Artist Spotlight on Micheline Roi

As luck would have it, today’s jewel envy artist spotlight will be written by the artist herself, moi Micheline Roi!

It’s a great opportunity to let you know what extra curricular jewellery activity I’ve been up to.  Aside from my custom jewellery work and my production line, one of my loves is art jewellery.

What is art jewellery you ask?  Well, in short, it is jewellery that focuses on creative expression over all else. Using traditional and experimental metalsmithing techniques–and often borrowing heavily from the visual arts’ grab bag of material and methods–the artist sets out to make a work of art that communicates a thought or idea. In other words, art jewellery is an opportunity for the goldsmith to explore big ideas.

Looking to exercise this particular muscle, I was encouraged by my fellow goldsmith’s at Jewel Envy (we’re good at that!) to apply to an international competition called The Contemporary Jewelry Exchange which is “an art project where jewellery artists from all over
the world, are paired and asked to create a unique contemporary piece
of jewelry for each other.”

And guess what…I got accepted to participate!  Even better, I got matched with an incredible artist Rachel Suzanne Smith.

Rachel Suzanne Smith’s wearable sculpture-winner of he 2016 Niche awards

Rachel and I met by Skype to talk about our exchange and brainstorm ideas to explore. It was a meeting of like minds, we dove into a long discussion of possible directions for our project. Both Rachel and I are interested in the idea of communication through art and soon we landed on the question: Can we understand our work better via the lack of control given when the wearer of our work is the curator rather than ourselves?  In other words: when an artist creates something, s/he is making it with an idea/message in mind but what happens when the wearer of the jewellery interprets the piece differently–does this add or subtract from the work?

Rachel’s idea map following our brainstorming session.

Once Rachel and I settled on this idea, we set about our design/making separately without communication with each other (my idea because I wanted to surprise Rachel and be surprised by Rachel work when it arrives for me).

This summer I have been busy thinking/sketching/designing/testing ideas. I have settled on working with  Rorschach ink blot shapes–for their historical use in psychological diagnosis/interpretation, and working with mirrored acrylic–for the mirror’s ability to reflect oneself and one’s surroundings.

Beginning prototype designs for  Micheline’s Contemporary Jewelry Exchange

The deadline is coming up in a couple of weeks and I am busy finalizing the design and working out kinks at the laser cutters. Until then, I continue to dream up more designs and wonder what Rachel will have in store for me with her design!

To see more of The Contemporary Jewelry Exchange you can visit their Facebook page or view the 2014 Exchanges online.


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