Carol Gwizdak is a jewellery designer maker from west Wales who uses natural forms in her own work. This was one of the makers that Ingrid told me to check out and that would be inspiration for me. Gwizdak uses real natural sources in her own work like flowers, plants and moss. She manages to preserve and manipulate the natural resources which then create a contemporary form in her jewellery.
On her website she writes ” Pre.cious adj 1. worth a great deal of money 2. highly valued, much loved, or considered to be of great importance 3. rare or unique and therefore to be used wisely or sparingly or treated with care. (Encarta 1999)
My work focuses on ecological issues that draw on the visual and conceptual language of the natural world. The notion of ‘preciousness’ or rather what we perceive as precious, is central. I question the values of contemporary society and our inclination towards self-interest, material worth and ostentation. We become preoccupied with the quest for possession, and in so doing we overlook the simple pleasures of life. It is these simple pleasures, my simple pleasure of walking, foraging and finding treasures, that others maybe fail to see, that allows me to contemplate the modern world in which we live. The natural pieces that I select are specific. Form is paramount; that which is overlooked, odd or indeed unexpected. These pieces may be used in their natural state, protected by glass flasks which in turn suggest extinction or cast in white porcelain to create wearable pieces.
Within my current body of work I specifically chose to echo the forms and language of traditional jewellery by taking the notion of precious in a traditional context and subverting it. Valued gem stones, are replaced with natural treasures, the expected velvet lined box is replaced by porcelain and preserved moss. The inclusion of these natural elements hint at a certain fragility. They invite the viewer to embark upon an intimate relationship with the work, a relationship founded on a new form of appreciation, commitment, sentimentality and possession. The pieces invite you to care and in doing so force you to question what is and what we perceive as precious, reinstating nature in its purest form as the most precious of all commodities.”
After reading this I felt I could relate back to what she was saying, I also want to portray similar issues such as the ecological issues, in my own work. I also love the idea of ‘Material Worth’ and how we all have different senses of what we think is something of worth or what is worthless. I also share similar interests of foraging for materials and having these as finding treasures. Her work and her concept behind the jewellery is very relatable to my work, so this was a fantastic artist to look at.