Katy Cassell

Katy Bergman Cassell earned an MFA from Kent State U. and a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in Ohio in jewelry, metals, and enameling. She worked as a museum educator, archaeological illustrator, and college professor before becoming the metals instructor the Fine Arts Center in Greenville, SC. She has been a National Artists Teachers Fellow, a SC State Parks Artist-in-Residence, and was on the board of the Center for Enamel Art in CA for two years. She has had eight solo exhibitions, including at the the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum in Mesa, AZ in 2017 and the Riverworks Gallery in downtown Greenville, SC in 2018. She has exhibited her work in Taipei, Taiwan, as part of the Blaze International Enameling Exhibition and at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, GA. Publications include The Art of Enameling, 500 Enameled Objects, Metalsmith magazine, Cleveland Scene, At Home in the Upstate, and The Greenville News. More at katybergmancassell.com

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Oocyte Necklace

Date of Creation: December 1, 2020

List of Materials: copper, enamel, sterling silver

Dimensions: 14 x 7 x 1 inches

Photographer's Name: Katy Bergman Cassell

Model's Name: Helen Blackman

Other Contributors: Clara Cassell (assistant) Louisa Blackman (stylist)

Conceptual Statement: My work explores the interdependence between humans and the biological world around us. In Oocyte Necklace, mussel forms combine with cell imagery to physically manifest an acceptance of mortality. The human desire to adorn our bodies goes back 150,000 years. My body, now adorned, will one day be fodder for the creatures depicted in my art, but my progeny will live on, their smooth skin adorned. The ephemeral nature of life is emphasized by asking children, who are family friends, to wear the artwork with whatever clothing they chose. The glow of the evening sun adds warmth to be savored before it sinks behind the neighborhood trees and is lost to night. What does their future hold? My work combines metal with glass to explore ideas of fragility vs. durability, and the cycle of death and rebirth. While the sculptural jewelry is often impractical, its ability to function is essential: the wearer embodies the message and takes it out into the world.

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Pearlescence (left) and Oocyte Necklace (right)

Date of Creation: 01/05/2021

List of Materials: Pearlescence: copper, enamel, sterling silver, pearls, silk; Oocyte Necklace: copper, enamel, sterling silver

Dimensions: Pearlescence: dimensions variable, approx. 14 x 12 x 2 in; Oocyte Necklace: 14 x 8 x 1 in.

Photographer's Name: Katy Bergman Cassell

Model's Name: Louisa Blackman and Helen Blackman

Other Contributors: Clara Cassell (stylist)

Conceptual Statement: My work explores the interdependence between humans and the biological world around us. In these necklaces, mussel and larval forms combine with cell imagery to physically manifest an acceptance of mortality. The human desire to adorn our bodies goes back 150,000 years. My body, now adorned, will one day be fodder for the creatures depicted in my art, but my progeny will live on, their smooth skin adorned. The ephemeral nature of life is emphasized by asking children, who are family friends, to wear the artwork with whatever clothing they chose. The glow of the evening sun adds warmth to be savored before it sinks behind the neighborhood trees and is lost to night. What does their future hold? My work combines metal with glass to explore ideas of fragility vs. durability, and the cycle of death and rebirth. While the sculptural jewelry is often impractical, its ability to function is essential: the wearer embodies the message and takes it out into the world.

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Pearlescence, Oocyte Necklace, and Nestleate

Date of Creation: 01/05/2020

List of Materials: Pearlescence: copper, enamel, sterling silver, pearls, silk; Oocyte Necklace and Nestleate: copper, enamel, sterling silver.

Dimensions: Pearlescence: 14 x 12 x 1 in.; Oocyte Necklace: 14 x 8 x 1 in.; Nestleate: 12 x 12 x 1 in.

Photographer's Name: Katy Bergman Cassell

Model's Name: Clara Cassell, Louisa Blackman, and Helen Blackman

Conceptual Statement: My work explores the interdependence between humans and the biological world around us. In my Undesirables necklace series, mussel and larval forms combine with cell imagery to physically manifest an acceptance of mortality. The human desire to adorn our bodies goes back 150,000 years. My body, now adorned, will one day be fodder for the creatures depicted in my art, but my progeny will live on, their smooth skin adorned. The ephemeral nature of life is emphasized by asking children, who are family friends, to wear the artwork with whatever clothing they chose. The glow of the evening sun adds warmth to be savored before it sinks behind the neighborhood trees and is lost to night. What does their future hold? My work combines metal with glass to explore ideas of fragility vs. durability, and the cycle of death and rebirth. While the sculptural jewelry is often impractical, its ability to function is essential: the wearer embodies the message and takes it out into the world.

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