Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Emily Watson Jewelry

I recently came across innovative
jewelry created by multi-talented
 metalsmith Emily Watson,
and as I read about her ideas and the multiple
processes she uses to create her jewelry
I found myself becoming increasingly more intrigued.
Among her varied range of collections my favorite
 is the Smoke Proof Collection which 
combines enamel with sterling silver.
However this collection is comprised of a
more labor-intensive range of elements
than one would ordinarily expect.
 She begins by combining
 etching and printing techniques
to pull paper prints of her designs.
But that’s only the first layer of work.
She then uses the etched copper plates
as a base for her enameling and
metalsmithing processes to create jewelry.
I especially like how she describes
her process and motivation.
Here's a portion of her detailed explanation.

Smoke proofing is a process originally used by
type cutters. As the shape was being cut,
progress was tested by blackening the image with
soot collected from a candle flame and then
printing it on paper . . . The idea of the smoke proof
appeals to me for several reasons.
The type of enameling I use most frequently,
champlevé, is closely tied to methods of printmaking.
A copper plate is etched to produce low areas
(which are filled with enamel) and raised fields . . .
I began this series of work thinking of the pieces
simply as playful experiments in printing an image
from one material to another . . . The marks left speak
about what is not present. The processes used to make them
are temperamental and difficult to reproduce . . .
The heated plate acts like the brief flash of heat that
turns powdered enamel to a solid glass surface.
It imprints a memory, and that
memory then becomes a piece of jewelry.

 By understanding the various elements of
her work I can see more layers of interest
in each piece.

Her innovative combination of techniques
and  her spirit of exploration
captures and inspires
my imagination.
It is work that's created
thoughtfully and meticulously
and the results show it.
 Be sure to take a look at the entire range
of her work on Emily Watson's website.

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