Often, the value in a piece of jewelry is predetermined by the embedded precious gemstones and precious metals. My current work seeks to subvert this value system by reshaping materials such as acrylic, wood, and sterling silver into geometric, faceted gemstones. When I work in metal, I forgo high polish and idealistic smooth surfaces for a more urban, industrial visual language. When I work with plexiglass, a mass produced and ubiquitous material that takes decades years to decompose, I draw inspiration from the melting glaciers in Antarctica. By combining contradictory materials, colors, and textures of light, my work seeks to achieve abalance between the sublime and the subversion, creating running room for the mind.
Olivia Shih is an artist and jewelry designer based in Oakland, California. She holds a BFA in Jewelry and Metal Arts from the California College of the Arts and a BA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. Her artwork often investigates gender issues through wearable sculptures and use of alternative materials. Olivia is also a freelance writer for Art Jewelry Forum.