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Value System - Detail

For my Metals seminar class we were to give a presentation on three artists who are working in similar ideas as our own and talk about the choices that they made to render those ideas. I began by defining what I value in jewelry which is: line, asymmetry, simplicity, detail, texture, color, experimentation, craftsmanship, unconventional beauty and evidence of the handmade. Over the next several weeks I will write about the studio metalsmiths and jewelers that I used as examples for my value system.

Helen CarnacDetail

Helen Carnac’s work corresponds with many of my values in her formal considerations, her inspiration from the world around her, and her thoughts on time and making.

Carnac is a member of a group called “Walking, Talking, Making”, and photos that she has taken when on walks inspire much of her work. Her work focuses on mark making on enameled steel bowls. Line is a key element in her pieces, so the photos that she takes are often about line and texture.

As part of the slow movement, Carnac recently curated a touring exhibition called Taking Time: Craft and the Slow Revolution, which is “looking at how things are made, where they are made and by whom.” This idea of the slow movement shows in her work. There is a sense of stillness that you get when looking at these bowls – the quite of the white enamel, the conservative use of marks and the evidence of time in the rust stains. Carnac says of her bowls that she “[allows] the steel substrate to oxidise naturally, creating new relationships with the enamel; a crossing point between control and chance.” This is an aspect of her work that I value – allowing that tension between control and chance to exist is a fine balance, and often giving up control is the hard part.