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Judy McCaig. Fragments That Became Jewels

Blog post
Published: 30.12.2012

I arranged to meet Judy McCaig one Friday morning. We were lucky since it was a sunny day.

In the same flat where she lives, in the Raval area of Barcelona, she has installed her studio in a big room with two balconies through which sun enters and makes it warm and friendly. It’s a space of calm and chaos at the same time; I think it’s a place where I could easily feel comfortable working.

While approaching a table with some pieces in progress, Judy tells me that her working method has changed, in the past her drawings served to reproduce a jewel with accuracy. “I used to transform my sketches into exact drawings for a piece and try to reproduce it in silver and different colored golds.”

Now, she works more freely, already her sketches are not rigorous drawings but rather rapid notes of technical solutions, ideas and compositions that are in her head. “The drawings have served to outline my idea and create a direction for the work. Sometimes I have a clear idea of the elements and materials that I want to use and the piece is worked on and solved quickly, but infrequently, the piece is “right” straightaway, pieces go through countless changes before being finished.”

Judy, throughout thirty years of work, has experimented and investigated with all kinds of techniques and processes to obtain new results. “Painting, adding textures, mixed media, brushstrokes, rubbing out, painting over, and sanding back are all techniques that I use not only in painting. The connections between each discipline becoming closer each time.”

She shows me how she uses metals, perspex and formica on which she draws, engraves or sculpts, and how she adds color to the pieces using paint, enamel, resin and gold leaf, in addition to setting stones and fragments of glass.

It is really great to see on a table an opened book of painter Joan Hernàndez Pijuan and when I ask about her artistic references she mentions Julius Bissier, Ben Nicholson, Cy Twombly, Constantin Brancusi, Alberto Giacometti, Mark Rothko, James Turrell, Marino Marini, Jean Dubuffet, Giuseppe Penone, William Scott and Eva Hesse.

Judy McCaig at DTerra Gallery surrounded by her solo exhibition "Wilderness of The Unknown" which will be shown until the end January 2013.

Currently, Judy McCaig has a solo exhibition at DTerra Gallery among many other projects: a solo exhibition in Madrid, her work has been selected to be shown in “Ferrous” the exhibition organized by Velvet da Vinci Gallery and Crafthaus, and is also taking part in the “New Nomad Exhibition” at the Museum of Modern Art in Arnhem (Holland) along with other activities to be confirmed.

Brooch: Between 2012
Silver, perspex, enamel on copper, formica, paint, gold leaf, tombac
10,8 x 5,2 x 1 cm

Brooch: Desert Star 2012
Mixed media, silver, rock crystal, herkimer diamond, wood, tombac

You can find more information on Mar de Color Rosa website.

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About the author

Montserrat Lacomba holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree The University of Barcelona in 1982. She has been creating jewelry since 2000 has been editing the Mar de Color Rosa blog since January 2008.

About this blog

Artists at the Studio is dedicated to introducing artists who are interviewed during visits to their workspace. It is a section of Mar de Color Rosa, a visual language blog focused on contemporary jewelry, including opinion, art, design, photography, curiosities.