Making jewelry and objects from semi and non-precious metals, stones, and materials has culminated from my interest in design, quotidian objects with patina, and a need to make things with my hands. The thread throughout my work involves the combination, coordination, composition, and collaboration between old and new. Most pieces have grown out of a challenge to repurpose and feature elements that I have found and collected over the years: antique objects, quotidian materials, and some random scraps. It is the act of searching and collecting the materials that fuels my inspiration and design.
The pieces are less about the traditional craft of jewelry making and more about proposing intimate wearable objects with a narrative to tell or a thought to provoke, things that might jog a memory or conjure place. For me, the crux of the piece is the presentation of the extracted element in a new context. The work becomes both architecture and collage in miniature scale, recalling my collateral interests. Themes that I continue to revisit include: Architecture Measuring Devices Narratives Tintypes + Photos Text + Context Watch Parts Found Objects Mapping Your Way. More techniques and themes can be seen on the website.
Artifactural is an installation of vintage objects (wooden rulers, tin boxes, clock faces, antique books) from the collection of the artist that have been composed into a presentation of elements that inspire the jewelry pieces created by Naomi Muirhead (art925). The research and collection of these objects inform the design of each piece which is based on the object itself, or a fragment of it, transformed into a wearable object. Some of the collection on display might potentially be used in future jewelry pieces, extracted from their original purpose; other objects might remain as visual inspiration. As in each piece of art925 jewelry, the combination, coordination, composition, and collaboration between old and new forms a current throughout the installation. Less about the traditional craft of jewelry making, Naomi’s work proposes intimate wearable objects with a narrative to tell or a thought to provoke, things that might jog a memory or conjure place.
In tandem with the installation, a free workshop was given about upcycling and recycling materials using collage and image transfer. The images above are examples from a series of my collages on paper.
Years ago, I was making large collage/paintings on old wooden doors found on the side of the road, but the space required to work and the cost and efforts to transport them became too much. I began using collage on paper for practical reasons, wanting the artwork to be more easily packed and shipped.
Collage is the original “cut and paste” that we now do more often in a digital format. It’s a fun and easily accessible way to create a visual narrative while using low-cost recyclable materials. Utilizing images, photographs, words, textures, shapes, and colors, sometimes combined with drawing elements, one can compose a story within a rearranged context of visual parts that create a whole.
Collage has transferred over into my jewelry making practice in the use of found vintage photos, map segments, and words that have been extracted from books and dictionaries, giving these small moments personal meaning, importance, and intimacy, worn on the body.
Workshop exercise: consider making an emotive map collage. This can be a physical map or a conceptual map, referring to a place, a feeling, a person, an experience, a poem, a song, a narrative, etc. Consider the basic elements and principles of design: line, shape, color, value, texture, space, pattern, rhythm, proportion, balance, contrast, harmony, and emphasis. Bring materials to cut, for example: old books, magazines, newspapers, photographs, etc. Optional: drawing/painting materials, scissors, glue, paper.
NAOMI MUIRHEAD: ARTIFACTURAL
June 5 – 19, 2021
In collaboration with Creative People in Florence.
Tiche Synergia is an ongoing series of exhibitions in collaboration with the fashion brand Tiche. This multi-faceted project highlights all of our favorite things: collaboration, contemporary craftsmanship, and design in Florence. The spacious new Tiche atelier in via San Zanobi hosts a series of Florence-based artisans and designers, who present site-specific installations using the materials and objects of their craft, alongside a special selection of works and products in conversation with the recent collections and mission of Tiche.