Heidi Lowe Gallery hosts the seventh annual Earrings Galore exhibition, featuring the earring in all its glory. The earrings in the show come in every size, shape, material, and concept.  The exhibition highlights earrings made by over 30 artists from the United States, Greece, Belgium, Canada, and Korea. Please enquire with the gallery for the purchase of any of the earrings seen below.  

 

Nicolette Absil                                                                                                                                                                                           Philadelphia, PA

I am interested in taking the ancient art of enameling and using it in a more contemporary context. My work focuses on process and layers. By etching vitreous enamel that has been fused to a form, I am then able to draw onto it, allowing me to fuse images into the glass. I often refer to botanical drawings and Japanese Edo period woodblocks prints for my subject matter. 

Eliana Arenas                                                                                                                                                                                                 Charlotte, NC

Human beings are capable to adjust to difficult situations rather quickly; they forgive, forget and become stronger when something bad arises. The border, my hometown is subject to a continuous display of violence that will impede the happiness of the ones living in it, but somehow they prosper and live a full and happy life. My new body of work focuses on the resilience that human beings have to overpower violence, grief and negativity surrounding them. My jewelry pieces become a protective device, a shield to overcome the tragic events, a charm to express your inner thoughts and to value the good things that the city and the people provide.

Raissa Bump                                                                                                                                                                                                             San Francisco, CA

Spending time by myself creating has always been what I retreat to. I could never say that it happened in a conscious way to make jewelry, but some undeniable, unexplainable force must have a plan for me because one of my treasured items is a necklace I made around the age of seven, I made and sold intricately woven beaded necklaces in high school and I did decide to go to Rhode Island School of Design to pursue metalworking (and stuck to it even though it was not until years after college that I created something in metal that I felt like my spirit was in it.) I don’t know that I have a choice over the matter. And yet I choose to do this every single day. I am dedicated, curious. I have a gravitational pull towards how humans express themselves. Voice–especially the non-verbal kind. How our inner world is expressed in an outward way-BEAUTY. Jewelry fits quite wonderfully in to that. Feel its beauty, your beauty.

Liz Clark                                                                                                                                                                                                                Boone, NC

Much of my inspiration comes from plants and flowers. I am not trying to emulate nature but to simplify and stylize it.  My goal is to translate small scenes from nature into metal and to make them wearable. My most recent body of work combines precious metal with simple line and shape to create petite metal bouquets that have a subtle, feminine presence.

Kat Cole                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dallas, TX

I find meaning through the observance and intimate awareness of the places I inhabit. With each geographic change, I have become more attuned to the natural and man-made attributes that make a location unique.  I look to our built environment for the formal qualities of my work, forms, color and surface quality. The steel and concrete structures that surround us are evidence of human inhabitants- past and present. Using the intimate scale of jewelry informed by the monumental constructions that form city in which I reside brings a kind of tension to the work. An attempt to contain some quality of place and experience that is larger than the individual or object.

Tanya Crane                                                                                                                                                                                                     Madison, WI

Cultural imprints position me in a liminal existence between prejudice and privilege. I am half Black and half White. Reared by my mother in a predominately white middle class suburb, my experience with Blackness was limited to visiting my father in South Central Los Angeles. These disparate worlds forged my identity and development. I learned early that while each sphere had its own vernacular and expectations, it was a personal and conscious choice to decide which world to inhabit and when. The cultural artifacts I create are meant to capture the viewers prejudices and preferences towards Blackness as a fetishized and popularized manifestation of sexual power. My materials are not limited by expectation of form or use, but are often chosen for their texture, pattern and cultural relevance. Hair weaving and styling is a major component in Black culture and in my work. Hair acts as a signifier of socio-economic status as well as commitment to Blackness or conformity to Whiteness. This paradox of the appropriation of Black culture by a mainstream white culture in which race is still socially stigmatized is fundamental to my work. By inverting their roles, I am polarizing programmed ideas of cultural stereotypes into an aesthetic that challenges the pitfalls of categorization.

Anne Fiala                                                                                                                                                                                                        Charlotte, NC

My work is fueled by process and inspiration. I am inspired by the simple beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. Tangible or intangible, I begin with instinct and recreate details through color, line, and shape. The resulting jewelry is capricious and curious; inciting ideas, memories, and emotion.

Laritza Garcia                                                                                                                                                                                                      Austin, TX

My personal development and professional training have led me to believe that playful attitudes help people cope, problem-solve and can offer emotional lightness. The objects I fabricate are visual proclamations that intend to cajole people out of adult thinking that gets in the way of creative confidence.  My jewelry pieces are underpinned by the connection between playfulness and forthright linear expression that is influential to my design practice. I use inks and calligraphy brushes to make linear illustrations that are the base from which ideas are developed into refined pieces of adornment. Characteristics of my visual vocabulary are bold tones and the conversion of spontaneous linear drawings into three-dimensional objects.  I desire to create wearable objects that project whimsical tones onto personal appearances in efforts to positively alter the mood of wearer and viewer. These gestural objects in vibrant colors materialize as graphic triggers in hopes of reconnecting people with invigorating powers of imaginative behavior.

Melissa Graff                                                                                                                                                                                                         Little Falls, NJ

Inspired by the pearl and its role as a traditional element in jewelry, this series begins an exploration of repetition, movement, and geometric forms tracing the pearl.

Sarah Holden                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chicago, IL

Sarah Holden makes sculpture and jewelry that confront and attempt to reverse ideas about traditional gender roles and expectations.  Using material to address gender, Sarah ruffles steel to render it curvy and lace like while stretching nylon stockings, allowing them to be the structural muscle that hold her sculpture and one-of-a-kind jewelry together.  Sarah's limited production jewelry employs the same metal "ruffles" as in her sculpture and one-of-a-kind jewelry work.  The metal ruffles are sometimes in steel and sometimes in sterling silver, but always refer back the ideas expressed in her sculpture and jewelry.

Alice Kresse                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bethesda, MD

Alice Kresse worked for many years as an art director, graphic designer and illustrator, but came to jewelry by chance. A visit to a museum exhibition of a well know jewelry artist excited her so much that she enrolled in a jewelry design course at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington DC. She found in jewelry a way to integrate her love of design and art history with her background in such disciplines as typography, textiles, painting, printmaking and handmade paper. Her aesthetic is modern, her chosen materials are mostly non-precious and often non-traditional. She works with sterling silver, copper, stainless steel, epoxy resin, ultrasuede, polypropylene, paper ephemera, textiles and silicone rubber, among others.

Katie Lime                                                                                                                                                                                                   Indianapolis, IN

I'm inspired by shapes and patterns found in the natural world and I can often be found walking my dog on a sunny day with my sketchbook and camera in hand collecting botanical specimens and inspiration for my work.  I emulate, alter, simplify and repeat the shapes that I find in nature and create original works of wearable art.

Emilie Mulcahey                                                                                                                                                                                            Richmond, VA

A deep interest in storytelling has long shaped my body of work. As a child, I would escape into the world of The Grimm Brothers, folk tales, and fantasy novels. For years I read the same beloved paperback novels over and over again until the spines burst. During my youth my favorite storylines pertained to how the natural world imparts lessons to humanity. I yearned for the guidance of Aesop’s animals in my own tumultuous life. Unfortunately while such stories are lighthearted enough on the surface, the lessons learned come at a steep price. In these tales sensuality, curiosity, and divergence from social norms always end in ruin. When Little Red Riding Hood steers from the beaten path she is quickly gobbled up by the Big Bad Wolf. The cautionary nature of these types of stories has lingered with me through adulthood. My desire to explore my own narrative is often at odds with the child-like fear to hide behind routine conformity and the status quo.

In my work I use the body to tell stories. My pieces pair illustrations and vibrant forms with reclaimed materials to tell personal narratives of desire, loss, and self-discovery. Inspired by natural imagery, I create forms that speak to the fantastical elements of memory and personal fantasies. By forming my own tales into wearable pieces of art, I force myself to confront my ingrained fears of nonconformity and share my own history with the viewer. Each of my pieces is an invitation to listen to a story without the need for exchanging words.

Sarah Owens                                                                                                                                                                                                     Langley, VA

I explore form and texture in the format of jewelry and wearable sculpture. Using a variety of techniques including traditional metalsmithing, needle felting, and paper mâché, I create jewelry and wearable sculptures that reflect a world filled with wondrous objects, both natural and industrial, shaped by function. My work emerges while sketching in the materials, rather than separating the design and construction phases. I fabricate, deconstruct, rearrange and combine forms creating an assemblage of industrial and organic references.

Lucia Perluck                                                                                                                                                                                                   Brooklyn, NY

I like to approach my work as a problem-solver. When designing jewelry objects, I begin by exploring the unique or unusual ways in which the piece could be worn, questioning what the piece could provide for the wearer apart from its aesthetic qualities. I look beyond the conventions of everyday jewelry and incorporate clever mechanisms in my designs that encourage the wearer to interact with the piece in more ways than one.

“Pipe Dreams”, my first collection of wearable, production-friendly pieces, was designed with the same intentions and integrity that I apply to my one-of-a-kind art works. Inspired by sparkling skylines, subway tunnels, and street style, Pipe Dreams is all about having high hopes for the big city.

Louise Perrone                                                                                                                                                                                              Vancouver, BC

I am interested in engaging with forms of labour that have historically been classified as women's work. Previously working in anodized aluminum, I  began quilting and sewing by hand and decided to develop some of these techniques into making jewellery. I wanted to create the same luster, colour and form using textiles. Employing fabrics such as silk from men’s neckties, I transform wearable masculine symbols of authority into powerful feminine objects of adornment though the use of hand work. Pincushions is a series of earrings inspired by pincushions that would have been made and collected by middle class women in Victorian times.

 

Aimee Petkus                                                                                                                                                                                                      Milford, DE

My background in geology combined with my desire to create, manifests itself in the work that I make. I combine geometric and organic forms to show this duality within my life.  I am inspired by the vast canvas nature provides, where one will find geometric patterns, order and repetitive elements along with haphazard disordered chaos.  

Katie Poterala                                                                                                                                                                                                Greenville, SC

Katie's work is sensitive to our relationship with precious objects and often focuses on reinterpretation of the jewel.  This series combines the opulence of faceted stones and gold with bare white surfaces and minimalistic forms that reference traditional faceted jewelry settings. Through this work, Katie presents precious objects as affliction and non-precious industrial materials as host, creating an opportunity for wearer and viewer to suspend attachment to traditional notions of value. 

Kristal Romano                                                                                                                                                                                                  Adams, MA

My interest lies in cultural notions of value and the use of commodities.  I call into question the fact that most value is relative and subjective.  How do we perceive value?  Do we treat or respect things differently when we view them as valuable?  What is the function of currency and how does it affect our lives?  I often associate these questions with current events such as the recent economic downturn, the housing market, the price of gold, and the banking crisis.  These questions often prove to be more interesting than any specific answers they might summon and are mainly catalysts for my persistent analysis of value.
     I create primarily small-scale and wearable sculptures of precious metals that I often combine with more ordinary found objects. My artworks directly responds to my environment and uses everyday experiences as a starting point.  I creates situations in which everyday objects are altered or detached from their natural function. By applying specific combinations and certain manipulations, different functions and/or contexts are created via parodying mass media and exaggerating certain formal aspects inherent to our contemporary society.  I am drawn to fine metals such as copper, brass, bronze as well as the traditional jewelry metals, silver and gold, because they are loaded with various types of value – intrinsic, aesthetic, and cultural.  Captivated by the interplay of adornment, scale, and non-traditional materials, the found objects I use are typically more commonplace, but circulate through contemporary culture as signifiers for commodities and wealth accumulation. 

Olivia Shih                                                                                                                                                                                                       Piedmont, CA 

I work in two distinct mindsets: production and studio. While my production work is more concerned with wearability, my studio work varies from geometric, kinetic rings to conceptual wearable sculpture.

In my studio work, I often work with the themes of commodification of art and gender inequality. The following artist statement was written for my "Feminism Is Dead" series: White is not only a misguided color of virginity, goodness, and sanitation, but also of obliteration. In many habitual, small ways the "weaker sex" is expected to live within a tight grid of white tiles: the ideal bathroom surface—perfect for bleaching away traces of irreverent self and thought. 
 

Lindsey Snell                                                                                                                                                                                                    Portland, OR

I have always been drawn to jewelry, not for its technical challenge or functional qualities, but rather for its connection to sentiment, nostalgia, and its more complex function as souvenir of experience and culture. I look into the more traditional shapes, patterns, and codes tied to larger political bodies as a space to explore and push. From flags and tassels to military regalia I aim to recontextualize the symbols many of us have learned to ignore.

Kate Taylor                                                                                                                                                                                                          Astoria, NY

These earrings are from my ‘Knock on Wood’ collection, which I created to celebrate the pure joy that a simple form can evoke. I like to experiment with combinations of color and shape until they really vibrate together and create a sense of harmony. My jewelry is often about striking a balance between playfulness and sophistication, and I enjoy employing alternative materials to achieve this, treating plastic with the same consideration that I would show a precious gem. I particularly like the combination of acrylic and natural wood because the results feel like they would be equally at home amongst modern art or in a child’s toy chest.

 

Demitra Thomloudis                                                                                                                                                                                                   El Paso, TX

Our bodies perpetually occupy the built environment.  My work attempts to reverse these roles and interactions by allowing the visual language found within constructed spaces an opportunity to intimately coexist and inhabit the body. I examine and challenge formal architectural organization and its materials in an attempt to redefine and elevate its presence within the construct of jewelry. As artifact my jewelry captures a moment between material, time and place that purposefully interacts with human form. By relating to the aesthetics of architecture in this way I see jewelry having the potential to connect us closer to the world we are surrounded by.

 

Jessica Tolbert                                                                                                                                                                                                    Austin, TX

Tolbert’s research and studio practice focuses on the function of the hands, the everyday, and the making and manipulation of objects. Jess Tolbert’s studio jewelry incorporates the use of materials, patterns, and processes that have their own unique histories and character. Often made from hand-pierced steel, leather, and other alternative materials, Jess is drawn to the intuitive process of letting the material guide the form, as well as reflecting on patterns from historical and decorative sources, such as ornate wallpaper.

Karen Vanmol                                                                                                                                                                                                   Antwerp, Belgium

As in my earlier work, I find my inspiration in architecture and nature. Except that everything continues to evolve and change. A city without a little nature works claustrophobic for me, but a nature landscape with no sign of humanity is too quiet for me. Protecting or imitating nature, the use of natural materials in architecture, the restoring of a road surface, accidental strong shapes on a construction site, these things I find very interesting.

 On my way through town, I hunt and collect. I always encounter interesting images that I use as an inspiration. In addition, there is a certain choice of materials and colors, these are strongly influenced by memories. For example the necklaces, furniture in different colors, certain constructions. I have my story and the viewer projects its own story on top of mine.

 I always start from my sources of inspiration, with these eyes I look around me. Next to that I make jewellery and I like to use my tools and try out how materials reacts to them. Eventually I work with materials, and that provides an additional factor. I find out the properties they possess and how I can edit them and this will count in the final result. Some techniques I use are common and you can find them in your house.

Anna Vlahos                                                                                                                                                                                                       Athens, Greece

Here in Greece, jewellery and art objects come out of the ground as though they grow down there. I think about ancient artisans, and how they viewed the natural world around them, their inspiration, and how their work was swallowed up by the environment for thousands of years.

With the techniques they used, the metals and the application of thousands of years underground, the metal becomes something organic, reminiscent again of the natural object that inspired each piece. Nature and time have worn away and deteriorated the objects. This is what I work to recreate- pieces that might be part of a newly discovered horde, or something equally at home on the forest floor.

I have named this collection 'Jewels for the seventh queen' for Meda, the seventh wife of King Philip. A Thracian princess, one story tells that after Phillip's murder, Meda chose to join him in death. Phillip's son, Alexander the Great wanted to honour her for her sacrifice and her golden tributes found in their shared tomb are almost as lovely as those of the King. I was inspired by this story, and wanted to create a new tribute to a woman almost invisible in history except for these honours.

Laura Wood                                                                                                                                                                                                     Asheville, NC

I choose jewelry to express my creative interests, and for many years, this has been a fascination with the body. I began my career in the arts studying dance. This led me to making adornment for the body, activating pleasure and enjoyment through wearing. Each piece is very much an effort in creating body-conscious work. Material exploration and the lineage of jewelry history also inspire me to challenge myself in the work while evolving alongside a world with new technology and processes. I strive to enhance the silhouette of the body and create work to be worn as a celebration of performance and adornment.