Monday, August 15, 2011

One Man's Trash

Posted by Lora Hart
Artistic Advisor

Victorian hair jewelry (source)
Artist Marcel Duchamp elevated found objects to the status of art supplies when he mounted a men's urinal, named it "Fountain" and submitted it to an art exhibit in 1917. Victorians intricately braided, curled, wound, wove and knotted human hair to create heartbreakingly beautiful mourning jewelry. Throughout the ages designers have replicated the look of precious gems with glass, enamel, paste, and painted wood.

Melanie Bilenker hair jewelry
Using a variety of non precious items to enhance and enrich jewelry designs is nothing new. But it seems as if the wealth of unusual craft materials has never been so abundant as it is today. From polymer clays, to faux bone, to Dadaist Duchamp's street finds - 20th century technology has started a trend that is around to stay.

Some artists may be making a political or societal statement by using common components instead of their precious counterparts. Others may be reacting to the skyrocketing price of goods. And still others are more likely simply excited by the ability to express their point of view with such a plethora of inspirational materials. Whatever the motivation - online sites, large publishing houses, world class museums, and high end craft galleries are embracing these artists and the found object trend by mounting exhibitions, publishing books and gloriously showcasing new work.

While traditional jewelry making methods will never fade away, we here at PMCC are thrilled to see such widespread acceptance and celebration of this new art form, and by the spirit of artistic exploration put forth by these contemporary craft pioneers.

By way of of sparking your fertile imaginations, and in anticipation of the Metal Clay Artist Magazine 2011 Design Competition, CornerStone would like to challenge you to create a masterpiece using metal clay and any other material you'd like. Each material must be prominently featured. Simple beaded dangles will not qualify.

Make any piece of jewelry or table top item using metal clay (any color) and another material and post the results in the CornerStone Challenge Flickr group.
• Each material must be featured (almost) equally, visually if not in mass.
Include a description of how you made your piece and tell us about your inspiration. There's a space for text right under the photo.
• Be sure to write your real name with the description of the piece.
• The winner will be notified via Flickr mail

The final day to post your work will be [edit] October 28th. The winning entry will be chosen based on quality of craftsmanship, artistry, and innovative use of materials. The winner will be announced right here on the blog on October 31st and will also be featured in our newsletter. As an extra enticement - PMCC is happy to offer the winner a $25 gift certificate to

Here's to creativity, new paths and pushing ourselves to be all that we can be.

1 comment:

Harriet said...

What happened to the blog on this contest?