All posts filed under “Sculpture

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Diploma 2017 in the ADBK Munich (4/5): Jing Yang

I really have a lot of respect for people, who leave their country to study far away from home. It must be very hard in the beginning. When Jing Yang came from China to Germany to study in the Munich Jewellery Class, she must have suffered from a real cultural shock. Without either German nor much English to communicate, I remember her struggling to find her way with her jewellery work and with life in Germany in general. But Jing is made of much sturdier stuff than her petite figure would suggest. During this time, I was teaching German classes to classmates and when Jing joined us, she could already speak German pretty well, which was astonishing seeing that she’d never visited any German classes before. She had been teaching herself.
Jing also developed her language as a contemporary jewellery artist quite fast. After some teething problems, (which we’d all been confronted with) she created a stunning series of necklaces titled Ich bin keine Vase (“I am not a vase”), which are composed of several loose stringed brass parts. If you staple the geometrical elements on top of each other, you will get a classical shape of a vase. This work knocked my socks off when I first saw it in Jing´s solo show during the Munich Jewellery Week 2015.

Jing explained to me during our interview in her diploma show: “Art Jewellery or hollowware belongs to the applied arts, the pieces normally ought to have a function. I used the shape of a vase, but took away its original functioning. The vase became something new. It became jewellery. The other meaning comes from China: If you say in China that a woman or a man is like a vase, it means that he or she is pretty from the outside, but empty from the inside, just like a hollow decorative item. So, by wearing one of these necklaces, the wearer declares that he/she has something to say.”

In her diploma show, Jing had her own room to exhibit necklaces on the walls and a huge “version” of her divided vase shapes made of clay, which were presented in the center of the room.

Carina: How do you make these jewellery pieces? Do you create the entire vase shape at first and then cut it apart?

Jing: No, they are made differently. First, I draw shapes of vases I find beautiful. Many people think I am using traditional Chinese vase shapes, but it is really my own shapes that I like. Then I cut the drawing apart into segments and calculate the individual parts mathematically to build them on paper first. Often, I then have to adapt the shape if I cannot solve the calculations. The segments of the vase are then built separately in brass.

Carina: So actually, the vase only exists in your mind and on the paper, but never in the proper material…

Jing: Yes. This is important for me, there never was an actual vase. There is the image of a vase, when you stack the segments on top of each other. But when you wear it, the vase shape falls apart into new ever-changing forms. You cannot wear the vase around your neck as a jewellery piece.

Carina: So, tell me a bit about the sculpture you made from clay?

Jing: There is certainly a strong connection to the jewellery series, because you could again build a vase from these parts. If you stapled all the pieces on top of each other, you would get a 1.90 m high sculpture, so approximately man high. For me, there is also a connection to the body, because the process of making these clay pieces was physically hard work. I needed a lot of help. The clay pieces are very heavy, and I cannot lift them by myself. I think all the Chinese students from the Academy were helping me with this project and the caretaker of the Academy knows me much better now than he would like to I think.

Carina: Did you ever build the vase from these parts?

Jing: Yes, I did. But I see the whole piece more like an invitation to build different shapes from it. Like with the jewellery, there is no definite shape for me.

Carina: And how did you make the segments for this piece?

Jing: For the jewellery, I calculated the flat projections, which were then folded into a three-dimensional geometrical shape. For the clay segments, I had to make the calculations already for 3- D pieces. It was quite complicated.

Carina: Do you enjoy mathematics?

Jing: Yes, a lot. I can really focus when I am calculating mathematical formulas. Everybody in the studio already knows that it is better not to disturb me, when I am doing mathematics.

Carina: So, congratulations on finishing your studies! What are your plans for the future now?
Jing: I want to continue working in Munich at least for a few more years now, but I think earlier or later, I want to go back to China.

Carina: I know that you were doing performance and video art before your studies in Munich. Now you made your first sculpture. Will you continue working in different media?

Jing: Yes, I have been focusing on making art jewellery now for several years, but in the future, I want to be open to work in other media too. I want to work in the media which best fits the ideas I’d like to implement.

Carina: Thank you, Jing.

Jing Yang (born 1987 in Hunan, China) received her BA of Fine Arts from the Xiamen University, China, in 2010. She then studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich in the jewellery class from 2010-2017 under Prof. Otto Künzli and Prof. Karen Pontoppidan.

1 Jing Yang: Invitation card for diploma show Keine Vase, Photo: Jing Yang
2 Jing Yang: Untitled, Necklace; Brass, string; Photo: Mirei Takeuchi
3 Jing Yang: Untitled, Necklace; Brass, string; Photo: Mirei Takeuchi
4 Jing Yang: Diploma show Keine Vase, Munich, 2017; Photo: Carina Shoshtary
5 Jing Yang: Untitled, Necklace; Brass, string; Photo: Mirei Takeuchi
6/7/8 Jing Yang: Diploma show Keine Vase, Munich, 2017; Photo: Carina Shoshtary
9 Jing Yang: Untitled, Necklace; Brass, string; Photo: Mirei Takeuchi

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It was that week of the year again…
The only week in the year when I iron my clothes and apply lipstick every morning. The week when I hardly get any sleep at night, experience consistent dehydration in the afternoons and become hoarse to speechless over the course of the day. The week when even I (who rarely ever drinks a drop of alcohol) am longing for a drink every evening. The week when Munich is invaded by the community of the contemporary jewellery world, without the people of Munich even noticing it.
The week before last was Munich Jewellery Week 2017. What a harmless title for this jam-packed abundance of everything to do with contemporary jewellery. I think Munich Jewellery War would be as appropriate, because you easily get the feeling that you need to fight your way through the week in order to simply persevere, no matter if you came to see or show or both. Or Munich Jewellery Walk, as there is definitely a lot of walking involved during these days. From one exhibition, artist talk, party event to the next all day, several days... Or Munich Jewellery Wow, because it is altogether an overwhelming experience, stimulating and exhausting simultaneously.

Last year I had only started writing the KARMA CHROMA- blog and gone into the MJW with the expectation of writing a rich synopsis of all I saw and heard, but the task was just too big for me. In the end, I wrote two articles about two artists whose shows I had visited during the week. Given that around 80 jewellery exhibitions had been on show and I had seen probably half of them, that is a bit meager of course, but I think I prefer it that way. This year, I had an exhibition with three colleagues myself and did not manage to see too much unfortunately. So, this year I will merely write about our project during the MJW 2017.

Our exhibition with the curious title “A BARBARIAN, A TITLE, & A MIRACLE” showed a large number of the latest jewellery pieces and artworks of other media of Attai Chen, Mielle Harvey, Barbara Schrobenhauser and me in the two rooms of the “Verein für Originalradierung München” (an association, which usually is specialized in showing etching art). Barbara, Attai and I studied together almost the whole time in the Munich jewellery class at the ADBK and have been very good friends and colleagues ever since with a lively exchange. Attai Chen and I have been a couple for the last nine years, during which our work has been profoundly influenced and inspired by each other. Mielle is from an earlier generation of Künzli graduates, though I have felt connected with her work for a long time as she was one of my idols when I began to explore art jewellery. She is also a lovely person, so it was both an honour and a pleasure to make this exhibition project with her. The four of us felt that our work was strongly connected in some ways, but was also different enough to create an interesting diverse exhibition together. It wasn’t a curated exhibition though, so we needed to elaborate a concept for our show.

An extract of our exhibition text reads:

“The exhibition, ‘A BARBARIAN, A TITLE & A MIRACLE’ is designed like a collage, created from the collision of diverging and intersecting nuggets of meaning. A group show is a kind of assemblage of different artistic positions, joined temporarily to create a new whole. To this end, we take on the exhibition like a game of scrabble, juxtaposing our individual bodies of work to expose new meanings.”

The idea of making a collage, which created new perspectives and meanings for our work, was the core of the concept when we developed the title, the invitation card and the presentation of the work. For our strange title, we wrote down our four first names on paper, cut the letters apart and played a scrabble game with them until we found a sequence of words, we liked. In the process, many even odder titles came up, but we liked “A BARBARIAN, A TITLE, & A MIRACLE” the best. It could be the title of a poetic story or the beginning of a joke...

For the presentation of the work, we built four long tables assembled from many boards of different colour, material and thickness. We collected pieces of old furniture from different eras and other disregarded boards for several months to have enough interesting material at hand. We all liked this idea also for ecological reasons. It was agreed that in the past we’d experienced that too much waste is created for exhibitions which are only on display for a few days, so we wanted to try to produce as little new waste as possible for this project.
Building the tables went astonishingly fast, but laying out the jewellery pieces took more time than anticipated. For two full days, we were trying different variations. We felt that finding the right way to place the pieces on the patchwork tables was the key to making the show work. The “new nuggets of meaning” became our motto and a running joke during this phase. It was important for us to not only lay pieces next to each other by chance, but to choose them very carefully in order to find interesting partners and relevant groups. In the end, I think we succeeded very well. One visitor even liked one particular “new nugget of meaning” so much, she said, that the two pieces belonged to each other and purchased them together.

Attai Chen (born 1979 in Jerusalem, Israel) showed his new paper jewellery series Matter of Perspective, which addresses the theme of multiple perspectives and how we perceive our surroundings. The explosive disorder of his previous paper series is now bundled and tamed in oval shapes. The way he cuts the paper has also changed quite a bit. Attai is building countless little flat projections of cardboard, which he merges into complex abstract views. Even though Attai was mainly inspired by the Pre-Renaissance perception of space and perspective, for me they are like peepholes to futuristic apocalyptic cityscapes. The backs of the pieces are made with an intricate technique of layering and sanding graphite dust to smooth and slightly shiny surfaces.

Barbara Schrobenhauser (born 1979 in Traunstein, Germany) also exhibited totally new works: There were three freshly finished brooches, where Barbara explored the possibilities of creating a three-dimensional shape only by knotting a string. Like often with Barbara’s pieces, the viewer can only fully understand her works by touching them and so this exhibition was a great opportunity to do so. Barbara showed also several pendants and necklaces made of string and wooden handles. The strings were woven together elaborately to close the handles’ open shape and were hung into each other like the links of a chain. What I enjoyed about these pieces was the playful moment when people tried them on. Even though Barbara had actually planned them to be worn in a particular way, the visitors found different ways to wear them.

Mielle Harvey (born in 1971 in New York, USA), presented pendants, necklaces and brooches from two series: Silver Scenes and Moments of Sky. The delicate pieces, which she created in versatile techniques like painting, drawing and patinating silver, appear like windows that capture a glimpse of a fleeting moment. A passing butterfly or bird, a fluffy cloud or a view of a beautiful landscape, they all represent precious moments, which we too often overlook. I especially fell in love with one piece titled Cameo III, which was made by the lost wax casting technique. It shows a detail of a birch tree forest in an oval frame. At least this is my interpretation of this pendant, because it is almost abstract.

And I (Carina Shoshtary, born 1979 in Augsburg, Germany), showed most of my new pieces from the last 1 ½ years, which included necklaces, brooches and earrings. My idea was to create ceremonial jewellery for a fictitious tribe of hunter gatherers. The most characteristic material is still the graffiti paint, but now involves other found materials into my work, e.g. driftwood, seeds and shells etc. My colour emphasis shifted towards the colour red, which is truly fascinating for me at the moment. Associations to the body are always present. Some pieces contain shapes with bright red openings which invite the viewer to have a look inside the “organism”. One lady said that the pieces appear very seductive for her, but that there is also something unsettling about them. I liked that; it’s exactly the kind of ambivalence that I am looking for.

In our second smaller room, the four of us each exhibited other artworks.
Attai presented one of his new paper wall sculptures, which are a big replica of the brooches of his Compounding Fractions -series. A lot of people who knew his jewellery were amazed at how well he transported the details and the overall impression of the jewellery into a much bigger scale.
Barbara had four of her paper vessels in the second room. The pieces, which are created with incredibly complicated and time-intense techniques, were quite astonishing for the visitors, as many thought at first that they were made of stone and marble. Also, here people needed to touch and feel the paper to comprehend the objects.

Mielle, who is never working on a theme only in the medium of jewellery, but is always simultaneously drawing and painting, showed a couple of drawings on a big wall. The themes of her jewellery pieces were resumed here and gave people a wider insight into her creative work.
I showed four large-scale photographs of my beautiful sister in law wearing my jewellery pieces. The photographs are part of my second collaboration with Munich based photographer, Laurens Grigoleit, who in my eyes is a master of light. Some people even asked me if they were painted images. I will surely write more about this collaboration on the blog soon.

Altogether we were really happy with our exhibition. We want to thank everybody who came during this week, we really met many wonderful people! We also want to thank the "Radierverein" to rent us their beautiful rooms for this week!

Our special thanks goes to Katrin Eitner and the “Förderverein zum Aufbau einer Juliane Noack Künstlerförderung” for supporting this exhibition with a grant of 700 €. Our project was the second they funded, but there are more to come. So please follow up the news on their website!

And finally, we want to thank Tereza Novotna, who a few months ago started an internship with Attai and since then has become an irreplaceable force in many ways for all of us (e.g. when none of us had the energy anymore, she jumped in and made us this incredibly clever and handsome exhibition plan with the info about all the pieces): You are amazing, Tereza!!! Ty jsi nejlepší! Milujeme tě a rozhodně bychom tě adoptovali, kdyby nám to tvoje rodiče dovolili. Objímáme tě.

1Tereza Novotna: Exhibition plan for A BARBARIAN, A TITLE, & A MIRACLE
2/3 Building of the exhibition A BARBARIAN, A TITLE, & A MIRACLE, Photos: Carina Shoshtary/ Attai Chen
4-10 A BARBARIAN, A TITLE, & A MIRACLE, Munich, 2017; Photos: Carina Shoshtary
11 Attai Chen: Untitled; Necklace, 2017; Paper, paint, silver, wood, graphite; Photo: Mirei Takeuchi
12 Barbara Schrobenhauser:  Confused and Concentrated; Brooch. 2017; Cotton, string, stainless steel; Photo: Mirei Takeuchi
13 Barbara Schrobenhauser:  Vom Tragen und Halten II; Neckpiece2017; Wooden handels, woven string; Photo: Mirei Takeuchi
14 Mielle Harvey: Moments of Sky Necklace; Necklace, 2016; Sterling silver, oil paint, silk cord; Photo: Mielle Harvey
15 Mielle Harvey: Cameo I, Pendant, 2017; Lost wax cast sterling silver, patina, oil paint, silk cord; Photo: Mielle Harvey
16 Carina Shoshtary: Over the Rainbow; Necklace, 2016; Graffiti, silver; Photo: Mirei Takeuchi
17 Carina Shoshtary: Carnivore 3; Necklace, 2017; Graffiti, glass, silver; Photo: Mirei Takeuchi
18-24 A BARBARIAN, A TITLE, & A MIRACLE, Munich, 2017; Photos: Carina Shoshtary, Tereza Novotna

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A swap with Eva Burton

Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton

Last autumn I met jewellery artist Eva Burton (born in1984 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) in Barcelona, when I had an exhibition with four colleagues in gallery Amaranto Joies during Joya. In a separate exhibition in the same gallery Eva was showing pieces of her series  The Backyard of my House is special. At once I could see that Eva is also a colour-loving person like me, when we got chatting about this and that we found out that we have more in common, for instance a profound liking for extensive breakfasts or alternatively a hobbit-like second breakfast. Regarding our work, Eva and I are both working with reclaimed materials, which we collect in our immediate surroundings. In Eva’s case it might have been her first education in art restoration, which left a fondness and curiosity for broken old things with a history. When Eva was living and studying jewellery in Barcelona at the Escola Massana, she was gathering pieces of broken furniture, musical instruments, etc. on the streets, which she deconstructed, altered with colours and textures and then rejoined in some kind of bubbly optimistic assemblages with an ethnical touch. The constructive streak in her jewellery work leads back to her first studies, as she was working in the restoration of buildings and architectural drawings.

bacon twist

After finishing her B.A. in Barcelona, Eva went to Germany to begin her master studies in the Department of Gemstones and Jewellery Design in Idar Oberstein, from which she will graduate in one year. Eva chose to study in Idar Oberstein, because she was very much interested in learning stone carving and cutting techniques. She told me that her fascination with stones grew into a kind of obsession over time and she recently even started an apprenticeship with a professional stone cutter. To gain experience with carving stones on a big scale, Eva will take a four week course in the Salzburg International Sommer Academy of Fine Arts with the Greek sculptor Andreas Lolis. However, with the course fee, board and accommodation these kind of summer courses are costly and so Eva came up with an idea:

In the next month Eva is selling tickets of 10 € each for a tombola, where you can win a pair of Eva’s Blossom- earrings. One in 10 tickets wins. In this video she explains the details:

I like the idea that a group of people who share a similar passion can help to make it possible for someone to create special experiences in order to enhance his/her skills or simply broaden one’s horizons. So if you feel like 10 € is not a huge amount to spare for you now, please consider to take part in Eva’s tombola. The drawing of the tickets will take place in the end of August. Here are some of the earrings of which you might win a pair:

Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton

I bought a ticket for the tombola too, but Eva and I decided to make an earring swap nevertheless. When we were choosing a pair from the other, it was mainly about the colours, naturally. Eva told me her favourite colours are hues of green and turquoise and she decided on a wing shaped pair of the Karma Chroma - series with graffiti in those colours:

Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton

And this is the pair of Eva´s Blossom - earrings I chose:

A swap with Eva Burton

Eva and I then began a written dialogue:

Carina: Tell me a bit about your fascination regarding stones. You said your reception of the stone as a material completely changed since you are working with it. In which way?

Eva: Since my earliest memories, I have been attracted to stones because of their appearance. I have always been amazed by what Mother Nature is able to do and I just could not believe the colours and the inclusions that some stones have!
By looking in architectural ornaments or sculptures I wondered how a human could relate to this material and create a form out of it, especially in the most ancients cultures like the Pre Hispanics.
And when I began to work with this material I realized that stone demands full concentration and respect. You involve with the materiality in a very intimate way. Very, very slowly you start to understand the silent language of stones. There is a point where you start to communicate with it. It can bring the best and the worst out from yourself. When you reach a point, where you feel you are making the right movement it is so fulfilling! But when it breaks you can be very much disappointed. So it is also some kind of self- understanding, you want to reach balance to use your hands in a way that the stone will feel grateful...

Carina: I was also always attracted by stones and have collected them since I can remember. Some of my work is clearly inspired by the shapes, patterns and structures of minerals. But I have never worked with the stone itself as a material, it somehow never even occurred to me to try. They often seem so perfect how they are. And then there is the hardness of the stone, which discourages me. I prefer softer materials, which don’t give so much resistance to shaping them. This makes me have all the more respect for your decision to make this workshop and try out working with big scaled stones. Living for a month in a stone quarry and working there on solid large-sized stones sounds to me not merely like a small adventure, but like a physical and mental challenge. Do you get in any way prepared for this? What attracts you most to trying this?

Eva: This experience that I am about to gain makes me feel so excited! I love the sensation of approaching the gate of the unknown, I just can’t wait to wake up every day in these surroundings and to meet a lot of people from different parts of the world with one main aim: carving stone.
I am sure my body will end up quite smashed but I am always ready for pushing myself in mind and body for my work. To feel physically exhausted because of working is satisfying for me, I think that as long as I can use my body in this way I want to do it. I want to climb, jump, kick, hammer, grind... And I am sure that after a long day I will find my moment of quietness with the nature around the quarry...
And coming back to your perception about stones, I can definitely see the shape of crystals in your series What’s left of Krypton! These pieces make me wonder if the stones in outer space would look like yours because they have a sort of meteorite appearance... Have you ever felt in outer space while working ? Are you a spacey person who travels with the mind to far away planets and lands…?

A swap with Eva Burton

Carina: You’ve got me there, I always hope it is not too obvious, but I am probably wandering around more in imaginary places than I am present in the real world. I have more imagination than is good for me, which makes me a terribly impractical person. That is why I had to become an artist I believe. On the whole, our world doesn't have much room for dreamers, but as an artist you have a free ticket to be moony or quirky in other ways. When I am working on my pieces I can immerse for hours in whatever I like and I consider that a big privilege.

Eva: It is indeed a big privilege! I also have the same feeling and I enjoy so much to be able to travel in my mind to eccentric imaginary places and to come back to reality with my backpack full of inspiration. And sometimes confusion...

Carina: Coming back to the workshop in Salzburg: You already made some larger scaled toys for children from carved and reclaimed wood. Now you are going to learn how to carve big stones. Do you need this larger scaled work to keep a balance with the small scaled jewellery making?

Eva: Well I guess somehow yes... I started to have the urge to jump out from the typology of jewellery into something else. I am comfortable with the idea of not fitting my work in one single medium. I started my MFA with the idea of enlarging the scale of my work. Right now I need to involve my body in my work, even if I feel totally smashed after long hours of wood and stone carving. It is an amazing feeling! It makes me feel confident with myself and strong as a woman. And I guess I am always seeking for the feeling of balance, but since I am a very hectic person that is definitely not easy...

Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton

Carina: Finding balance is no walk in the park, especially not for artists I think. The thing is, I love to plunge into my work and meanwhile drift around in other spheres, but I also need the feeling of a down-to earth order and regularity, otherwise I feel I get lost. That is not so easily juggled and I am still figuring it out. My dog Lola helps me a lot with that, because every few hours on time she is demanding attention and reminds me of her and my ordinary needs. I think we found a good rhythm together, which enables me to keep my days more in a balance. And there is nothing like a walk or jogging in the forest after a few hours of having persisted in a cramped working position. How do you relax after a day of carving wood or stone?

Eva: I have to say that for me it is very difficult to slow down… It is really hard and I am working on it. Since I moved to Idar Oberstein, a walk in the dark through the forest after a long day in the workshop is something I enjoy a lot! When it is snowing I love the sound of my feet crumbling that shiny landscape and in the summer the amazing voices of the birds play the most beautiful songs! It is my way of enjoying the right here-right now moment…
Another silly way of slowing down is my ritual of a Seinfeld episode before falling asleep, next to my cat Tilo. It is a way to disconnect my brain from the making-thinking and just laugh for 20 minutes without any more expectations than that!
But my favorite way to slow down is when I allow myself to take one day off and visit friends, gather and cook together, listen to music, talk about life, just see their smiley faces make me feel happy and the fact that I live far away from my homeland, my friends are very important. They are the family I choose, so this coming together is very necessary to feed our friendship. I am such a lucky person to have so many lovely people around!


 rocket piano_frontrocket piano_back 

1 left: Eva Burton: Blossom, earrings; Wood; enameled copper; silver; Photo: Attai Chen; Model: Carina Shoshtary; 1 right: Carina Shoshtary: Wingshaped Karma Chroma-earrings, earrings, 2016; Graffiti, glass, silver; Photo & Model: Eva Burton
2 Eva Burton: Chair, necklace and object, 2015; died agate, crisopras, reclaimed metallic pieces from furniture, old toy, silver, gold, acrylic paint, paper; Photo: Eva Burton
3 Eva Burton: Bacon Twist, necklace, 2014; Pink opal, enamel, wild boar teeth, silver, copper, patina, resin
4-15 Eva Burton: Blossom, earrings; Wood; enameled copper, silver; Photos: Eva Burton
16/17:Carina Shoshtary: Wingshaped Karma Chroma-earrings, earrings, 2016; Graffiti, glass, silver; Photos: Mirei Takeuchi
18: Eva Burton: Blossom, earrings; Wood; enameled copper, silver; Photo: Eva Burton
19: Carina Shoshtary: Black 2, brooch, 2011; Graffiti, silver, stainless steel, Photo: Mirei Takeuchi
20/21: Eva Burton: Drifting Chair, brooch, 2013; Piano and skate woods, acrylic paint, antique paper, nickel silver, patina; Photos: Eva Burton
22/23: Eva Burton: Rocket Piano, brooch, 2013; Piano and furniture woods, nickel silver, antique paper, acrylic wood, patina; Photos: Eva Burton

Text edit: Hayley Grafflin