Rob Dean in conversation with Genevieve Howard, participating artist at Crafted Visions

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 04.07.2017
Genevieve Howard Genevieve Howard
Rob Dean
Edited by:
Patina Gallery
Edited at:
Edited on:
Genevieve Howard. Piece: Symphonic Fusion, 2017. Created from the music of Mason Bates, japanese linen paper, burnished fine silver.. Genevieve Howard
Piece: Symphonic Fusion, 2017
Created from the music of Mason Bates, japanese linen paper, burnished fine silver.
© By the author. Read Copyright.

The Idea of wearing music inspires jewelry artist Genevieve Howard.
Your creative process that creates a visual counterpoint to music is fascinating. Please describe the process.
I have always been intrigued by the concept of visualizing music into three-dimensional forms. The idea of wearing and physically holding a piece of music really excites me. I begin by taking scores of music and hand drawing my own form of graphic notation from the architecture of traditional musical scores. 

These graphic shapes are then redrawn on a CAD computer program and the pattern for each jewelry piece is finalized. The computer files are then exported and programmed into a laser cutter. The individual shapes are cut out from Japanese linen paper and then each sliver of paper is assembled together by hand into wearable jewelry pieces. The graphic shapes in the jewelry mirror the musical sequence of each original musical score.
Genevieve Howard, Bangle Ambient Tones, Created from the music of Mason Bates, Japanese Linen Paper. 2017​

As a musician, you often use music to create jewelry. What is unique about Mason Bates’ score for The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs?
The uniqueness stems from the fact that I have created jewelry pieces which have been directly inspired by the original (R)evolution of Steve Jobs score by Mason Bates. The shapes created in the jewelry echo the musical movement of Bates’ original score forming a graphic counterpoint to Bates’ creative musical design.

How did you develop a working relationship with Mason Bates? What to you is the significance of having exclusive access to such a high-profile piece of music before its premiere?
I was invited to take part in Crafted Visions: The Tensions of Opposites by co-curator Ivy Ross. She contacted me with a view to collaborate with Mason Bates. He agreed to grant me exclusive access to his score for the opera allowing me to create original new work for the exhibition.

It has been a privilege to work with Mason’s score. It provided me with a great opportunity to make new, exciting and original jewelry.

Genevieve Howard, Set: Bracelet & Neckpiece, 2016, Laser-cut Japanese linen paper

What is special about the opera-inspired pieces?
The design of the pieces and the color palette I have chosen for the jewelry are what make these works very special. Each piece of jewelry has its own unique pattern which is inspired by different sections of the (R)evolution score. There will be one very special piece in the exhibition which will incorporate precious metals. This one-off piece will be the centerpiece with more colorful work to complement it. The other colors I have chosen are a deep blue, a crimson red, a burnt orange-yellow and a purple. The colors are really beautiful and work well together.

Did the story of Steve Jobs and Apple computers mean anything to you before you started this project, or does the story move you today? If so, how?
I was well aware of Steve Jobs’ importance as an innovator and his importance as a leader of personal computing. His story is fascinating and inspiring. It is a great honor for me to be involved in Crafted Visions: The Tensions of Opposites. I can relate to this title as there has always been a tension of opposites between my work as a jewelry maker and my love of performing and playing music. Luckily I have found a way to incorporate both things.

About the Interviewee

Genevieve Howard is a jewelry maker and musician who works from her studio in Dublin, Ireland. She uses computer-assisted design and laser cutting to create unique necklaces and bracelets using Japanese linen paper. Genevieve’s innovative pieces appear at Patina Gallery in summer 2017 in Crafted Visions: The Tension of Opposites, a jewelry exhibition that defines the intersection of technology, art and human communication. Genevieve recently answered questions in her Dublin studio.

About the author

Rob Dean has been Patina’s storyteller since 2015. A teacher, book editor and community volunteer, he published on the history of Santa Fe, N.M., in 2010. He holds an M.A. in history and was a newspaper journalist for 38 years.