GlassWear: Glass in Contemporary Jewelry

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9783897902749: GlassWear: Glass in Contemporary Jewelry

This, the first survey of its kind, is comprised of 60 objects by artists from around the world who deliberately use glass in their jewellery.

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From the Publisher:

For thousands of years glass has played a major role in jewellery: not just as simulated gemstones but also as a material in its own right from the simple monochrome glass beads of early Mesopotamian civilisation through the Art Nouveau jewellery creations of René Lalique and Louis Comfort Tiffany to the Bauhaus jewellery designed by Naum Slutzky. GlassWear is the first survey of glass in contemporary international auteur jewellery.

The publication centres on a lavishly illustrated catalogue: photographs in large formats showcase jewellery made with and of glass, which is notable for the great delight in experimentation and extraordinary nonconformity practised by its makers. Here minimalist pieces rub shoulders with opulent works, `narrative' jewellery with abstract. Some pieces are remarkable for the type of glass used. Borosilicate glass, for instance, makes possible exceptionally thin yet strong elements in jewellery compositions whereas dichroic glass changes colour according to the direction and kind of the incident light to produce intense chromatic effects. Other pieces are novel in that traditional glass-making processes have been used in innovative ways. No matter whether the works are of blown, moulded or flamed glass, Pyrex, medical ampoules, ancient glass, mirror glass, glass beads, optical glass, old bottles or the glass from burnt-out traffic lights and old traffic signs, they all reveal the brilliance of the artists who created them. They also underscore the creed that has informed auteur jewellery for decades: it is not the material value of a piece of jewellery that counts but the aesthetic intention behind it.

In the generously illustrated catalogue section, it is the artists who have the last word about their special relationship to glass as a material. In the text section, scholarly yet highly readable essays by leading experts on jewellery shed light on glass jewellery from many different angles. The history of the use of glass in jewellery is traced from its pre-Christian beginnings to the present. The influence of the studio craft and new jewellery movement on contemporary glass jewellery is discussed and the use of glass in architecture and sculpture is also touched on. In addition, all jewellery creations shown in GlassWear are thoroughly analysed.

The publication accompanies the exhibition of the same title that has just opened at the Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio. It will later tour to the Pforzheim Jewellery Museum and the Museum of Arts & Design, New York.

Not just a must-have for all aficionados of contemporary auteur jewellery but also for anyone who is enthusiastic about glass design!

Review:

This bilingual catalogue of a touring exhibition (recently at Pforzheim, next stop in April 2009 is Rochester, NY) brings home the inventiveness that can imbue materials with value that outshines their intrinsic worth. Most of the 60 featured makers are jewellers rather than glass artists; some employ sophisticated techniques to realise their ideas, others collaborate with skilled glassmakers to achieve the forms they want, or avoid the process altogether by assembling their work from beads, glass objects and found fragments. Besides containing a useful history of glass as jewels, subtitled `an uneasy relationship', a good deal of the book is devoted to arguing the case of jewellery as art, though as the authors cheerfully admit, "often enough this discussion of how their work should be classified has taken place amongst the artists themselves, naturally without coming to a definitive conclusion". For the rest of us, it's just a pleasure to see what is being produced, classify it as schmuck or kunst. --Design Arts, July/August, No. 6

This handsome book was created for the exhibition of the same name which has just ended at the Schmuckmuseum in Germany and will be on view at the Museum of Art & Design in New York City in 2009. It is an interesting subject and a feast for the eyes. ... GlassWear is the first survey of glass in contemporary international auteur jewelry. ... This publication dazzles with jewelry made with and of glass, which is notable for the great delight in experimentation and extraordinary nonconformity practiced by its makers. ... In this generously illustrated book, it is the artists who have the last word about their special relationship to glass as a material. In the text section, scholarly, yet highly readable essays by the authors who are leading experts on jewelry ... shed light on glass jewelry from many different angles. ... This book is recommended to anyone who is interested in contemporary jewelry and also for anyone who is enthusiastic about glass design. --Adornment, Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 2008

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