Wearable Ceramics: Jewelry by International Artists

Published: 11.04.2011

For Immediate Release

High Art and Fashion at Pewabic Pottery

Exhibition: Wearable Ceramics: Jewelry from International Artists
Location: Pewabic Pottery, 10125 East Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, MI 48214
Dates: May 20 - July 3, 2011
Opening Reception: Friday, May, 20th, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Sunday 12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m.
For More Information and Images of the Work Contact: Tara Robinson at
The exhibition is a collaboration between Linda Ross of Linda Ross Contemporary: Art + Projects (formerly of The Sybaris Gallery), and Tara Robinson, Curator of Contemporary Ceramics at Pewabic Pottery.
Participating Artists:
• Sebastian Beuscher has stopped producing jewelry but, is happily represented by several pieces of recent work that express his fascination with materials and shapes, nature and the natural world. Pieces in the show, from The Hadal Realm series, reference the deepest depths of the ocean.
• Pilar Cotter Nunez of Spain has work that often changes, and that, therefore, ranges from more traditional forms such as chandelier earrings, to work resembling pieces of textile blown into shape by the wind.
• Rian de Jong here exhibits work in porcelain with gold accents and copper, made into brooches and pendants, but she has long made work in a wide variety of media, sometimes made in her on-board jewelry workshop while she sails with her husband to distant climes from the Netherlands. Rian de Jong’s work reflects what she sees in her travels and her quest is for the nature and meaning of both form and material.
• Iris Eichenberg, originally from Germany, studied in Netherlands and is currently Artist-in-Residence and head of the metalsmithing department at Cranbrook Academy of Art. She fabricates small exquisite sculptures for wearing many done in groups of objects sharing a theme or idea. Her work uses a variety of different materials. The series being shown at Pewabic is entitled WeiB, the German word for white. These organic shaped forms reminiscent of pods, branches, seeds and stones are made from uncolored porcelain. The whiteness of the pieces seems to be permutations of what we normally find in nature leaving us to ponder upon their interrelations and meanings.
• David Elliott, an Australian relatively new to ceramic jewelry makes multi-toned beads into traditional necklace forms that rival polished river stones complete with striations from eons of layers.
• Steve Ford and David Forlano [AKA Ford and Forlano] are Americans who use polymer clay and precious metals, collaborating despite living in different states, on jewelry of an amazing range of form, color and scale. The duo met 22 years ago during a year abroad program through the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. They were intrigued by their differences in their approach to painting. To learn from each other, they started trading half-finished drawings and paintings and working both of their individual ideas into them. This “swapping” became an essential element of their collaboration. Throughout their collaboration, they have looked to nature for inspiration in the form of seed clusters, shell formations, flower buds. Old relics also inspire the two – many of their brooches look like shards of old pottery. Ford and Forlano exhibit their work throughout the United States in galleries and museums and are included in many public collections including the Museum of Art & Design, NYC, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA to name a few.
• Caroline Gore is an American sculptor and jewelry maker who currently lives and works in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She exhibits and teaches workshops internationally. The bracelets in this exhibition are based on a memory from childhood involving perfectly shaped circular white cookies that were made for the artist and her sister by a neighbor. Years later, unable to recreate the cookies to her satisfaction, Gore decided to recreate the image and the memory of them in porcelain creating a new story for the wearer. The artist exhibits her work in highly recognized jewelry galleries and museums throughout the U.S. and Europe.
• Maria Hee’s new body of work combines porcelain with silver. The hand-shaped pieces produced are powerful free forms which make them seem both sturdy and delicate at the same time. The jewelry – necklaces, pendants and brooches are made with a new type of porcelain developed by the European Ceramic Work Center in Den Bosch, The Netherlands. It is light weight because it rises like foam making what comes out of the kiln always a surprise!
• Peter Hoogeboom lives and works in Amsterdam, but his work is shown all over the world and is held in many prestigious museum collections. He studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam as have many of the Dutch artists in this exhibition. He is experienced with both goldsmithing and porcelain technique and has been exhibiting ceramics integrated into jewelry for over 20 years. His work is held in museums around the world.
• Jet Mous, a Dutch designer was educated at the Academy of Arts in Ameersfoort, Holland. For many years, Mous combined teaching ceramics with work as a designer. Her materials were mainly clay, but she experimented with textiles, plastics and paper as well. The process of her work begins with drawing ideas on paper and looking and thinking about work that she has already completed. Mous particularly likes to work with shapes like circles, rectangles, cones and mathematical forms to create her brightly colored ceramic jewelry.
• Evert Nijland started out in the fine arts section of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, but he found his real vocation within the jewelry department. His most recent work in porcelain concerns itself with the phenomenon of the garland from the Rococo period and is inspired by the many floral motifs use in classical ornament yet he is able to translate tradition into a contemporary context. His porcelain necklaces are exquisite compositions evocative of the past and present.
• Karin Seufert credits one of her professors from the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam as having a major influence on her work. Her teacher gifted her with a box filled with a wide variety of old trinkets from the flea market – things such as metals, stones, jade cuts and pieces of Bakelite. Seufert also discovered some very tiny porcelain figures in the box. Two of the figures, both missing their heads, were the starting point for the series of works to be shown in the exhibition. Most of the jewelry consists of found objects -– mainly old, broken and discarded toys from around the 1900’s. The artist gives these pieces a new expression and narrative by adding her own details and materials.
• Andrea Wagner’s passion in working is experimenting with materials and giving them her own mark. She finds this vital in order to create the intriguing appearance and surfaces necessary for the tactile materiality which communicate the stories or thoughts behind her work. Over the years she has used various materials such as pigmented and molded resin, felt and amber. Her most recent series, to be featured in “Ceramics to Wear” is made of unglazed bone china and mixed media, some of which is color-stained. Wagner’s studio is based in Amsterdam. She participates regularly in national and international exhibitions including the most prestigious jewelry exhibitions of them all – SCHMUCK, Munich and her work is held in numerous private and public collections throughout the world.
• Gaby Wandscher trained as a goldsmith and gemologist. She had her first contact with porcelain while studying at the University for Design of Precious Gems and Jewelry in Germany and her attempts at working with the material were not very successful at first. In 2001 she decided to continue her education at the Staatliche Porzellan-Mamufadtur Meissen GmbH and eventually her studies changed into a contractual relationship with the manufacturer resulting in a new jewelry collection. Although she found porcelain to be a challenging material to handle – it’s not only fragile and sensitive to raw conditions, but it shows unintentional deformations and sudden casting seams after being fired -- she developed a passion for its use in her jewelry-making. Some of her pieces are made of layers of porcelain and precious stones put together again and cut like a stone. In other pieces, precious stones such as tourmalines, blue and yellow sapphires and rubies are set into the porcelain bodies resembling shooting blossoms.
• Pauline Wiertz lives and works in Amsterdam and Limousin France. Wiertz originally studied ceramics at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. About 10 years ago, at the request of her Dutch gallery, Louise Smit, she started to make jewelry. To her surprise, she not only found that it suited her, but that it was well-received by her colleagues and collectors. Being a potter, whose work is rather big, she finds herself drawn to creating large-scale jewelry, but she insists that it has to be wearable. Wiertz uses porcelain as her main material combining it with textiles such as felt and linen. She will often print the porcelain or use decals to enhance the design along with strong color.
• Shu-lin Wu is a female jewelry artist from Taiwan. Her work is reflective of her cultural background and her personal travel experiences. In her “Mokume” series, she applies a Japanese jewelry technique used in metalsmithing, mokume gane, to form the ceramic beads which make up her necklaces. By hollowing out motifs in colored porcelain, she achieves a layered polychromatic effect exposing the inner striations of the clay. She also has adopted the 17th century European jewelry fashion style, “Girandole” into her earring series, demonstrating the bridge between ceramics and jewelry, east and west that underlies her work.