OJ Johnson

OJ Johnson is a Boise, Idaho based jeweler and metalsmith studying Visual Arts with an emphasis in Art Jewelry and Metalsmithing at Boise State University. They are part of the Executive Board as the Creative Outreach Coordinator for the Backyard Artists, an Arts non-profit that facilitates growth for emerging artists in Boise. Earlier last year, they received a grant to waive entrance fees to local markets to sell work on a larger scale. Working as a teacher’s assistant for the Intro Metalsmithing class, coordinating events and balancing budgets for the non-profit, they gained the necessary skills to start their own business. In Summer ‘22, OJ launched their personal jewelry business, Juice Garage, which has grown steadily ever since. Their work tends to focus on the colorful and childlike nature of creating. After graduation, they plan towards becoming a studio jeweler involved in high fashion and fine jewelry exhibitions, pushing the boundaries of what wearables can be.

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Blessings

Date of Creation: April 27, 2023

List of Materials: Copper, wax, hemp wick, powder coat

Dimensions: 2.5" x 8.5" x 5.5"

Photographer's Name: Roxy Albig

Model's Name: Juliette Flowers

Conceptual Statement: February 3rd is an important day on the practicing Catholic’s calendars, a day dedicated to Saint Blaise surrounded by a ceremony called Blessing of the Throats. This ritual aims to cure each person being blessed from physical, mental and spiritual ailments by placing two overlapping candles across one's neck. Growing up, I related these implied flames with my impending fate associated with all queer people- everlasting fire after leaving my mortal body. Attempting to protect yourself from pain, trying to decide which is more comfortable- the thorns or the flame. The rings are an invitation for the wearer's thumbs, emulating the experience of a person who has gone against the church, subjecting them to cross their arms as they are refused the right to communion- a publicly shameful act. This necklace is designed to externally embody the emotional struggles of wanting to preserve ties with family and tradition while discovering life outside of the traditional Catholic lifestyle.

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Invite/Repel

Date of Creation: 14/03/2023

List of Materials: Jaw bone, agate, copper, brass, powder coat

Dimensions: 3.5" x 6.5" x 7.5"

Photographer's Name: Anika Smulovitz

Model's Name: OJ Johnson

Conceptual Statement: This piece is based on the push and pull of our relationship with mortality. When the pin is removed and the doors open, a cat's jaw is set on the inside, surprising viewers with a natural form that creates unease and curiosity. The adornment is uncomfortable to wear, pressing into the skin creating a dialogue between the wearer and skeleton. Leaving the exterior and interior finish mute, it allows the natural forms to be highlighted within this wearable casket.

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Equilibrium

Date of Creation: 14/09/2022

List of Materials: Copper, walnut, horse tooth

Dimensions: 5” x 3” x 7”

Photographer's Name: Anika Smulovitz

Conceptual Statement: Humans strive to reach equilibrium with many things in life, cuisine included. This salt and pepper set has been forged and assembled in the form of a scale. The sides of the base are garnished with etchings of microscopic photos of salt and pepper. The intention was to create something that is functional as well as a statement piece on the dining room table. The horse's tooth is the balancing factor between the base and taste.

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