Metalsmith Magazine. Vol 44 No 1

Magazine  /  SnagMetalsmith   CriticalThinking   Essays
Published: 19.03.2024
Metalsmith Magazine. Vol 44 No 1.
Adriane Dalton
Text by:
Jenny Apostol, Katja Toporski, Talia Spielholz, Younha Jung, Charity Ridpath, Oscar Salguero, Rebekah Frank, Chelsea Rowe, Bella Neyman, Sebastian Grant, Rebecca Schena
Edited by:
SNAG Metalsmith
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88 pages, 30.4 x 22.8 x 1.27 cm. Perfect bound. English
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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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Part of what makes jewelry unique among the craft disciplines is the sheer volume of material approaches artists apply to its many forms. Beyond the varieties of metal and longstanding traditions of working with stones, wood, bone, and shells, there is a curiosity about - and a willingness to entertain questions about - the boundaries of what is considered an acceptable material.

There are certainly practical considerations for which materials we use. Today we have an increasing sense of urgency around the environmental and ethical concerns of metal and gemstone sourcing, and we’ve always had economic limits due to the fluctuating costs of precious and semi-precious materials. But there is an emotional and social pull to materials as well. Voice and Vision showcases a collaboration between writer Jenny Apostol and jewelry and installation artist Katja Toporski. The emotional tenor of Apostol’s text, catalyzed by a synthetic pearl necklace, is echoed in Rebecca Schena’s feature on the re-emergence of pearls into the zeitgeist of fine, fashion, and art jewelry. And Sebastian Grant’s interview with furniture maker and sculptor Cheryl R. Riley reveals rich and multifarious material and spiritual practices.

It seems advantageous for artists to be nimble when it comes to materials and methods. Artists across disciplines are increasingly materially agnostic - in other words, adept in a variety of media and methods rather than mastering only one. However, material agnosticism does not preclude mastery, as evidenced in Rebekah Frank’s Jewelry Thinking profile on Ektor Garcia’s intricate, labor-intensive copper crochet. Meanwhile, Julia Obermaier’s sensitive stone compositions demonstrate that devotion to a single process allows her to defy the rigidity of her materials.

This issue is peppered with the complexities of many materials, especially their sourcing. In Findings, Talia Spielholz highlights sourcing for uncommon materials, from bird feathers to bee wings to bottle caps. In response to your questions, Charity Ridpath shares how she embraces was plastic’s material adaptability. And while Ridpath ponders how our collective addiction to plastics might appear to future archaeologists, Oscar Salguero’s LOOK presents evidence that this future is already here - given the discovery of “plastiglomerate” stones across the globe. Coming full circle, in Crit Group, Chelsea Rowe reflects upon Keith A. Lewis’s 1989 Metalsmith article “Ethics of Materials,” which we’ve reprinted on page 75. Even thirty-four years later, the questions Lewis raises feel evergreen.

New for this volume is Fresh off the Bench, a space for showcasing recently made works by students and early-to-mid-career artists - for which we’re glad to spotlight Younha Jung’s wearable contemporary metalwork. We hope you enjoy!

/ Adriane Dalton, Editor


Julia Obermaier The Stone Screams Before It Breaks
A Lapidarist’s Sensitive, illusory stoneworks By Bella Neyman

Sculptures in the Form of Necklaces In Conversation with Cheryl R. Riley
A furniture designer turns her matriarchal, spiritual language into adornment By Sebastian Grant

Retethering The Timelessness of Pearls in the “Post-Pandemic”
The intimate, historical, and conceptual power of the pearl By Rebecca Schena


- VOICE & VISION: Jenny Apostol and Katja Toporski
- FINDINGS: Material Uses from All Angles By Talia Spielholz
- ASK ME ANYTHING, Charity Ridpath
- LOOK: NEO MINERALIA By Oscar Salguero
- JEWELRY THINKING: Ektor Garcia By Rebekah Frank
- CRIT GROUP: A New Ethics of Materials By Chelsea Rowe
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.