I usually make minimal styled jewelry in elements and colors. In other words, I finish my jewelry pieces in a subtract way. However, I challenged to finish jewelry piece through my recent collaboration with Nikki Couppee. We got together to finish our cooperative necklace pieces and sumbited for “Co:opertion Garnish.” Here is my report of our collaboratie process and finished two necklaces.
Our collaboration started by getting to know each other’s elements for jewelry making. Nikki mailed Satomi several colorful plexiglass and acrylic resin pieces, beveled and polished; some of them with and without the brass frames. Satomi sent Nikki her whitish-grey colored pieces that are hand-drawn images etched in the copper and coated with resin, with many pierced holes. In terms of shape, Nikki’s elements are angular and beveled, resembling gemstones, whereas Satomi’s pieces are more round and organic shaped. Our elements are totally opposite in color, shape and material themselves.
The theme, “garnish” means, for both of us, to put our contrasting elements together to bring a fresh flavor and to get a new visually appealing quality into our jewelry pieces. We agreed that we wanted to find a way to stimulate each other to make harmonious piece using each other’s elements. Once we received each other’s materials, we individually started thinking of how to make new jewelry together. From the beginning, we decided to make two big necklaces because we could build up and add to the pieces to create a larger piece.
Our collaborative process involved initially with Skype chatting to get to know more about each other as a person and artist. Then, as the pieces progressed, several Skype talks were needed to discuss each other’s materials/ elements/ methodology, and overall ideas about making a new fresh jewelry piece to garnish in each other’s own materials several times. Also, we often sent messages to show what was going on visually when we came up with new ideas and to exchange ideas.
Satomi’s necklace, titled “New Symbiosis.” mainly speaks of a mutualistic relationship. The necklace shows a harmonious relationship from our cooperative work. Pairing Nikki’s colored plastics pieces with Satomi’s metal pieces, took longer time than expected; she went through many combinations and possibilities until both sides were satisfied; this was true for both artist. Satomi has been making jewelry pieces with biological association that reflects human relationship; more specifically symbiosis, connection and division. Her interest in human body is derived from the awareness and reevaluation of her personal femininity as an artist. She has examined physical, emotional, and psychological layers of womanhood. These layers do not exist individually but relate to each other in a complex way. This necklace represents the circulation of connection and division biologically as well as human relationships in the circular necklace format. Satomi thinks jewelry is an extension of human body when it is worn. The etched copped with hand-drawn cell activity subtly implies biological manifestation. The combination of the white copper metal is garnished with the bright orange-colored plastic to add contrasting flavor. The necklace shows fresh visual impact. This process seemed very similar presenting a dish when cooking to entertain an audience, which gave me new excitement.
NewSymbiosis_ Satomi finished
other way to wear
Nikki’s necklace is made up of her own plexiglass gemstones in combination with Satomi’s organic copper pieces. Using Satomi’s pieces as a starting point she arranged them till they were a satisfying composition then s stitched them together, much like Satomi’s pieces are handled and used this as the base piece. She then added her elements making the diamond chain, and draping long gemstone drops, with pearls, shells and rhinestones. The gemstones are backed with silver foil, referencing paste diamonds and are also combined with holograms to reflect light and add another layer creating more depth and making what she refers to as ‘Neogems’. Her current work talks about the different functions jewelry performs in society. Objects of personal adornment have the ability to define a person’s social status, question value, and serve as a redeemable investment. Often given to mark a special occasion or milestone, jewelry can perform on a psychological level with the transference of deep feelings onto the object. She is seeking to create opulent jewelry that is reminiscent of royal jewelry but made out of quotidian materials instead of precious gems and metals. Plexiglass, brass, and found objects stand in for gemstones, gold, and pearls in these asymmetrically designed pieces. With the use of everyday materials she intuitively create her own versions of gemstones, playing with the size, shape, and abundance of stones.
The cooperative process brought a great opportunity for both of us to experience a different type of creative practice. We did not simply put our materials together, but stimulated a trust to garnish each other’s aesthetic style and methodology; to share a space in the form of jewelry pieces.
It was a big challenge! I really appreciate Nikki Couppee to share this challenging processes with me!!