Metalsmith Magazine. Vol 43 No 3

Magazine  /  SnagMetalsmith   CriticalThinking   Essays
Published: 20.11.2023
Metalsmith Magazine. Vol 43 No 3.
Adriane Dalton
Text by:
Rebekah Frank, matt lambert, Oz Bender, Ada Chen, Ashley Khirea Wahba, D Wood, Harriet Estel Berman, Mazzi Odu, Jill Fannon, Karen Smith
Edited by:
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Metalsmith magazine is a triannual collection of articles, interviews, exhibition & event announcements, and information that highlights the complex and inspiring field of jewelry and metalsmithing. Each issue introduces a range of artists, production jewelry, adornment, design, hollowware, furniture, and more. The magazine features work by established and emerging artists who engage with a plethora of materials in scales ranging from intimate jewelry to installations.

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Documenting jewelry and metalwork via photography has been a regular topic since Metalsmith launched in 1980. A two-part article by Leslie F. Brown offering a “mini-course in photography” spanned the first two years of publication. In 1992, Virginia Croft’s “Photographing Small Art Objects: An Interview with Sheldon Collins” offered tips based on Collins’s experience as a photographer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Over the decades, instructive articles such as these made way for intellectual inquiries by authors and conceptual engagements by artists who embraced photography’s potential. And when Susan Cohn curated Metalsmith’s 2013 Exhibition in Print, she noted in her essay “As Seen by Others: Photography as Strategy” how “the photograph is not just an image, it is a tangible record of creative excitement; it is the hard copy of the language the object speaks.”

Makers continually adapt their approaches to documenting work as technologies, styles, and standards evolve. We see this clearly in the hundreds of submissions we received in response to our open call for editorial-style photography of jewelry, adornment, and metalwork. And the spirit of Cohn’s statement is alive in the winning selections, chosen by jurors Jill Fannon and Mazzi Odu, shared here—selections that convey the breadth of contemporary approaches. In her juror’s essay Odu states, “Altogether, the pieces tell more than just their one story—the collection as a whole illuminates far wider conversations.”

matt lambert’s essay “Body Is Not Neutral” adds to the continuum of critical discourse on visual documentation. Using examples by contemporary jewelry artists, lambert makes an important plea for the depth of consideration that should be part of contextualizing work with bodies. Meanwhile, D Wood brings in a view from the broader craft field to consider the “aura” of crafted objects. And the stunning cover image of works by silversmith Ndidi Ekubia, plus her interview by Karen Smith for In the Studio, only adds to the conversation. Also in these pages, jewelry artist Ada Chen’s candid responses to reader’s questions reveal a down-to-earth view of the field, which reverberates in Ashley Khirea Wahba’s LOOK—which highlights artists who consciously reject the contemporary jewelry establishment along the course of carving their own path. Findings takes readers behind the scenes into the designer/stylist ecosystem responsible for getting stunning jewelry onto the bodies of celebrities. Public displays of luxury and adornment are front and center in Rebekah Frank’s latest installment of the Jewelry Thinking series. Finally, Teresa Kiplinger’s The Arrival is both a series of jewelry and a heart-rending poem that touches on our need for human connection—as well as the isolation that is amplified by our preoccupation with technology.

We hope you will enjoy this visually rich edition of Metalsmith. And the visuals continue online: in addition to the juror selections presented for print here, each of the roughly 600 submissions to our call will be available on our website in early 2024.

Lastly, I’d like to draw your attention to the return of Letters to the Editor as a friendly reminder that we’re always happy to hear from you.

/ Adriane Dalton, Editor


Body Is Not Neutral. The Use of Body in Documentation
Contemporary artists reconsidering the human form in image-making By matt lambert

Juror Selections. Editorial Photography
The results are in from our juried call for editorial-style photography.


- VOICE & VISION: Teresa Kiplinger
- FINDINGS: New & Noteworthy By Oz Bender
- IN THE STUDIO, Ndidi Ekubia By Karen Smith
- LOOK: Breaking New Ground By Ashley Khirea Wahba
- JEWELRY THINKING: Resting Our Eyes By Rebekah Frank
- CRIT GROUP: Capturing the Aura By D Wood
- IN MEMORIAM: Jeffrey Herman By Harriete Estel Berman
Inner pages of the magazine.
Inner pages of the magazine

© By the author. Read Copyright.
Inner pages of the magazine.
Inner pages of the magazine

© By the author. Read Copyright.
Inner pages of the magazine.
Inner pages of the magazine

© By the author. Read Copyright.