Metalsmith Magazine. Vol 43 No 2

Magazine  /  SnagMetalsmith   CriticalThinking   Essays
Published: 27.10.2023
Metalsmith Magazine. Vol 43 No 2.
Adriane Dalton
Text by:
Maya Kini, Liz Steiner, Jackie Andrews, Nikki Nation, Siteng Wei, Rebekah Frank, matt lambert, Ann Glasscock, Lamar R. Gayles Jr
Edited by:
SNAG Metalsmith
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85 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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In an age where technology has woven itself seamlessly into the fabric of our lives, the rise of AI programs like ChatGPT and DALL-E marks a turning point in the evolution of human creativity. With each passing day, these digital artisans become more adept at imitating our thoughts and manifesting them in ways we never thought possible.

Reader, I have a confession. Those opening lines were written by ChatGPT. They are an excerpt of a text I generated using the following prompt: “Write a one-paragraph introduction to a foreword for Metalsmith magazine that ponders the growing ubiquity of AI programs like ChatGPT and DALL-E.

When I first read the output, I experienced a sort of twofold annoyance: first at the cheery, uncritical optimism of the statements and second at the words “digital artisans,” which obscure the fact that these emerging technologies use a cache of human-made artworks, images, and texts as the basis for their creations. There isn’t space enough on this page to describe how creepy and worrisome I find all of this.

That said—even in a publication that values outside-the-box ideas and approaches—it feels potentially controversial to spare print space exploring these programs. Nonetheless, in “Findings” Liz Steiner gives readers an overview of some ways artists are engaging with AI-generated imagery. Curious about the potential of these programs, the editorial team share in “Crit Group” a selection of our attempts to determine if or how artists in our field might use ChatGPT as a tool. We’ve tried to keep it light, but throughout the process we were confronted with serious questions about ways that AI threatens the already significantly devalued labor of artists and writers.

The rest of the issue stands in contrast. A poem by Maya Kini revels in mortality and the materiality of metal. Ann Glasscock’s profile on silversmith Preston Jones celebrates the artist’s commitment to handwork. In “LOOK,” artists shine light through the interstices of maker and practice. And “Out/ Loud: Queer Play” and the latest installment of “Jewelry Thinking” offer fun new forms while also posing questions about material hierarchies and functionality. The conversation Rebekah Frank begins with Carson Terry’s confounding cutlery is continued in matt lambert’s feature on cruising as a relational making practice.

Prompted by LaMar R. Gayles Jr.’s study of a pendant by jewelry artist Bob Jefferson—about whom very little information is known and only a handful of works are identified—I found myself ruminating on the contrast between our material realities and the shiny newness of AI’s presumed potential for bettering our lives. While others marvel at the possibilities these emerging technologies hold, I care more about addressing the long-standing structural inequities by which artists are lost to history and pushed to the margins. Regardless of what is to come, let’s all agree to continue celebrating and honoring the field’s many varieties of intellectual and artistic labor.

/ Adriane Dalton, Editor


Hold Me as I Land: I Love It When We’re Cruising Together
The relationship of maker, material, and practice reframed as a continuum.
By matt lambert
Preston Jones: Applying Contemporary Inspiration to an Ancient Craft
A silversmith applies his niche talents to an uncommon object—the ceremonial mace.
By Ann Glasscock
Deciphering a Pendant: A Study of Bob Jefferson
A conservationist takes a closer look at a pendant—literally.
By LaMar R. Gayles Jr.


Voice & Vision by Maya Kini.
Findings by Liz Steiner.
Out/Loud: Queer Play by Jackie Andrews.
Ask Me Anything by Nikki Nation.
LOOK: In-Betweenness by Siteng Wei.
Carson Terry by Rebekah Frank.
Exploring ChatGPT.
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.