Course Description

This course is meant to be a space for you to examine and deepen your relationship to the field and your own practice through readings, discussions, and presentations.  The readings are meant to expand your perspective on the field of jewelry and metalsmithing, to define its particularities and concerns in relation to the discourses of the contemporary art world.

Together we will explore a series of seminal theoretical texts, seeking ways to relate them to our own practice.  Through these texts we will encounter a series of themes and historical perspectives that are crucial to the field of jewelry, while also delving into fields and areas of inquiry, that have not commonly been related to our field, but perhaps should or could be.  Our aim is to get a historical and interdisciplinary perspective on where we are as artists/makers today, how we got here and where we could go from here. The course aims to bring up critical questions on why we make, whom we make for and the meaning of our practice beyond the studio and the jewelry and metals world.

This is a chance to practice your skills in connecting theory, reading and writing to your work and to build a vocabulary and ground of reference around your ideas, interests and intentions. It’s a chance to take part in an intense discourse around your field, which you might be asked to do many times in the future of your career.

The Wednesday meetings will adopt the form of a reading/talking circle. Your role in the group is important and the success of our conversations will be based on your participation and engagement. We will all take turns in presenting and leading the discussion and also examine what “research through practice” might mean for us, by exploring some ways of connecting theory and making. 

Dec 9, 2009

My "Curious Flora". A Manifesto

Erin Scully “Curious Flora” 12.2.09

A Manifesto Is: “In art, a public declaration of the theories and directions of a movement.” “Serving to reveal their motivations and raisons d‚etre. (the claimed reason for the existence of something)”

a finished work of art does not have to be wearable jewelry.

a finished work of art is a piece that succeeds formally and has content, whether in meaning through concept or connotation or recollection of an experience or feelings...

a finished work of art does not feel like something is missing. or needs to be altered. or needs to be jewelry... yet. it is when i look at it and feel at peace or satisfied.

“playing” is the act of making enjoyable to search for the perfect medium, or means of expression, to create a piece of art.

for me as a maker, for me to come to my best conclusions, i have to “play” with materials and a concept in order to discover the perfect resolution.

sometimes you have to learn when something is “good enough” in order to finish a piece.

sometimes you don’t.

for humans, “release” is one of the ultimate euphoric experiences.

making art is like “releasing” something from inside of you. manifesting a thought or concept and creating a tangible object. making is my ultimate “release”.

it is an inherent human inkling to put meaning into objects.

a quote from yoshie: “sometimes you don’t need to speak about, or explain, your work because you made it. it came from you. it is about you.”

beauty doesn’t have to be pretty.

feminine doesn’t have to be girly.

not everything has to be psychoanalyzed. sometimes there is no explanation for the desire to make something.

looking at other artist’s works is important. find what you love about it. what you don’t love. think about why you love it or don’t love it. others’ works will always inform your own.

my work is a culmination of two things: my love of the natural world and botany, and my love of the metalsmithing processes.

sanding, filing, scoring, carving, perfecting. these things are therapeutic for me. they put me at ease.

being outside in my mother’s garden brings me the same peace. relaxation, feeling one with nature, flowers, sunshine, warmth, positivity, safety, bliss.

blending these two elements that bring me peace and joy and knowing what effort and work and blood, sweat, and tears (sometimes literally) goes into my work makes it feel that much more rewarding when a piece is complete.

my work is:
love, texture, choices, epiphanies, warmth, softness, sunshine, food, learning, teaching.

my work is:
visceral, beautiful, colorful, desirable, evocative, luscious, wet, uncanny, sexual, inviting.

my work is:
yellow, silver, copper, pearls, blue, resin, paint, steel, hard, smooth, matte, thin, orange.

my work is: me.

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