DJ Guy-Decker

DJ Guy-Decker (they/them) often sees beyond what is and imagines what can be. Using a mixture of found objects, new materials, and more than a dash of creativity, they create works that force people to reimage how objects and materials can be used. Their jewelry making began with a single class at the Baltimore Jewelry Center in 2016, and has blossomed through many more classes and self-directed creation. DJ retired from the Navy in 2021, after 22 years of service–a career that informs the frequent occurrence of nautical themes in their work. They relish incorporating old and weathered materials into their jewelry. Working with aged materials and maintaining that age is part of the creative challenge they find fascinating. DJ is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at Towson University.

Tracie Guy-Decker (she/her) is a writer and consultant based in Baltimore, Maryland. She specializes in making abstract concepts digestible through creative use of metaphor.


Dressed for the Occasion

Date of Creation: May 21, 2021

List of Materials: Argentium Silver, Oyster Shell, & Tahitian Pearl

Dimensions: 8 x 6 inches

Photographer's Name: DJ Guy-Decker, Andy Lowrie (Image on a neutral background)

Model's Name: N/A

Other Contributors: DJ Guy-Decker (Metalsmith and Photographer) Tracie Guy-Decker (Writer) Andy Lowrie (Photographer)

Conceptual Statement: This necklace plays with the ideas of beauty, utility, luxury, and the natural world. An oyster's shell protects the animal in the sea, serves as a platter when the same animal is served as a delicacy, and represents both obstacle and promise to the pearl-seeker. To humans, though, the shell is trash once its contents have been claimed or consumed. By foregrounding a discarded oyster shell (this one scavenged from the site of an early twentieth-century landfill), this project creates a necklace that brings beauty back to the forgotten. It repurposes that which someone had thought was no longer of any value. The necklace delivers a single pearl through a flowing, blackened silver chain, which nestles into the shell as the chain's clasp. This marriage of beauty and utility in the pendant that is also the clasp returns the oyster to an object of awe and wonder.

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