This jewelry is based on my interest in a field of study known as Bioregionalism, which defines a place by physical characteristics, rather than political boundaries. The work also references one of the historical functions of jewelry, which was to identify the wearer with a particular cultural or geographic region; or with a belief system. We still today wear jewelry that identifies us with a group or place.
The metal maps have been photo-etched with USGS topographical map images. Some are combined with found objects from the place on the map and others are combined with various gemstones to speak about the preciousness of place.
The work is fabricated from sterling silver and bronze using soldering and hollow-forming techniques. After the maps are photo-etched into the metal, I "antique" the metal with chemical patinas to further enhance the graphic qualities of the map. Found objects and rocks are either prong or bezel set. This "topo jewelry" is meant to demonstrate a celebration of, as well as a connection to, significant places.
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