collected from a local cemetery.
The Phoenix and Her Handmaidens Flip Time
Brass, copper, sterling silver, vintage watch dial, and brass watch parts
4.75” x 2” x 0.125” Pendant
Photography by John Patrick Burke
Video by Trish Masciotti
The Phoenix, the firebird who lives for 500 years, dies and is reborn, is a symbol of renewal and rebirth. Her cycle of life and her sense of time are very much at odds with our own much shorter, finite cycle of life. Over the past several months as this piece was coming together and I simultaneously trained to become a yoga instructor, I thought a lot about my own sense of time. We all live in a fast paced chaotic world, constantly pushing to meet deadlines and demands. We live days, months or even years ahead of ourselves, always planning for the future but never appreciating the now. Time flies by and we never know where it has gone. Then one day it's over, with no chance for renewal. Yoga teaches to live in the moment, to appreciate what is in front of you. Yoga slows time. I know I won't live for 500 years like the Phoenix, but if I can step out of the chaos, if I can live in the moment, then I can change my own perception of life and time. I can flip time like the Phoenix. My life can be filled with small cycles that are constantly renewing and regenerating. The Phoenix’s cycle is 500 years, mine can be 24 hours. I decided to give the Phoenix her two Handmaidens because life is always more fulfilling when shared with friends. I dedicate this piece to my yoga instructor Lyn Gerfin who has shown me how to slow time and appreciate life. This piece is comprised almost entirely from components in the kit. Only the back plates of the three birds came from my own supplies.
LINDA SEEBAUER HANSEN
The Time It Takes
Brass, copper, sterling silver, cast bronze, and watch parts
2.375” x 2” x 1”
Photography by Kent Flemmer
“The Time It Takes” reflects encapsulating the beautiful, subtle cycle of nature. What inspired me is the moment when one notices the hint of a sprout just beginning its process in springtime. Is it not the beloved small tender touches that remind us of the cycle of life? And is it not these moments we want to keep and hold close? The classical design elements of this pendant paired with the gem-like inner workings of the found watch part give this piece a ritualistic or mystical purpose. A maker of a piece of jewelry and the object itself create a cause and effect; as an individual and components combine to reorient a pattern of receiving and giving that is both visible and non-visible. In the end, all life, all things take the time they take, which I find comforting.
Sterling silver, copper, brass, and fortune from fortune cookie
3” x 4.25” x .25”
“Gravitational Pull” is an abstract idea where each ‘tube” represents a phase of the moon in both its size and textural representation of the sterling silver on copper. On the flip side, the tubes are patinated in a green-blue color to represent the ocean, the larger tubes represent high tide while the smaller tubes represent low tide. In my vast stash of fortunes that I have been collecting over the years, I found one that was very fitting to this piece, it reads: “If there is no wind, there will be no wave.” This fortune is set within a tube that hangs from the necklace closure, down the wearers back. This represents having the wind at your back to push you forward to make those “waves,” make those changes necessary to live the life you want. The lunar cycle has distinct phases that we see visually and affects us mentally and emotionally as well as affects how high or low the tides may be at any given shoreline. I chose these two cycles as my subject for this piece because the ocean is a huge influence for me not only as an aspect for inspiration but a it’s place of reflection and beauty that is every changing and abstract. While the moon and it’s cycles places a huge emphasis on my emotions and the way I interact with others. “Gravitational Pull” has a much larger meaning for me personally as there has been a lot of turmoil and uncertainty in the last few months for me. Creating this necklace reminded me why I create, why it’s important to never give up, to always persevere.
Copper, bronze, brass, sterling silver, citrine, and aquamarine
5.5“ x 2.25" x 1"
Video by Minna M Knight
The lifecycle of a honey bee consists of three main stages: the larval, pupal, and adult stages. Typically honey bees only live up to 30 days in the summer, so it is imperative that the queen continue the cycle of laying eggs so the hive can thrive in abundance otherwise the colony will fail. This piece represents the cycle of the bees and the inner workings of the hive. My found object is an actual wax honey comb that was cast in Bronze, and then soldered to the copper sheet provided in my kit. I creatively used the rest of the copper as well as most of the rest of the components in the kit to build my necklace.
Sterling silver, copper, and brass
5” x 3” x 0.5”
I have up cycles and down cycles. When I’m up, I feel really good. I see so much beauty in the world and have an abundance of gratitude. That’s the theme of my 2019 “Cycle” Halstead Challenge piece. Listen to Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” (or Michael Bublé) and it’ll all make sense.
Take as needed
Sterling silver, copper, resin, benzonatate capsules, and thread
0.25” x 4.5” x 9.5”
Take as needed is about the endless cycle of medication. This piece includes benzonatate pills prescribed for a cough caused from allergies. The infinity shaped links represent the continuous cycle and the white beads mimic pills. While my cycle is a minor by annoying battle with allergies, this piece speaks to the larger cycle of prescriptions, refills, doctor’s visits, insurance companies and monetary struggles.
Copper, brass, silver, enamel, photo decal, freshwater pearls, and dried babies breath
5.5” x 6 “ x 1”
Photography by Andrew Kuebeck
The Halstead “Cycle” challenge fit perfectly into the concept I’ve been working on in my current body of work. My work is largely influenced by the Major Arcana tarot cards. These cards represent a journey that everyone must make through life. They are packed full of life lessons and insights to one’s own life and psyche. The Empress card represents fertility, nature, femininity and abundance. Female reproductive organs embody everything the Empress card symbolizes. The menstruation cycle is a very powerful process that is often deemed shameful or off-putting. In my piece I wanted to reinvent the perception of this cycle by displaying the growth that happens when pregnancy occurs. Menstruation is the core of all human life. Through this imagery we can find connections in the natural world and within blossoming relationships or new phases in life.
Sterling silver, copper, brass, and seashell
3.5" x 3.75" x 1"
This is a very personal piece inspired by my oldest son who lives with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. His life cycles are much shorter and as he ages, his muscles become weaker. Starting with the moment of conception illustrated by the sea shell (John was born in the island of Puerto Rico), the outer childhood ring is longer and has a more consistent pattern. As he goes through adolescence, adulthood and old age, life cycles start getting shorter and his muscles become weaker. The "wheel" that supports the life cycles is inspired by his means to move around life...his wheelchair. There are 13 attachment points, same age in which he lost his ability to walk. The chain reminds us of the Duchenne gene, which altered his lifecycle. Despite his disease, John's life has been filled with beauty and laughter.
Etched Brass, Copper, Silver, various wire, tube, chain, found copper washer, and CZ
2.25” x 3.5” (Pendant & Connectors)
Although the moon does not generate its own light, it is illuminated by reflecting the sun’s light. Nevertheless, the power of the moon can be seen, and felt in a variety of ways. This is known as the lunar cycle; thus, I have chosen to create a pendant that addresses both the scientific and mythic views of this cycle.
Sterling silver, copper, bronze, resin, bird feather, silver solder, copper solder, natural opal, lab grown pink saphire, and patina
5.33" x 4.11" x 0.39"
The participants in this challenge are asked to make a pendant from the provided kit from Halstead jewelry supplies.
The world “cycle” is defined: A series of events that are regularly repeated.
Synonyms to Cycle are round and rotations.
This inspired me to design and fabricate a spider’s web with a dragonfly, of which some only taste flight for 24 hours.
The web will enjoy many more days after the spider dies.
With a found feather lost by a bird in flight, the three combined show there is a life long after it is all over.
Sterling silver and painted brooch
6” x 5.5” x 0.5"
Cycle: Rebirth, Renew, Regenerate. The Daisy. On the surface, this necklace is all about the daisy. It’s a flower that continuously repopulates and colonizes a lawn despite one's best mowing efforts. It is a flower that is small, unassuming and a symbol of springtime and youth. But beyond the surface, this necklace is about much more than the daisy, more than seasons- It’s about my grandmother. The inspiration for this necklace came from my grandmother’s red daisy brooch. In honor of the strong, independent woman she was, I have selected one of her brooches from 1970 and gave it new life. I deconstructed the brooch into individual segments and merged our two jewelry styles- her whimsical floral style with my linear paired down construction.
Window of Opportunity
Copper, brass, sterling silver, Lapis, Moonstones, 1969 U.S. postage stamp, glass vial, found object - Iowa, and crystal glue
2” x 0.25”
As soon as I heard the word Cycle, I thought of the Lunar Phase Cycle. And once I committed to the concept, I found myself going back in time, and looking optimistically to the future.
The ‘found object’ disk of the two hands represents humanity/brotherhood. The phases of the moon subtle under the moonstones remind me of the ‘window of opportunity’ that the Apollo had to have for a successful landing.
I am experiencing my own ‘window of opportunity’ as a metal artist, having moved to a new state, focusing on my studio time, and pushing myself to convey my story through my work.
Tree of Life Talisman
Sterling silver, copper, brass, and domino
2" x 2" x 0.5" & 18” Chain
This work is the result of contemplation on the cycle of gun violence in America. My kit was delivered two days after eleven people were murdered while worshiping at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My inspiration comes from a 1905 painting by Gustav Klimt of the same name. I have borrowed motif and decorative elements from his work to make a sort of talisman. I researched many interpretations of the repetitive symbols inherent to the painting and have chosen three. The black bird is representative of death. An inverted triangle is translated in many cultures as woman, mother or earth. Kabalistic numerology designates the number eight (double four domino) to rebirth. The resultant triad is also cyclical. I have situated these objects within the safety of the tree branches. I am not hopeful that the magic is working.
Milkweed to Monarch: the Making of a Butterfly
Colored pencil on copper, sterling silver, brass, art glass bead, Mica sheet, milkweed seed and fluff
6” x 3” x 1”
Using colored pencil on metal allows me to push the boundaries of wearable art that produces results unlike any other method. Surprisingly both durable and lightweight, the layers of color and metal combine to form unique pieces of texture, depth and beauty. I love the reaction when people connect with my pieces – personal adornment is often an outward expression of intimate emotions and personality.
Break in the Cycle
Sterling silver, brass, copper, steel, and deer antler
2” x 6” x 1”
When I consider the idea of rebirth, my mind is automatically drawn to thinking about death. Without birth, and subsequently death, there can be no rebirth. This cyclical pattern fascinates me. As human, we often shy away from the discomfort of thinking about death. However, people, animals, plants, and even ideas come to a natural end all around, us every day. This necklace addresses the transition points in the cycle. Using broken or interrupted circles to represent this idea.
Sterling silver, copper, brass, and cubic zirconia
4.3” x 3.8” x 0.5”
When I hear the word cycle many things come to mind, but one that jumps out to me is the cycle of life. Everything has a cycle of life and flowers, while simple, are beautiful and full of complexities that mirror life. This piece is airy, whimsical and just beautiful as I think all flowers are. The contrast of rustic and elegant represent the phases of new growth to the end of the life. Delicate whimsical highlights can be seen as the simplicity and hopefulness of youth and becomes more solidified as we mature. In this piece, the graceful swirls move your eye to each petal representing a different phase of life, from seed to seedling, to full blooms at the peak of youth tipping into the more frail ages finally leading to the beginning again with fresh seeds. An unexpected surprise comes with the kinetic feature in the top silver flower.
Stop The Cycle Of Violence
Silver, copper, brass, oxidized copper, and bullet
5” x 3.25” x 0.625”
Photography & Video by Michale Romero Studio
STOP THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE is inspired by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting that took place last year in Florida near the artist’s home. The piece has three connected sections. The top has brass, silver and copper arrows representing the many directions bullets can travel. The arrows sit on a target which mass shooters use to prepare for a deadly rampage. The center section is the shape of a stop sign with four layers of silver, brass and oxidized copper which has been chassed and repoussé to hold a found object which is a 35 Special bullet bottom. The jagged edge of the silver and brass eruption represents the horrid injuries caused. The wires on the side imply the chaos during the active mass shootings. Hanging from a chain, is an AR-15 toy gun cast in silver from a child’s toy. The back of the pendant states the title STOP THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE in a stippled pattern reminiscent of bullets shot into a stop sign often seen on country roads.
MIJIKO (MIJ) PHELPS
Sterling Silver, tube wire, fine silver, silver solder, brass , copper , CZ (light green, yellow, red, clear), liver of sulphur, permalac, Aleen’s jewelry and metal glue, dried moss, and twigs
6” x 6” x 0.5”
The inspiration for this piece came from a walk. As I was walking, I Iooked down and noticed how much life was growing in the cracks of the sidewalk. I stopped and imagined the cycle of nature’s seasons were evident and humbly showcased in these narrow craggy cracks - the bright green tufts of moss and clovers of spring, the splendor of grass and flowers in the summer, the dry twigs and leaves of fall, and the ice pellets and dried scrub of winter. My neckpiece employs a diorama-like format to tell the story of 4 “sidewalk squares” illustrating the cycle of nature, of seasons, of life.
Footsteps of My Ancestors
Sterling silver, Argentinium silver, copper, brass, beach-found brass, beach-found copper, and aurora opal
2.75" x 2" x 0.25" & 24" Chain
Cycle, repetition, transformation...as a resident of Kodiak Island, Alaska, I live and work with this theme daily. Specializing in the transformation of metal combed from Kodiak beaches, my “found item” was a given. Rather than leaning solely on my signature materials, I chose to incorporate the theme several ways, starting with the powerful symbol of repetition Kodiak bears offer as they literally walk the exact footprints of previous generations on well worn bear trails. The “Footsteps of My Ancestors” necklace contains additional elements to honor the “Cycle” theme. These include phases of the moon symbolism, a circular flow, Kodiak beach-found brass (moon phases) and copper (bear paw), recycled silver, and a post-consumer aurora opal. May we remember those who have gone before and honor them by passing on wisdom to generations to come.
Necklace for Phyllida Barlow
Copper, brass, sterling silver, and rusted steel
3.5” x 2.5” x 0.75”
This recent piece is in dedication to Phyllida Barlow, who is a British Sculptor, Educator and Mother. Her installations are engaging in their scale, texture and discarded materials. While creating this pendent, I was interested in the life cycle of metal. The new parts are symmetrical, clean and smooth, while the rust grows over the older structure. This rust shows the decay of what was once new, the construction and deconstruction of my environment. I am drawn to the repetition, scale and materials that are used to reshape the landscape with highways, buildings and bridges. Using a variety of materials and processes in my work, I change the perspective of these massive structures in order to better understand them and make them my own. I recreate and simplify these objects to create sculptural jewelry and wall sculptures.