One Maker’s Making

Past Events

ONE MAKER’S MAKING – Cupola Exhibition 2016

It is 24 years since I first struck metal with a hammer at a Jewellery/Silversmithing evening class in Sheffield. This was my ‘ureka’ moment which led to me setting up and running my successful jewellery business. This exhibition gives me the opportunity to show my making career through key past pieces to new work, whilst placing them in the wider context of influences and methodologies. From my drawing days as a Manchester ‘Textiles’ student, through early recycled and daisy pieces, recurrent themes emerge as my skill base broadens.

My MA work shows a departure from my more accessible/commercial jewellery and it is here that I first introduce my Type 1 Diabetes as an expressive theme. The intricacies of having to manage this disease form the age of 13 provided me with a rich seam to explore and interpret. These pieces are 3 dimensional drawings in wire.

Whilst studying for my MA in Metalwork and Jewellery at SHU, I began using the rolling mill to texture and pattern silver sheet. Sharing our studio space was a visiting Korean tutor who introduced me to the ancient Korean technique of fusing gold to silver known as kuem-boo. This, in combination with rolling sheet silver was to provide the key to my future work.

Through texturing, patterning, adding gold selectively and often oxidizing pieces to produce tones of grey, I have developed a series of low-tech methodologies which allow me to fully explore jewellery as a series of decorative surfaces. I love this way of working and the possibilities it holds are endless and diverse.

Inspiration for my work can come from anywhere : the 70’s patterned glass in my workshop window spawned a whole series of work ; buttons have provided many a starting point ; plants and insects are always interesting ; a new fabric texture can suggest new forms. When I am making work, I often keep the flotsam that remains. These leftover bits of fabric and paper have a fragile beauty of their own and I have relished elevating them from drawer to frame.   I hope that this exhibition of both jewellery and supportive work will provide an interesting and informative view into my life as a maker.

Jessica Briggs

Posted on 15th August 2016

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