Recent Articles

Retethering: The Timelessness of Pearls in the “Post-Pandemic”

Just as I was wrapping up the research for this article and preparing to finally sit down and write, my grandmother, Rita (whom we call Ammah), caught COVID after evading it for over three years. As I write this, she’s…

ektor garcia: Crossing Arbitrary Boundaries

Jewelry Thinking is a multipart series celebrating artists whose practices illustrate jewelry thinking. These artists may or may not have a background in jewelry, but their work exhibits qualities that jewelry artists will recognize, including commitment to materiality, respect of…

Ndidi Ekubia: Rhythm of Raising

In September 2022, a group of twenty-five Black jewelry designers were exhibited as Brilliant & Black at Sotheby’s in London.1 Among them was a gifted silversmith, Ndidi Ekubia from Manchester, England. Her sculptural works have been installed or exhibited in…

Alluvial Deposits (after Carboplatin chemotherapy)

Alluvial Deposits (after Carboplatin chemotherapy) My friend with size 12 fingers insists on platinum so I set to work carving wedding ring from wax block refining the crude hacks of my handsaw with a file and a multitude of sandpapers….

Hold Me as I Land: I Love it When We’re Cruising Together

Hold me as I land I’m sure you understand … Now we’re on solid ground I find it was quicksand … I had to give myself away So the wind can teach me what to do again —Seinabo Sey, “Hold…

Out/Loud: Queer Storytelling

Out/Loud investigates shared visual language in the queer community through the lens of adornment. The artists in this series are multidisciplinary and varied, exploring queerness, gender, and identity and interpreting adornment broadly through surface embellishments, color palettes, and engaging the…

Career Topographies: Conversations in the Middle

How do I begin again? Through the enduring COVID-19 pandemic—as recurrent promises of an ending are broken—perhaps we’ve each asked ourselves this question several times. It is a question I began asking in the fall of 2019; I’d finished a…

Colectiva Tilde

Metalsmith invited the members of Colectiva Tilde to share their own work and a selection from an artist they admire.  Colectiva Tilde was formed virtually in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic. We are currently four Spanish-speaking artists…

Small but Vibrant: The Evolution of Contemporary Jewelry and Metals in Taiwan

Nestled between South Korea, China, and the Philippines is a small but vibrant island called Taiwan. I grew up in this country on a steady diet of bubble tea, beef noodle soup, and exquisite subtropical fruit. I also grew up…

Stephen Yusko: Forging Content

On October 8, 2021, Stephen Yusko’s solo show, The Way Things Go, opened in the Sculpture Center in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood. The curated collection included a tiny chapel, one that would fit perfectly in a miniature town situated around…

You Asked, They Answered: Amy Weiks and Gabriel Craig

If you could choose a second career that wasn’t in the jewelry and metals field, what would you choose and why? AMY: Baker (of bread, mostly). There are a lot of variables that can go wrong with just flour, water,…

Rashaad Newsome: Collaging Luxury

This is Metalsmith’s third essay in a multipart series celebrating artists whose practices illustrate jewelry thinking. These artists may or may not have a background in jewelry, but their work exhibits qualities that jewelry artists will recognize, including commitment to…

FLOW: Searching for Infinity

In her book, On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection, Susan Stewart describes a secret world that reveals itself when one engages with the miniature: “This is the daydream of the microscope: the daydream of…

Aya Ito: waku waku

When artist Aya Ito first moved to Thailand from Japan in 2006, she did not speak the language. Eager to connect with others, she found herself instead using onomatopoeia, or words like crackle, buzz, and smack that are derived from…

The Magic of Emefa Cole

Cole is Ghanaian-British and based in London. Her work is bold and life-giving; her path is as inspired by Ghanaian folklore as it is by naturally occurring life and destruction. Her jewelry is experimental and unique, bold and sensuous, traditional and modern.

Moving Beyond Acknowledgment: Systemic Barriers for Black American Metalsmiths

Against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement and the rising surge of organized white supremacy, the time to evaluate the impact of racism on Black American jewelry and metals artists is past due. I conducted interviews with and surveyed artists, educators, gallerists, and curators over a six-month period in 2020.

Restrung: Contemporary North American Beadsmiths

Like a moth to a flame, I find myself dazzled by beadwork. The attraction is not simply its sparkle and color; it is the innate human impulse for the process that spans continents and millennia; the malleability of the material, its painstaking production, and its relationship to individual and collective identity.

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