Based on the architecture of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, We Are The Church gives the human body aspects of a cathedral. Thereby, it represents the idea that a church is not a building, but a body of people.
14” x 3” x 3”, brass; die formed, pierced, fabricated, etched
"It's Not My Kitchen, It's Yours and Grandma's"
When I was seven, my grandma began teaching me to bake in her kitchen. Now that she’s gone, I still utilize it for that purpose. Every time I do, I thank my grandfather for letting me use his kitchen. Each time, he responds by saying, “It’s not my kitchen, Emily. It’s yours and Grandma’s. This teapot displays a hand embroidered piece on each side, akin to the embroidered tea towels that read “Arlene’s Kitchen” which the two of us used to make together to hang on her stove. One side reads “Arlene’s Kitchen,” the other, “Emily’s Kitchen.” Under the lid of the teapot is a small planter which is intended, rather than for holding brewed tea, for growing chamomile with which to make tea. This piece represents my grandmother’s way of life; a combination of garden, kitchen, and sewing room through which she provided for her family. Through the making of this piece, I have explored my grandmother's lifestyle, as well as begun to come to terms with my own shortcomings in attempting to step into her shoes.
6” x 4” x 3 1/2”, copper, fabric, thread; formed, fabricated, embroidered
Grandma's Stargazer Lilies
Several years ago my dad and I gave my grandmother some potted stargazer lilies for Mother’s Day. Once planted, they became the pride of her flower bed. The abstracted flowers in Grandma’s Stargazer Lilies contain, instead of stamen and pollen, a few strands of yellow embroidery thread from my grandma’s sewing kit.
10” x 10” x 1/2”, copper, enamel, thread; enameled, pierced, formed, cold connected
The Nature of the Beast
The Nature of the Beast depicts an ancient dragon hiding within the walls of a cathedral, and the angry villagers that have come with their torches and pitchforks to attempt to burn it out. This piece represents the duality of religious life and the extremes that it can sometimes be taken to, in one direction or another. As the background is fairly nondescript, the dragon can be seen in one of two ways: either on the outside of the church looking in, or on the inside looking out. Which begs the following questions: Do the gilded walls of the church protect the congregation, or do they harbor the dragon? Does the danger lie on the outside of the church in the wider world, or can there be just as much danger lurking on the inside? Who is the real monster, the dragon or the angry mob? This piece was created to help me deal with a couple of events that shook my own faith for a while; one in which a rift tore my congregation into warring parties, and one in which an old acquaintance of mine had me strung up like a puppet, dancing on the strings of my faith. It seemed at the time that the only way to be rid of the puppeteer was to cut the strings and rebuild my faith from scratch. These brooches have helped me to begin that process.
9” x 5” x 1/2”, brass, copper, enamel; champleve, piercing, cold connections, soldering
A Portrait of a Childhood Home
The building pictured here is the one hundred and change year old farm house that I grew up in for the first twenty years of my life. The champleve flowers depict the bleeding hearts which my mother used to grow in the back yard. A cast and enameled branch from the blue spruce tree in the front yard, acquired with the permission of the current owners, is set on the right side of the frame. The picture hanging from the middle hook is of my parents when they were in college; my mom with her long floral dress and my dad with his Beatles reminiscent haircut and bellbottoms. On either side of this hangs a key. On the left is one of the original skeleton keys that were in the house when we moved in. On the right is the key that fit the lock on the back door before we moved out. Through the making of this piece I have begun to come to terms with the loss represented by moving out of old place, as well as all of the memories that went with it.
5” x 7” x 1”, fine silver, copper, brass, enamel, found objects; champleve, photo decal, enameleing, cold connections, handmade tube-in-tube pin mechanism
Cabbage Rose's Magic Paintbrush
As a child, my mother used to read to me a lot. My favorite author was M. C. Heldorfer, who wrote books in which ordinary girls were the heroes instead of men or princesses. In Cabbage Rose, an innkeeper's sister is given a magic paintbrush that makes everything she paints come to life. On my favorite page, she paints beautiful watercolor roses which proceed to leap right off her canvas. This page is represented by the three-dimensional silver roses which form from the two-dimensional roses chased into the copper. At the end of the book, Cabbage Rose falls in love with the prince, but she thinks she is too plain to catch his attention. She paints herself a new face, fine clothing, and jewels to present to the prince. When she gets to the palace, however, he wants nothing to do with the strange beautiful woman and only wants to look for Cabbage Rose. She breaks the paintbrush in half, revealing her true identity, and lives happily ever after. This piece deals with my insecurities about my own appearance and the seemingly idealistic belief that the right person will value me more for my mind and my heart than for my face or my body.
sterling silver, copper, found object; formed, fabricated, chased.
Enameled Universal Joint Necklace
Enameled Universal Joint Necklace is a technical study on handmade universal joints and lathe turning, designed to hone my skills in both areas.
9” x 9” x 1/2”, brass, copper, enamel; handmade universal joints, enameled, fabricated, lathe turned
Through Rose Colored Lenses
This piece is descriptive of the “rose colored lenses” through which we see the people we love. They hide every flaw, and show us only what we want to see. The padded velvet lining makes them extremely comfortable to wear, but heaven forbid you should ever have to take them off. The sharp barbs on the back of the earpiece will inflict pain and even injury on the wearer should they attempt to remove them. This is representative of the severe emotional distress associated with the realization that the person we loved is not who we thought they were. This piece has helped me through the realization that I see everyone I love through a lens of hopeless idealism. I smooth their imperfections and conceal their flaws in my own mind, painting them as a sort of Grecian beauty, inside and out. Which of course makes for quite the painful experience once my vision is unclouded. With the making of this piece, I hope to be more conscious of my own tendencies toward this practice, and to arm myself against future self deception.
6” x 6” x 2 1/2”, fine silver, sterling silver, brass, copper, enamel, velvet; plique-a-jour, pierced, etched, forged, fabricated, cold connections, handmade hinges, velvet lined
In Victorian times, a chatelaine was an item that women wore to hold their domestic items, such as scissors, thimble, keys, household seal, and anything else they needed to get through their daily lives. This uterus and ovary shaped belt clip was made to hold the items that I carry with me: my cell phone, pepper spray, and kubaton. The weaponization of the device represents the change in the role of women since Victorian times, and the rise of strong, independent women who are capable of looking after themselves.
copper, enamel, found objects, hand threaded mechanisms; pierced, enameled, fabricated