My Barnacle series is an ongoing group of fold-formed and enameled jewelry and objects created with looseness as a byword. As a metalsmith and enamelist I am often plagued by the push and pull of skillful virtuosity and unconfined experimentation. These pieces are simply about metal, enamel, and composition. By fold-forming the metal and using the enamel to fuse elements together, I am able to create enameled forms with a satisfying freedom. The forms themselves are relatively impulsive, but evoke the stubborn crustaceans I’ve observed in my surroundings on the Maine coast, in both form and the process by which they were made.
When my husband, artist Jonathan Mess, and I married in 2012, I wanted to make a meaningful set of rings. I love pattern and ornamentation and had chosen a gorgeous lace dress. I incorporated the lace design into my ring so I could wear a reminder of that unbelievable day and my beautiful dress everyday afterward. The lace offered so many beautiful designs that I also made a cuff bracelet to wear for my wedding day, as well as necklaces for my bridal party. I love designing similarly meaningful custom jewelry for couples in search of unique, personalized rings that invoke both of their lives and passions.
Loaded is an ongoing series that revisits a group of patterns I designed in 2006. Current social and political events have drawn me back to continue developing them into jewelry. In a similar vein as my Decadent Remix series, the Loaded designs feature iconic gun silhouettes, layered to create ornamental compositions. The resulting compositions are slyly attractive compositions, fresh, yet oddly familiar. They reference the complicated layers of these social symbols and their existence in our collective cultural psyche, as pervasive and pernicious as ornamental patterned wallpaper.
Wallflower was a site-specific enamel and wallpaper installation that I created for American Enamels at The Society of Arts and Crafts in 2009. Wallflower grew out of floral patterns, and the ability of their stylized tendrils to creep into one's subconscious. Natural flora have been an ever-present subject in pattern and decoration, but stylized and controlled in rigid patterns. This installation considers what could happen if such constraints were lifted. This installation was inspired by my interest in the psychological effects of pattern in domestic spaces and American culture. During a difficult time in my family’s life when one of my family members was suffering from depression and anxiety, I found myself disturbed by the audacity of the happy flowers crawling over the walls in our home. I felt that this was a plague that many families silently suffer, and focused on wallpaper patterns as a metaphor for the tendency of families to cover up their realities‚ to put up a front, a veneer, as wallpaper covers cracked walls and pattern camouflages or transforms an object or space. I began to consider the spaces we live in as witnesses to realities that often go unacknowledged.
A lot can be said about this ring, but I will leave it to speak for itself.
Originally designed and created as a one-of-a-kind statement piece, I am now offering my ‘Til Death Do Us Part knuckle duster as an unlimited edition.