April 15 – May 8, 2016
Artists’ Reception: Friday April 15, 6-8pm
Velvet da Vinci’s third group exhibition focusing on the ancient form of ear adornment and its current production in the realm of contemporary art jewelry.
An exhibition of new sculptures by the Cleveland based metalsmith
Artist’s Reception: Friday April 15, 6-8pm
Initially trained as a glass artist, Hartung received his BFA from Kent State University in1982. After seven successful years of running a glass art business with his wife and business partner Gretchen Goss, Hartung began to focus on a completely different body of work after enrolling in a Jewelry/Metals class at San Diego State University. Upon this experience, he began working primarily with metal, focusing on includes copper and steel, as well as other materials such as wood, found objects, prisma color pencils and patinas. Since then, the artist has received grant funding through the Ohio Arts Council. His work can be found in prominent collections across the US.
Hartung states the following:
“Untrained artists and their direct approach to making objects has had an influence on my way of working. I am impressed by their use of materials and the basic methods used to make their work. Another significant influence on my work has been a fascination with toys from the turn, and first half of this century, especially tin toys.
Often, I feel the ingenious design in these toys is overshadowed by the simplistic nature of the toys themselves. I am equally intrigued with artists who make work with sophisticated mechanical movements but choose low-tech options of production over the high technology accessible to us all.
It has been my preference as well to explore my work through basic means of production. The images presented in my work are derived from objects I encounter and collect, lyrics in music, my life and personal history. The work is often a collage from fragments of all of the above.”
Velvet da Vinci is proud to present Julia Turner: TIMBER, a solo exhibition of new jewelry in reclaimed wood by the San Francisco based artist.
Turner received her MFA from Miami University, Oxford, OH and her BFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, after studying at the Istituto Lorenzo de Medici, Florence, Italy. Her work has exhibited internationally and can be found in private collections world-wide. Turner’s studio is part of the Heath Collective, located in a unique industrial space in San Francisco’s Mission District. She has taught widely, most recently at California College of the Arts and the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts. On her current body of work, the artist states:
“TIMBER is about wood… and about falling, clearing, emptiness, and starting something new.
My studio is piled with wood. A lot of it I’ve gathered in grocery bags from the scrap bins of the furniture shops in my neighborhood, some I’ve pilfered from construction sites, and I often pick up pieces from the street. My favorite bits come from friends who know what I’m up to and save things for me, from precious places, attics, things being torn down, even an old ship. I love responding to the pieces as they come in, and the stories they come with, from the forest to me.
The most recent additions to the pile came from my own house- over the past year we’ve spent our weekends making space: pulling down ceilings, taking out beams, pulling out all kinds of mysteriously constructed shelves and fixtures, and piling it all up in the garage. For a long time I left it there, feeling like it was almost too much to respond to- and then one day I took a piece to the studio, put it on the band saw and started cutting it up. Right away I felt something resolving, some circle closing, and a huge sense of relief at the idea of my own experience, all the strain, work, worry (is it ok to pull out this nail? will the house fall down?) and so much history in that house before us, going through a band saw blade to become something totally fresh, different, and uncomplicated by the past.
TIMBER keeps going through my mind as I watch the wood transform, break, absorb color, smooth down or splinter off, showing its structure and its weak points. Everything changes, and everything that falls away makes room for something new.”
– Julia Turner, March 2016
Tom Hill is a sculptor, draftsman, and jeweler whose work is an exploration of the natural world, most notably in sculptural objects depicting animals in motion. Built from materials such as mild steel wire, wood, copper, and pigments, Tom Hill’s most recent series of birds will kick off Velvet da Vinci’s 25th anniversary celebration.
According to the artist:
Birds have long been the connecting thread through my work. On a basic “form” level I enjoy the sense of a round body suspended on thin legs, the challenge of making a piece balance both physically and aesthetically, the suggestion of strength and lightness; always the feeling that the bird may be just about to take flight and disappear from view. The scimitar curve of a beak extending from the rounded head form with those beady , skin-surrounded eyes; both ugly and beautiful at the same time.
In this new group of birds I employ the wire in a rather different way to how I have previously used it … the wire creates form rather than suggests it; the dense wires blur the wooden “body” armature underneath and the eye reads a soft edged line … hopefully suggesting a lightness and “featheriness” in spite of the hard steel and dense wood.
I tend to think of all my pieces as character studies. Spend a few seconds observing a bird; the turn of the head, the flash of an eye, puffed up feathers; each gesture conveys a wealth of visual material for the artist as we see the bird consider and interact intelligently with the world around it.
The more time I spend observing nature the more I feel connected with it and feel greatly privileged to live in our urban landscape, rich with animal life.
Born in Rochford, Essex, England, Hill studied at Ipswich School of Art and Middlesex University, London and currently lives and work in San Francisco. His work has exhibited at museums and galleries on an international level; highlights include solo exhibitions at ARTspace at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (Sheboygan, WI), the Fuller Craft Museum (Brockton, MA), and the De Morgan Centre, (London, UK). The artist’s pieces can be found globally in corporate, public, and private collections; notable commissions include projects for the Hyatt Regency Hotel (Tampa, FL), the BBC Symphony Orchestra (London, UK), and the John Lewis Department Store (Southampton, UK). His work has been included in numerous publications such as Metalsmith magazine (US),CRART Magazine (South Korea), as well as Lark Books’ 500 Broches and 1000 Rings. Hill has been represented by Velvet da Vinci for nearly two decades.
CLICK HERE to read a feature on Tom Hill: Birds by Hi-Fructose magazine.
Velvet da Vinci is pleased to present the first US solo exhibition of jewelry objects by Helena Johansson Lindell. The exhibition will run from November 4 through December 6, 2015. An opening reception with the artist will take place on Friday, November 6, from 6-8pm.
Born in Huskvarna, Sweden, Lindell creates one-of-a-kind wearable works, utilizing material substances such as wood and plastic from found objects. Deconstructed, altered, and then reassembled, everyday cooking tools and children’s toys are transformed from their initial incarnation into playful but modernist adornments for the body. Minimal in aesthetic and configuration, each piece is turned on a lathe, rendering smooth, sensual, and brightly colored forms. On her most recent body of work, the artist has stated:
“With a lowbrow attitude, a predilection for things kitschy, I make jewelry. I struggle with the hierarchical structures that we are collectively immersed in: the ideas that some things, some ways, and some people are better or worth more than others. In my work I try to embrace the materials, the methods and personal qualities that, from a societal perspective, are considered low class, low status, or bad taste. To own and be those things is my way to try and repeal the prejudice that is a result of those hierarchies
I pick up materials from flea markets and second-hand shops, plastics mostly and occasionally wood – toys and kitchenware. I cut them up and build new shapes from them using a saw, glue, and a file. I enjoy simple and repetitive techniques, as they create space for my intuition. And I enjoy the intimacy that comes from the use of hand tools. The inspiration I find in the material itself.”
Lindell studied Jewelry at the Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts & Design in Stockholm, Sweden and earned a BA in Visual Art from Oslo National Academy of the Arts in Norway. Her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions exhibited throughout Europe; in France, Holland, Norway, Germany, Finland, Austria, Belgium, and the UK. She is the recipient of numerous grant and awards, including the 2014 Swedish Arts Grant (international cultural exchange). The artist presently lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden.
This exhibition shows a number of different approaches to amber, running the gamut from artists working with amber for the first time, to those who have been working with it for an extended period. The contrasts in these works should help to update the traditional and still rather one-sided view of amber jewelry, showing new possibilities about this interesting material. Amber, fossilized tree resin, has been appreciated for its color and inherent beauty since Neolithic times.
Curated by Heidemarie Herb.
Pfeifer Artist Statement, Save Our Souls:
My artwork explores the ways that humans attempt to control nature, and in turn, nature finds a way to adapt or reassert itself–such as the grass that grows in the cracks of a sidewalk or mildew that forms on an uninsulated wall behind a couch. I express these struggles through craft-influenced sculpture and installations.
A physical object is often the foundation of my work. When I was asked to participate in the Recycled Rain Project, my mind went immediately to rain sticks, as I have been using the motif of a walking stick for the past decade. When I started researching the history of rainsticks, I learned that the Aztecs used them as a ceremonial tool for bringing rain to their crops.
Around the same time, I was thinking a lot about the Audubon Society’s Birds and Climate Change Report, issued last fall. This report looks at the current direction our culture is headed and makes the claim that half of this country’s birds will be extinct by the year 2080 if we don’t take action now. I chose to immortalize nine songbirds from their list who currently inhabit the Pacific Flyway.
*Exhibition catalog is available.
Born in Chiswick, London, Pond currently lives and works in rural Staffordshire. Her work has exhibited on an international level; highlights include exhibits at Schmuck (Munich), the V&A Museum, (London), the Price Tower Arts Centre (Oklahoma), and Contemporary Applied Arts (London). Pond’s Narrative Jewelry Collection received the 2005 BDI Industry & Genius Awards in the category of Products and Genius. The artist earned her Masters at The School of Jewellery, Birmingham and is a member of Contemporary Applied Arts, London. She presently serves as a full-time lecturer at the School of Jewelery in addition to maintaining her studio practice.
Statement from the Artist:
“Using found objects is like starting the process of creating with part of the story already written. I am able to choreograph, make introductions and interventions. I may add and remove lines within the story and then watch to see if they read true to me, sometimes living with them in one form or another, still, watching and listening for them to tell me when they are comfortable and appropriate. I have a bond with each stage, a personal connection, one of belonging, a reluctance to let go or and an uncomfortable enjoyment of that which I have choreographed. Saving these intimate moments by capturing them safely in photographs, I am able to intervene once again, in the knowledge that I can recall that grouping and the essence of relationship it brings. My compositions work more happily in groups, sometimes the harmony of material, color or repetition compels the creation of a family, a void being left once one conclusion is made and moved to one side to free space for further meanderings. The conclusions are the quietest moments, following a multitude of compositional conversations it is necessary to listen to the outcomes to know if they are complete. There is a sense of separation at this point, the umbilical cord becomes severed and some of the tension seeps away, leaving me comforted in my decision making process.
There are phases, maybe somewhat fickle, where I have a changing passion for that which I find. Sometimes time, location or circumstance can influence these phases, but they mark a point of change and must be consciously considered. It is all part of being true to the visual conversation being orchestrated, alongside the voluntary and involuntary narratives, which serve to conduct my metaphor.”
– Jo Pond, 2015