Utica Uptown Downtown Art Fair 2015

I can’t believe it has almost been a year, since I wrote my last post. Of course there has been a lot going on and there has been some progress in the studio but things have slowed down due to a little addition to the family.

However, it’s that time of the year again… the time of the Third Utica Uptown Downtown Art Fair. Just like last year, I will be showing alongside some amazing makers from the Utica area and I am very excited to participate again. This time around, ProonK will be showing at the 4 Elements Studio, an awesome artist space that is run by ceramicist Vartan Poghosian. 4 Elements Studio is located on the top floor of a prior school building on Washington Street and Vartan rents out additional rooms to other artists that also love the fresh artistic breeze that is blowing trough a revitalized Downtown Utica. If my studio was not downtown already, the ProonK Studio just recently moved to Elizabeth Street, I would have loved to be part of Vartan’s artist collective. The space is truly special with it’s old school vibe and cute little studios.

Next to 4 Elements Studio, more than 15 artists are going to show in three additional spaces: The Other Side Gallery, Sculpture Space and Oneida Square Project Public Art & Design.

Participating artists are:

@Sculpture Space:
Kim Carr-Valdez
Paul Valdez

@ 4 Elements Studio:
Vartan Poghosian
Victor Lenuzza
Celeste Friend
Art Baird
Cynthia Baird
Shannon Stockbridge
Rosette Schureman
Kathy Donovan
Steve Nyland
Marc Tucci
Betty Murtagh
Proonk Jewellery

The Other Side Gallery and the Oneida Square Project Public Art & Design will show a wide selection of local artists featuring ceramics, photography, paintings, prints, drawings and mosaic products for business and home.

Here is the official poster with directions and all the fabulous artists:

utica uptown downtown art fair 2015

I would very much like to encourage everyone who is interested in going to try to make it to all four locations, since there is a great chance to win a raffle prize made by the artists.

The show will be held on November 28th and 29th from 10am-5pmwww.uticaartfair.com

Thank you for reading.

Feel free to follow this blog.
Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
Please follow me on Twitter @LisaJuenProonK and like my FB ProonK page.

ProonK Mother’s Day Sale & Memphis Metal Museum

I have great news times two today! Especially for everyone who is still looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift.

#1: From today until May 12, ProonK will have a Mother’s Day SALE online at the ProonK Etsy Store. 10% of the item price will be discounted when entering the Promo Code ‘MothersDay14’ during checkout. Also, keep in mind that worldwide shopping is free!

#2: ProonK Jewellery will be available at the Memphis Metal Museum Shop soon! I am super excited about the possibility to show there. Please go and have a look, if you’re in Memphis!

button earrings lime green, gem green hand‘Lace Button’ Earrings, 999 Fine Silver, Enamel, Lime Green & Gem Green

button earrings periwinkle, raspberry hand‘Lace Button’ Earrings, 999 Fine Silver, Enamel, Periwinkle & Raspberry

button ring royal blue nile green hand‘Lace Button’ Ring, 999 Fine Silver, Enamel, Royal Blue & Cascade Blue

chili earrings grass green hand‘Lace Chili’ Earrings, 999 Fine Silver, Enamel, Spring Green

button necklace turquoise, cascade blue hand‘Lace Button’ Earrings, 999 Fine Silver, Enamel, Turquoise & Nile Green

Happy spring everyone and have a lovely Mother’s Day!

Thank you for reading.

Feel free to follow this blog.
Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @LisaJuenProonK and like my FB ProonK page.

Schmuck #1: Guck ins Schmuckloch, Schmuck im Guckloch

Last week, from March 5th to March 10th, I was in Munich for the ‘Schmuck‘ show curated by the Handwerkskammer Muenchen. Schmuck is the empress of exhibitions, when it comes to contemporary jewellery exhibitions in Europe and each year, there are thousands of jewellery enthusiasts storming the city to see the show.

Because of the huge rush of people, there are a lot of little independent satellite exhibitions on show throughout the city that are organized by all sorts of jewellery artist, students and galleries. In my student days, it was still possible to go and see all of those little shows. However, during the last few years, the list of exhibitions has become so long that it is physically impossible to go and see them all in six days. This time, when I went through the flyer that comes with each Schmuck madness, I had to sit down and study it hard to make a decision on where to go. I will write about a few selected exhibitions in the following posts.

Now, I would like to start with showing you the set-up and look of the show ‘Guck ins Schmuckloch, Schmuck im Guckloch’ that also featured my three most recent pieces. You already know ‘Cicada’. It’s time you get to see ‘Starlight’ and ‘Green Roots’.

Here are pictures of the show:

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 3.48.32 PM

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 3.46.32 PMSina Emrich during the set-up of the show. It was Katharina Moch‘s and Elena Ruebel‘s idea to paint the window and present the pieces through holes that were scratched free from the paint. This type of set-up made it possible for all of us to walk through the city and have a look at other exhibitions ourselves without having to be present in the gallery. 

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 3.46.50 PM
Elena Ruebel painting the window.

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 3.48.23 PM

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 3.52.26 PM

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 3.52.46 PM     Elena Ruebel‘s newest work. Her porcelain pieces (she calls them her sausages!) and coloured rope.

 

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 3.49.40 PMKatharina Moch‘s organic plastic jewellery.

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 3.49.28 PMTabea Reulecke‘s wood creations.

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 3.49.13 PM              Sina Emrich‘s movable growth-ring jewellery.

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 3.47.25 PM ‘Cicada’, the first of my newest tree pieces made from enamel, silver, stainless steel cubic zirconia and a porcelain cicada I found in Shanghai.

The exhibition was on show from March 5th to March 10th at Galerie im Raum in Munich.

…and here are the other two of my newest pieces, ‘Starlight’ and ‘Green Roots’.

guck ins schmuckloch, schmuck im guckloch

starlight 72‘Starlight’, brooch/neckpiece, silver, enamel, stainless steel, cubic zirconia, lamp piece from a very dusty artist studio in shanghai, glass.

green roots with chain 72

green roots 72 ‘Green Roots’, brooch/neckpiece, silver, enamel, stainless steel, cubic zirconia, tiles from a demolition site in shanghai, glass.

I hope you like the show and my new work. Let me know what you think!

Feel free to follow this blog.
Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
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John Matthews at South Gallery, Stanley Center for the Arts

Last Thursday, Barry and I were invited to see the John Matthews‘ photography exhibit at South Gallery at the Stanley Center for the Arts.

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We went right when the doors opened, since we wanted to participate in BJJ training that night after the event (Dojo1 Martial Arts). Even though we were super early, there was already quite a big crowd and by the time we left, the place was packed with people. I was positively surprised by the number of visitors that showed their interest and support. It is great to know that there are so many people living in Utica who are interested in art and like to support local artists.

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The exhibition turned around the use of the iPhone 4S as the main photography tool. Most pictures in the exhibition, apart from three, were taken with a camera phone and digitally enhanced with iPhone apps. John Matthews’ main ‘goal’ of the exhibition was to show the viewer the endless possibilities in photography that await an iPhone user. He said for him, it is very interesting to see how much digital photography, especially in camera phones, has enhanced over the years, up to a point where one can compare phone pics to SLR camera pics without really being able to tell a big difference in quality.

The photographs in the show look like every-day snapshots that shed a very positive and interesting light on Utica and the New York State area. They show beauty in an area that is sadly misjudged so often. They show the pretty moments in life, sometimes simple, sometimes more intricate, but the ones we should all really concentrate on, rather than all the negative stuff. The easiness and lightness of the pictures was very well supported by the use of the smart phone camera. One can see John having fun with his device, while capturing those precious little moments with a touch of his finger.

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My favourite picture was called ‘Angles, Reflections and Conversations’. I loved the diagonal set-up of the picture, along with the contrast of the group of people to the single biker and the amazing play of light that resulted from the sun being mirrored in parked car windows. For me, it is a very strong and dynamic picture with an incredibly romantic touch to it!

Image‘Angles, Reflections and Conversations’, John Matthews, iPhone 4S, 2012

I am very much looking forward to John’s future shows in Utica. Come and join us then!

Thank you for reading.
Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @LisaJuenProonK and like my FB ProonK page.

Jonathan Kirk at Clifford Art Gallery

Last week was packed with art events in the Utica area. To my great surprise, there were two exhibition openings, one gallery anniversary and an open studio event. I have to admit that when I first moved to Utica, I did not think there was much going on in the art scene but last week proved me wrong and I am very happy about this!

I will write separate posts about each event that I visited. Unfortunately, I messed up the times for the open studio invitation at ceramic artist Vartan Poghosian‘s studio, so no post about that event, but I very much hope I will get another opportunity to see his studio soon.

The first exhibition of the week was Jonathan Kirk‘s show ‘Machines: Fragments and Reveries’ at Clifford Art Gallery at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY.

Jonathan Kirk was present to hold an artist talk. I could not attend right from the start but I dropped in for the Q&A. For me, it was nice to hear how Jonathan creates his work. He does not make a lot of drawings, instead he goes into 3D models right away to give him some sort of direction. Once the making process of the actual piece progresses, the work has still the freedom to transform and in some sort shape itself.

I very much agree that sometimes, the piece tells you what it wants to look like and all you have to do as an artist is ‘listen’. A lot of pieces only start to take shape during the creating process. Trying to overthink an idea by drawing on a piece of paper can sometimes be more confusing than getting one’s hands dirty and see where one might end up. In this line of thinking, there usually is no big room for failure as well. No matter what one will create, most of the time, it can be transformed into something else, until it reaches the point where it feels right.

The show had quite a variety of work on display. There were big sculptures, next to medium-sized objects and a table with a big selection of models. I was very intrigued by those pieces. Even though they were initially meant to visualise a quick idea and to see if it might work out, the were impeccable. The way Jonathan treats materials is breathtaking! He is a perfectionist with a great eye for details.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 8.01.15 PMTable with models

jonathan kirk
Display of ‘Machines: Fragments and Reveries’

 

 

I particularly fell in love with the piece ‘Lookout’. When looking at it, I found myself thinking that it resembles a model (and I assume it might have been a model at some point) because of the chosen material, cardboard, but the surface treatment and finish rightly take it on a completely different level. The material in this piece is being treated in a way that shows its best (and even new) characteristics in the brightest light. It is being taken away from the notion that cardboard is a cheap packaging material but something very precious.

jonathan kirk‘Lookout’, cardboard, 1993

There were a few wooden objects hanging from the wall that, I think, created a similar notion. They were made by individual small pieces of wood that were ‘glued’ into shape with epoxy. Jonathan treated the surface of the shape with lacquer, which he then buffed in some areas, revealing what was underneath. The way the surface looked reminded me a lot of Japanese Urushi lacquer. This type of lacquer is applied layer after layer, after layer… Every time I have a look at a piece that is showing this technique, I am reminded of the flow of time and all the respect I have for people who devote themselves to creating perfection. To me, the ‘buffed’ areas showed the ‘guts’ of the work, creating a great balance in between origin, the passing of time and the final being.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 8.01.01 PM
Display of ‘Machines: Fragments and Reveries’

Another very big factor in Jonathan’s work is the question of scale and how to use it. The center of the room held a sculpture of a big steam engine ‘Old King Cole’. Jonathan mentioned that, if he had made it any smaller, it might have been perceived as a toy. If he had made it bigger, it would have seemed like a replica of a steam engine, which then would have raised questions like use and functionality of the machine, rather than the question of what and why the object is art. Having chosen a  size that is located right in between a toy and a replica stripped the piece from its former functions and gave it the chance to express something new.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 8.01.47 PM‘Old King Cole’, mild steel, 2007

Jonathan Kirk ‘Machines: Fragments and Reveries’ will be on show at Clifford Art Galery at Colgate University until February 1, 2013. If you have the chance to go and visit, you should definitely go and have a look. You won’t be disappointed.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 7.36.27 PM

Thank you for reading.
Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @LisaJuenProonK and like my FB ProonK page.

Sculpture Space Work in Progress Reception, Aug 22

Last week was a very hectic week with a lot of things going on. One of them was the ‘Work in Progress Reception’ at Sculpture Space. The current artists in the studio invited the public to share new ideas and have a look at their most recent works.

Four artists presented their newest creations:

Nova Jiang (Los Angeles, CA)
Jeff + Tara, The Friendly Falcons (Brooklyn, NY)
Cornelia Konrads (Bad Munder, Germany)
Jessica Segall (Brooklyn, NY)

It was the first time for me to attend such an event at Sculpture Space and I very much enjoyed it. I had been to the studio earlier on but this was the first time I saw it bursting with people and it was great to find that there is so much interest in art and such a big artist community in Utica.

The evening started off with a friendly welcome of Monika Burczyk, the Sculpture Space Executive Director, and continued with the artists introducing their work.

First, Jessica Segall introduced her beautiful body of work that was created through a residency in Alaska. Cornelia Konrads had just arrived to Sculpture Space the week before and briefly introduced some of her previous works, featuring book art and beautiful sculptures. The Friendly Falcons, Tara Pelletier & Jeffrey Kurosaki, finished the presentations with a very interesting music/image/sculpture performance.

In addition to the artists’ work, there was a sculpture of John von Bergen, the ‘Sculpture Drawing’ on display, which can be won in a very special prize drawing. 125 tickets for $100/pc are on sale until September 22. To purchase a ticket, please contact 315-724-8381 or click here to help support Utica’s international residency program.

The main Sculpture Space building.

Monika Burczyk welcoming the audience.

Jessica Segall introducing her work.

Jessica Segall

Cornelia Konrads

Cornelia Konrads

Cornelia Konrads

This is a video of the Friendly Falcon’s performance, seen through John von Bergen’s ‘Drawing Sculpture’.

John von Bergen, ‘Drawing Sculpture’

For more information on the individual artists, please have a look at their websites, there is a lot more beautiful work to see!

I am looking forward to the next Sculpture Space event, the CHAIRity Auction on September 22. The drawing of the John von Bergen Sculpture will be part of this event too. Come around to find out about the lucky winner!

I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope to see you at Sculpture Space soon!

Thank you for reading.
Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @LisaJuenProonK and like the FB ProonK page.

‘Exupéa’

Earlier this year, I was asked if I was interested in taking part in the ‘FlourishRing‘ Exhibition at Kath Libbert Gallery in Saltsmill, UK. In 2010, I took part in their exhibition ‘IntoFlora‘ and I was very happy to hear that the gallery wanted to feature my work again.

The theme of the exhibition was inspired by the gallery’s 16th anniversary and asked for a ring with exuberant qualities. 100 jewellery makers around the world were asked to take part.

I am more of a brooch-girl, which means I have a preference of making brooches, rather than other forms of jewellery. I have, of course, made a few rings in the past but since it has been quite a while back, I decided to make a new ring for the exhibition.

Working on the ring turned out to be a lot of fun. It was very refreshing to walk new paths and experiment with ring shapes, rather than brooch fittings.

Based on the exuberant topic, I decided to work with a peacock theme. I wanted the ring to show off in every way but doing so with grace and style. I started fiddling around with Chinese fabric knots and peacock feathers but came to the conclusion that the feather is exuberant enough and I found it more intriguing to work with the peacock’s striking colours instead. I have been thinking about reintroducing enamel into my work for quite a while and this seemed the perfect topic for experimenting. I ended up working with different layers of enamel, trying to construct translucent glazes and give it a relief looking surface structure. The ring was completed with a big lavender coloured cubic zirconia stone in the middle, holding a rainbow colour changing LED.

‘Exupéa’, Ring, 2012, stainless steel, enamel, cubic zirconia, LED, battery box, light switch, cable.
Photography: Savinder Bual

The ‘FlourishRing‘ exhibition opened July 12 and will be on show until September 30. Next to ‘FlourishRing‘, there is another exhibtion, ‘Flourish‘, on show, featuring the work of ten international jewellery makers. During the exhibition period, the audience is encouraged to pick their favourite ring and have a picture taken with it. The ring that will have the most ‘likes’ in the end will win a £250 cash price. I will keep fingers crossed for all featured artists! You can have a preview on the rings on the gallery’s website to get a first impression.

If you happen to be in the UK, please go and check it out! The pictures of the exhibition opening looked really intriguing. Please don’t forget to send me a pic once you are there. I would really appreciate it!

Thank you for reading.
Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @LisaJuenProonK and like the FB ProonK page.

‘Yin+-Yin’ – Suzy Solidor

Last year, when I was on vacation in Yang Shuo, China with my partner Barry, I was asked if I was interested in taking part in the ‘Mirror Mirror‘ exhibition in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France. I was thrilled to read about the exhibition outlines, which turned around the life of Suzy Solidor, a French, homosexual nightclub-owner and singer, who got famous in Paris in the 1930’s. It was a great holiday surprise!

I had six months time to come up with a concept and making the piece. I was very thankful about the freedom in taking time, since it allowed me to conduct a lot of research and to play with multiple ideas, although I have to admit that I reach my true potential, when I am working under time-pressure. I am a true last-minute worker!

Researching Suzy was very exciting and sometimes full of surprises. I cought myself thinking that this woman really lived her life in full and that she did not leave any opportunity unanswered or open. I could feel a little jealousy creeping up from now and then, questioning the corners in which I could push myself further and explore. But then, I always consider the price and consequences my environment and I would have to pay and my desires readjust. I got the impression that consideration and respect was not necessarily always Suzy’s strength. In my opinion, she was a split character, living the highs but at the same time fighting with her own devils.

Here is my artist statement about ‘Yin+-Yin’:

Suzy & Suzy (‘Yin+-Yin’)

 

Suzy Solidor created a lot of myths, some during her lifetime, some after her passing.

 

‘Yin+-Yin’ is about the Suzy Solidor of my imagination.

A woman who seemed to know exactly what she wanted.

A sparkling and sexy super- woman on one side, self-centered, self-serving and spot-light addicted on the other.

 

The word ‘Yin+-Yin’ derives from the Chinese Yin and Yang, female and male. To every part belongs a counterpart. In Suzy’s case, being a celebrated lesbian, her counterpart must therefore also be female.

This results in two Yins: One positive Yin and one negative Yin.

 

‘Yin+-Yin’ is made from several elements. Suzy’s portrait, Suzy’s legendary heart brooch (pierced from two sides), the double-sexed zucchini flower, the crab and the uterus as the bearing spine of the piece, carrying a light in each ovary. The lights can be switched on, one at a time, putting the focus on either the Yin+ or -Yin side of Suzy. Each element stands for one of Suzy’s characteristics, where seeing them as a whole creates the completed image of Suzy.

 

‘Yin+-Yin’ is, just like its person of inspiration, a very versatile piece. It is meant to be worn on the belly, the center of femininity, but it can also be worn as a brooch or neckpiece.

Here is the piece, worn as a belt. I wanted to find a display for the piece that underlines femininity in every aspect and I decided to have it worn on the belly, around the area of the uterus.

This is the jewel worn as a neckpiece. The chain can be taken off entirely and the piece can also be worn as a brooch.

The ‘Mirror Mirror‘ Exhibition will be on display until September 23rd at Espace Solidor in Cagnes-sur-Mer and will then travel to Velvet Da Vinci Gallery in San Francisco in October.

Here is the list of the participating artists and some pictures of the show at Espace Solidor.
Unfortunately, in most cases, I don’t know which artist made which piece. So, if you happen to know who made which object, please let me know and I will tag it!

Emmanuel Lacoste – ‘La Vie Parisienne’

Maisie Broadhead – ‘Ssssssssuzy’

I hope you like ‘Yin+-Yin’ and that you can make it to the exhibition in either France or the USA. If you do, please write me a line and send me a pic! I would very much appreciate it!
See you there!

PS: Yang Shuo in the rain.

Thank you for reading.
Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @LisaJuenProonK and like the FB ProonK page.

Utica ‘Art in Windows’

The Downtown ‘Utica Development Association‘, short DUDA, and Rod Wilson from ‘Gocal‘, a community online platform that concentrates on the promotion and support of local businesses and events, paired up to launch the ‘Art in Windows’ project in downtown Utica, NY.

The project is inspired by the ‘Art in Storefront‘ exhibition that first took place in San Francisco at Central Market in May 2011. Similar to its predecessor, Utica’s ‘Art in Windows’ will offer vacant storefronts to local artists to showcase their talents.

Here is an extract of the official DUDA press alert:

Empty downtown windows will soon become miniature art galleries through the ‘Art in Windows’ program sponsored by DUDA. ‘Art in Windows’ seeks to match local artists with vacant downtown storefront windows where they can display their works.

“Instead of looking at these windows as empty, we see them as full of possibilities,” says Regina Bonacci, president of DUDA. “What some consider an eyesore, we think will be a Main Street art show where works of art are shared with the community.”

Click here to watch a video about the event.

As far as I know, the show will kick off in the beginning of September and will run on a rotary system, three months at a time. All artistic disciplines are welcome.

Also, the name ‘Art in Windows’ seems to be a temporary title that is open for discussion. So, if you should have another idea, please get in touch.
My proposal would be ‘UticArt‘. I think it creates a good balance in between the city, the artistic concept and the diversity of the media on show.

For artists of the area who are interested in taking part and/or have an idea for a future name, please send your proposal to DOWNTOWNUTICANY@GMAIL.COM by July 31st.

I have my proposal ready and I can’t wait for the event to start!
Also, I find it inspiring to see that there are so many people in this city not just talking about making a change but really MAKING A CHANGE.
One step at a time… You go Utica!

 

Thank you for reading.
Please have a look at my websites www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @LisaJuenProonK and like the FB ProonK page.

Märta Mattsson’s ‘Petrified Lives’ at Sienna Gallery

Märta Mattsson‘s solo exhibition ‘Petrified Lives’ is currently on show at Sienna Gallery in Lenox, MA. The show opened on June 29th and will run until July 22nd.

Last Saturday, the gallery invited the public to join the artist’s reception. Since Utica is only two and a half hours away by car, I thought it would be a great opportunity to see the show and meet Märta.

We, my partner Barry and my jeweller friend Patrick McMillan, arrived early in Lenox and after a very lazy afternoon spent at ‘Haven Café‘, we strolled over to the gallery. Sienna Gallery is a space made from two connecting rooms. The room on the left shows permanent work and pieces of selected artists. The room on the right is used as the space dedicated to the newest show on display.

Based on the bug and beetle influenced topic of Märta’s creations, the artist chose to present the pieces in a forest-like display. The room was filled with several branches and trees holding Märta’s creations, showing a variety of pieces ranging from 2010 until now.

For me, it was interesting to see Märta’s development over the years through the changing use of materials, but still turning around a similar interest. I got the chance to meet and talk to Märta, an opportunity that filled me with joy, since I have to admit that I am quite a fan of her work. She is a very lovely person and we had a rather long conversation about the nature of her work, inspirations and making of her pieces. We found that we are both ‘Hate-Bug-Lovers’, people who are deeply inspired and intrigued by bugs but intimidated and disgusted at the same time. Working with bugs can be a constant battle of admiration and disgust, regularly pushing boundaries and expectations.

Another very interesting aspect that comes with Märta’s pieces is people’s reaction and the perception of the objects, when realising that there are still ‘real’ bugs ‘living’ in the jewellery. Märta had just finished explaining to us that peoples’ reactions can be very strong and diverse, when another visitor of the gallery approached her and enquired about a specific piece, a spider being cut in half. When the woman learned that the ‘skin’ of the spider was still in the piece, she shrieked and did not dare to touch it anymore!

The whole scene was somewhat funny to look at but also showed that Märta’s jewellery is not just pretty, daily ready-to-wear-bling but jewellery that truly pushes limits. Personal limits for sure, since the wearer is constantly aware of the fact that they are adorning themselves with a real insect, as well as ecological limits. I would like to think that once people get over this EEEWWW-A-BUG-mentality and encounter the beauty of those insects, they would want to help and preserve those species as well. This also makes me think of Christopher Marley‘s work. I certainly hope there will be more artists embracing this kind of topic and trying to make a difference for both, people and nature.

Please follow my blog and visit my websites: www.lisa-juen.com and www.proonk.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @LisaJuenProonK and join the ProonK Facebook Page. Thank you!

‘Dating Medal’ for ‘Con Decorados’

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to make a piece for an exhibition in Valencia, Spain called ‘Con-Decorados’. The exhibition will be part of a row of shows accompanying the second opening of the ‘Schmuck‘ show from Munich in Valencia. It will be held at the ‘Museo Nacional de Ceramica y de las Artes Suntuarias Gonzalez Marti‘, as part of the celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the Jewellery Department at the ‘Escola d’Art i Superior de Disseny de València’ EASD. To mark this anniversary, the school has organised a programme of activities, exhibitions and talks on contemporary jewellery and called the event  ‘MELTING POINT 2012’. ‘Con-Decorados’ will open on the 5th of May at 6pm. To visit the blog accompanying the activities, click here.

The topic of ‘Con-Decorados’ turns around the subject of medals. 23 artists were asked to work with and around the idea of interpreting and creating a medal.

The artists who will participate in this exhibition are:

Peter Bauhuis
Mirei Takeuchi
Sung-Ho Cho
Volker Atrops
Jorge Manilla
Christine Graf
Lisa Juen
Alexander Friedrich
Tabea Reulecke
Rodrigo Acosta
Marie Pendaries
Carlos Pastor
Kepa Karmona
Sarah O´Hana
Kerstin Östberg
Elvira H.Mateu
Edu Tarín
Ramón Puig
Silvia Walz
Grego Garcia
Mauricio Lavayén
Gemma Draper
Mariona Piris
My idea for my medal came from personal experience. I wanted to create a medal that is a witness of our time, a medal that can be worn and used for a purpose of today.
Until I met my partner, I was a single woman in Shanghai for a very long time and I had to learn the hard way that dating can be really hard work that should be awarded a medal! So… here it is, the ‘Dating Medal’.
…and a short explanation:

Modern society does not make it easy to meet one’s ‘better half’. The Internet, Hollywood and the fast pace of a steadily growing throw-away-culture heightens the bars of expectation when it comes to choosing the right partner.

How can one meet this person without having to bend over backwards?

Dating in the mentioned conditions can be really hard work, especially for girls. The ‘Dating Medal’ is to be a helping device for women dating but is also act as a dating award.

The brooch holds two LED screens: one in green and one in red.

The screens are connected to an ON/ON switch, which enables the wearer to decide which of the two screens is going to light up.

In the case of the lady meeting an individual of interest, the green screen can be lit reading:

 ‘Did the sun come out or did you just smile at me?’ 

The sentence can act as an ‘ice-breaker’ leading into a conversation. In the case of the initial chat being a success, the gentleman can take the lady’s contact details written on small paper-strips hanging from the series of brooch-hooks. If he would like to leave his details, he can choose to take one of the plain paper-strips and write down his contact information with the attached pencil. By hanging the written strip back on the hook ‘rewards’ the girl with the possibility of a future date.

In the case of the lady not feeling attracted to an approaching individual, the red screen can be lit reading:

 ‘Save your breath.’

In this case, a lot of drama and heartbreak can be prevented right from the start.

Not just my dating experience was a little rocky but the way of making the brooch was pretty painful too. Just when I was about to finish the brooch, a piece of the bearing broke off. Since the metal part is entirely cut and bent from one piece of stainless steel sheet, I had to remake the entire brooch.

Here are some pictures I took along the way that show the process of making.

Polishing. Even after almost 10 years of making professional jewellery, the contrast of dirty hands and shiny metal still amazes me! It feels great looking like a pig but holding this precious little something in one’s hands!

Before bending.

Wiring.

I hope you like the ‘Dating Medal’ and the journey of its making. If you should be in Valencia around the 5th of May, please feel free to join the exhibition opening. The show will be on until the end of June.

If you can find a chance to go, please take a picture of the piece and send it to me! I would love to see it on display! Enjoy the show!