The fields of art and science have always been in a tempestuous relationship, sometimes inspiring one another, other times completely opposing the other. Botanical knowledge of native plant species is disappearing as human development expands, and how this knowledge is obtained is just as equally becoming scarce. With the combination of jewelry-making techniques and plant identification, the properties of native Virginia plants and what medicinal benefits those plants have on the human body are showcased through aesthetic pieces of jewelry and botanical imagery that correspond to specific points on the human form. These pieces include each plant’s anatomy that frames an image of the plant. These images are fused to enameled metal, which is achieved through a technique of decal application on the enameled glass. The decal application process highlights an underexplored technique in metalsmithing that combines photographic images embedded into enameled metal. Choosing the medium of metalsmithing elevates each piece to a higher caliber of traditional interaction between artwork and viewer. This project asks the viewer to engage with each piece beyond the typical veil of artisanship, for each piece binds to the wearer in a naturalistically, intimate quality unseen before and tells the viewer to consider it without the constrains of conventional expectations. This series of wearable pieces incorporates the aesthetic appeal of the arts and the biological knowledge of the sciences that creates a bridging space that explores both artistic vision and scientific curiosity.
"Wearable Life: Translating Medicinal Plant Properties in Jewelry,"
The Macksey Journal: Vol. 1
, Article 129.
Available at: https://www.mackseyjournal.org/publications/vol1/iss1/129