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"value" Tag


‘Jewelry attitude’ as a way of looking at the world


Monday, November 21, 2016

Stone needs a special care and appreciation to shine. Conversely, any stone can shine if you care for it. In my thesis, I am exploring the particular kind of value which derives from the personal observation and appreciation of seemingly ordinary objects. Furthermore, I examine how this value can be shared with others through an inscription of observer.

 

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Roger Caillois author of "The Writing of Stones" [x]

 

There is a picture book which is called EVERYBODY NEEDS A ROCK, written in 1974 by Byrd Baylor, an American author of picture books for children. With her sparse poetic prose, she gives us ten rules for finding our own special rock. The rules of the book are highly sensuous, therefore it rather becomes a kind of tool, to switch our mind and invite us into observing mode; they change our way of looking at things surrounding us.

 

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"Everybody Needs a Rock" by Byrd Baylor [x]

 

Through the invitation to the observation of neglected objects – in the case of the book, ‘rocks’ lying on the ground start to gain our awareness and appreciation. This awareness and the observer’s eyes brings new value into existence. This value is perhaps not only applied to rocks, but also to anything ordinary around us. A piece of plastic rubbish on the ground next to the rock could get the same attention as rocks, if the one looking, could appreciate it.

 

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My graduation project has started with an inspiration from an article about a new kind of rock found in Hawaii, which contains plastic debris. According to the article, the rock won’t be decomposed, but will remain in the ground forever. Therefore those rocks have been considered as a potential marker of humanity’s time on earth – a kind of our generation’s rock. It led me to imagine that people in the far future dig those rocks out from the ground and appreciate it like a ruby or diamond.

 

plastiglomerate2

 

Based on the principle of the formation of the stone containing plastics, I have collected plastic rubbish and natural materials surrounding it such as twigs and shells on the street. I melted them down together, cut, polished and obtained plastic gem stones out of it. From that point, I observed the different qualities in each stone that I made, and turned them into jewellery. By caring and celebrating such a neglected object – plastic trash, I tried to generate a new value of it, and give people a new way of looking at the world and new encounters in everyday life [x].

 

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graduation presentation Sae Honda ©2016

 

Writing the thesis gave me a great insight and I started to understand my graduation project more and more in the process. Moreover, it eventually led me to realize why I chose jewellery as a medium.
The essential role of a jeweler is perhaps not dealing with rare materials, but rather reading the signs in any material and inscribing them through a process of making and caring. The jewellery attitude could be a way of looking at the world, and a way of creating the new value.

 

EVNR_BOOK_COVER_A4  [click on image] to download this thesis by Sae Honda
all rights to this thesis are property of the author © 2016 www.saehonda [x]

 

An essay concerning what I think of Design and Art and Crafts and ugly glass objects and Christien Meindertsma and her PIG05049 and her Single Sheep Sweaters.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

I find Design a difficult term. When I think of Design objects, I think of the Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt, which I, to my rather substantial displeasure, accidentally visited once during a school trip.
The building contained a few rooms filled with all sorts of glass Design objects, ranging from a little unpleasant to straight up horrible stuff. According to Wikipedia, the museum exhibits “more than 30,000 objects representing European and Asian decorative arts.” All I saw were contemporary glass lamps and mobiles and vases pretending to be all sorts of extremely valuable and expensive.
Having said all these mean things about Design, I myself completed an education in Graphic Design not that long ago. I have caught myself calling myself a Graphic Designer quite a few times.
Christien Meindertsma is also often called a Designer. In her bio a position on this matter is not being made, but in her CV the word Design appears very often. (It also says that in 2010 she was part of the show “Dutch Domestics – Design as Research” in the Museum fur Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt)


Christien is interested in raw materials. She explores these materials in thoughtful ways, making simple books and products that lay bare complex and otherwise hidden processes. If you’d like to hear her talking about her work you can follow this nice link.

I know Christien Meindertsma from her project PIG05049 (or actually from the TED talk she gave about it). For this project she spent three years researching the afterlife of the ordinary pig, and all the products that it ends up in after slaughter. All items are presented at their real scale in a book, a visual encyclopedia. Amongst some of the more unexpected products were: Ammunition, concrete, cigarettes, heart valves, brakes, chewing gum, porcelain and cosmetics.

Only recently I discovered one of her other projects, called One Sheep Sweater. It was on display in the cliché corner Eerlijk (Honest) at the Handmade show at Boijmans van Beuningen.
Christien started working on this project in 2003, when she was still studying at the Design Academy Eindhoven. In 2004, she made a collection of cardigans that were each made from the wool of one sheep.
After a few years of working with all sorts of wool and yarn manufacturers for her poofs and (Texel) ottomans, she picked up the One Sheep Sweater project again. Her goal was now to make them with a 3D knitting machine, to create an industrially made product, that would still tell a story of where it came from. She used Merino sheep from Holland and was part of the whole process from the shearing to the knitting.

I can very much relate to Christiens’ work most of the time. Though I don’t really have a particular interest in raw materials, I am very much concerned with the ways society deals with agriculture, whether it being for meat, wool, seeds, crops or other commodities. We are completely unaware of production processes and I find this very intriguing.

I think some of Christiens’ works I would call Design, for example the poofs and the ottomans and these Designy lamps that unfortunately remind me a bit of the glass Design objects that I mentioned earlier. However, the two main projects mentioned in this essay I consider to be art.
In my opinion Crafts, Design and Art are all the same things, namely words. The word Design reminds me of ugly glass objects, but that is really nobody’s fault, and it will hopefully not stay that way forever. The word Art is something I have more respect for, but I have also seen horrible stuff that was called that. With the word Crafts I mostly think of handwork, (which I use quite a lot in my own work, when I think about it now) but I also associate it with exceptional skill. And, as we all know, skills are awesome.

The words Art, Design and Crafts have different associations, but I think it’s extremely difficult to separate them from each other, if it is even possible to find out what they really mean. Some things that are considered Art can also easily be considered Craft, like some old Mannerism paintings, or more contemporary Hyperrealist paintings or sculptures. Some things that are considered Design may be considered Art. And some things that are considered Art, may by some people be considered Design.

Value is one of the main themes in Christien Meindertsma’s works. Trend forecasters tell us that, as a reaction to mass-consumerism, crafts will be valued more and more in the future. I’m hoping for this trend to develop in a large scale, for I think it has great potential to contribute to shifting our views and beliefs into less destructive and more beautiful ones.

A bunch.


Monday, November 19, 2012

For this research I have chosen a brooch made by Manfred Nisslmüller [x] which is currently being shown in the design exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum, and is a part of their own collection.

Here you can see it on the Stedelijk webside.

Manfred Nisslmüller studied goldsmithing but his work is maybe better suited under the category of visual art than design. Jewelry is still the main focus of his work but now he looks at it from a different view. He investigates and raises questions about the media but wearability is not one of his main considerations. For example, in this work below he uses graphite to make a brooch, ring and a bracelet. But since it is made out of this unusual material the items are way too heavy to be worn.

Let’s turn back to the brooch. What I see at first is not only a brooch like the title suggests, but a bunch of brooches. It is like looking into my own jewelry box at home, all in a mess. A fusion too complicated to untangle before going out so instead of wearing it I let it lie there for ages just to tangle up even more.
But I like the idea of wearing all of your brooches at once. Why only chose one? It seems only to occur to me to wear one piece at a time or at least only a few but never the whole pile. Am I just bragging if I wear my whole collection at once? Is it the same to actually wear the collection tidily placed side by side like an award winning officer or wear it randomly twisted together like trash in the wind. How does the value of a piece of jewelry change by it’s contact with other pieces?

I really like this question of value. This brooch is a mixture of various brooches, cheap junk you could find in a 1 euro shop along with precious metals with natural stones. Somehow, when they get mixed up in a pile like that the value becomes unimportant and not visible. I like the idea of these jewelry becoming equal and becoming one. Their value is equally divided. But does this brooch have less value than one of the fancier brooches incorporated in it, if worn on its own? Is less more or is more less?

Perhaps, in the end the effect is exactly the same.
Jewelry is something made to decorate, to adorn. That is a fact closely examined by Nisslmuller in his work. He investigates the role of jewelry and the word jewelry on it’s own. He has been dancing on the line between jewelry design and visual arts throughout his whole career, constantly becoming more conceptual as he continues to question the media of jewelry making and wearability becomes less and less important.
To him the looks of jewelry, their beauty or ugliness, doesn’t matter that much. The purpose is always the same and it is always accomplished. To him a piece of jewelry can be an object, a situation or a feeling but they all obey the same basic rules – they all adorn.

In 1984 he presented these two suggestions for pieces of jewelry that I really like:

A) Spray both ears with fluorescent lacquer and whistle a melody in intervals.

B) One hears the word “BROOCH” repeated softly from a cassette recorder worn concealed on the body.

As you can see from these two examples his definition of jewelry is very broad. I think he really brings us back to the core of this ancient tradition and keeps on investigating it and questioning it into the infinite.

Manfred Nisslmuller was born in the year 1940 in Wien where he still lives and works. He published a book about his ideas about jewelry called “Uber (und) Schmuck” In which I got my main information about his works and thoughts. This book along with a couple of other books and newspaper articles on Manfred and his work can be found at the Stedelijk Museum library.

Here you can see their website [Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam].

Golden Encounter


Monday, October 22, 2012

[publication of graduation essay by Richard Elenbaas 2012

Richard Elenbaas is interested in how value is created. He adds ideas to objects to create something valuable, but what is value these days in a time where most of the values are virtual? In the field of jewellery the theme of value is always present. A lot of times jewellery is valuable or bears a valuable meaning.

His work is based on topics that trouble all of us: newspapers filled with articles about the “crisis” and the degrading of the “euro”. As a jewellery maker he takes these themes to create work about “value”. The aim is to create connective possibilities to this theme and make suggestions.

Interested in symbols of value like gold and money, it seems this is all that matters today. So he try to triggers people with the seduction of interaction; to make them become part of the work and create value and social relations.
 
  Download thesis: Jewellery is a State of Encounter

[images of Richard Elenbaas's graduation show

 

Left out


Thursday, April 28, 2011

As I walked through the exhibition, I imagined at some point that I was not there with my fellow art students, but with a friend of mine who is a biologist. This made me feel excluded; I knew that the content of the works on show contained a lot of ‘scientific’ information of which I didn’t have the slightest clue. What’s the purpose of one of these organisms shown in a framed picture? What does it consist of, how does it function? I felt I couldn’t understand the narrative behind the representation, and that this left me unhappy, unlike my biologist friend. Had we seen these pictures in a science museum, with explanations next to the images, I would have felt better: I could try to understand. But no, not here. Then suddenly it struck me: being art students, we constantly talk about art, we recognize the rhetorics, hell we’re even beginning to use it. When we go to a museum, we understand the context. But for people who have no background in art, it can be difficult to grasp all its aspects (also because in my opinion a lot of artists can deliberately stay a bit vague). Walking in the Beauty in Science exhibition, I felt for the first time like I imagine Henk en Ingrid could feel about museums: “I don’t understand what you’re showing me, nor why, and you don’t give a decent explanation!”. For me, the exhibition underlined the importance of communicating the value art can have for its audience.


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