19 July 2013

Showcase 500 Art Necklaces


Last summer I spotted a call for submissions for Lark Publishing's 500 Series. I had seen these books before, and truthfully I almost didn't submit. I mean, they cull the cream of the crop and I wasn't sure that I had anything that would pass the test. I am a completely self-taught artist so I sometimes suffer from the affliction of comparison. These would be necklaces that were created by artists. Would I be invited to hang with that crowd?

Having just completed an exhibit at the Gallery Q for the Verse & Vision 2012 show in May, I knew exactly what to submit. The thing with the Lark publications, especially the 500 Series, is that you have to have professional photography to even be considered. Luckily, we have a fine photographer in our midst at Q who took glamour shots of all the art for the Verse & Vision show to be compiled in the exhibit book. My only decision was which of the three to submit.


{Winter Into Spring}
I ended up sending in the two that I felt best represented what an art necklace means to me. For a necklace to be considered an art necklace, I feel that it has to have a highly sculptural quality, something that might not be practical to wear, but also something that has a real story to tell. Unconventional materials, or standard materials used in a new and excited way, are what I would think would qualify. Given that these two necklaces were inspired by poems from Wisconsin poets, they certainly told a story, and they both used a wide array of materials, so I would consider them art worthy of any wall (or body). If you would like to read the original poems that inspired these, please check out my Challenge of Literature post from May 2012 for the full details from the Verse & Vision 2012 show. 


{Old Love}

I found out in February that both of my pieces were selected. What I didn't know was how many entries there were. Over 3,000! And from that pool of applicants, the curator - mixed media and metalsmithing jewelry professor from the University of Iowa, Chunghi Choo - culled it down to just 500. I found out that there are 475 artists from around the world in the book. So... that means that I am one of a select few that had more than one piece accepted! That fact makes me incredibly proud. I am truly honored to be counted among them.

I will say that I have poured over the pages in recent weeks and the book is really stunning. The small compact size packs quite a punch of art. This book is laid out very much like a gallery exhibit: each spread reminds me of a wall space were similar works of art are hung together, and sometimes the connections are surprising. The pieces range from high-end designer diamonds and gems incorporated into meticulously detailed settings to found object creations that look like experiments gone wild. And then there are the things in between. I am almost certain that a lot of these pieces were projects that students in University art programs likely created. I think that my mish-mosh sort of style worked to my advantage with a juror who is known for her mixed-media creations. Some of the pieces presented are completely wearable and some of it not so much. It is art, after all. And art is in the eye of the beholder. Or in this case the neck of the beholder. 

And although some of it is really out there and cutting edge - like a beheaded and armless baby doll as a pendant with a spout for peeing (I kid you not!), or a ring of cotton tampons puffed up and wound with gold thread (surprisingly intriguing shape!), or spoon fashioned into a cuff necklace with an acrylic sunny-side up egg dripping from it (truthfully, eggware is not for me) - other pieces are simply divine and make me do a double-take to see more. Their materials, colors, patterns and styles are fantastic and completely inspiring. The forms themselves make me want to see what I could do to interpret them to pay homage to the original.  I love the manipulation of the every day object to elevate it to a much more highly regarded work of art. I might not have the metalsmithing skills and studio necessary to make the pieces shown, but it certainly inspires me to see how I can incorporate some of the details in my own art jewelry for the future. A book like this helps me envision what is possible. And that sort of inspiration is a good thing. 

Here is a press release that I wrote about the honor that I am submitting to my local news outlets.  

500 Series
One of Lark Publishing's most distinctive and popular lines, this is the series lovers of fine craftmanship rave about. The 500 Series provides and overview of the best contemporary work in fields such as ceramics, woodworking, jewelry making, and more. 

Each book is juried by an expert, features informative introductory text, and showcases spectacular images of state-of-the art work. The first in the series, 500 Teapots, was published in 2002. Since then, over 35 books have followed, and new titles release each season. With an international roster of contributors that includes both established names and up-and-coming craftspeople, each volume spotlights the shared and divergent approaches taken by artists who are producing visionary work. 

Filled with lavish photographs, these gorgeous books inspire crafters and collectors, artists and afficionados - anyone who enjoys celebrating the creative spirit. They are like an art gallery for your coffee table, and provide a wealth of artful enjoyment.


 The newest entry in the stunningly crafted Showcase 500 series is called Showcase 500 Art Necklaces and features the most gorgeous art jewelry you have ever seen. Lovingly crafted by renowned jewelers and artists from around the world, these one-of-a-kind pieces display technical excellence, diverse forming techniques, and unceasing beauty. Made of materials that range from traditional metals and gemstones to nylon, fabric and found objects, these necklaces will leave crafters, jewelers, design fans and collectors awestruck. 

The juror is noted University of Iowa Professor of Jewelry & Metal Arts, Ms. Chunghi Choo. Ms. Choo narrowed the field of 3,000 submitted necklace designs down to the 500 in the book, represented by 475 different artists from around the world. 

Erin Prais-Hintz, artisan jewelry designer of Tesori Trovati Jewelry, submitted two of her designs that were featured in the May 2012 Verse & Vision exhibit at the Gallery Q in Stevens Point, Wisconsin: Winter Into Spring and Old Love. Both were selected by juror Chunghi Choo to be included in this presitgious publication. The necklaces were photographed by local photographer John Hartman, who received a byline credit for each entry. 

 The book Showcase 500 Art Necklaces can be purchased from Barnes & Noble or wherever books are sold. 

I don't know that I would have ever taken the chance to submit these if I didn't have the professional photos to share (thank you John Hartman!). But from now on, I am not going to let that stop me from trying! These pieces will remain in my private collection shown as sculpture in my studio (of course, I do wear Winter Into Spring as it is one of my favorites!) to remind me that sometimes it is great to create art just for the sake of art. Thank you for sharing in this bit of good news with me!


26 comments:

peacockfairy said...

Wow Erin! What an honor! Congratulations! I am so proud of you and plan to take a peek at the book next time I am in B & N. The 2 necklaces are truly works of art, so it's a no brainer that they were selected!

Lori Plyler said...

I have seen these books and agree - they do display the cream of the crop and you, my dear, rate right up there! Congrats to you for this well deserved honor.

Alice said...

Congratulations!! And what an honor to be chosen for this amazing book! Now you know not to doubt your talent.

beadrecipes said...

That is just fabulous Miss Erin! Well done, congratulations, jump up and down with sheer joy! I will have to keep an eye out for this book at my local library or bookshop.

Steve Finnell said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shel said...

Oh Erin, congratulations!! Your pieces are stunning and well deserving! I can't wait to get this book. I've often wanted to submit as well, but didn't think any of my designs 'worthy', but you have inspired me to take chances where I might not normally do so - thank you so much!!

Orion Designs said...

Congratulations Erin -- and I'm not surprised at all. Your work is always beautiful, unique and artful.

Michelle Mach said...

Congratulations, Erin! Both are stunning and I'm not surprised they were selected. Your post is a great reminder to aim high.

Beth Hemmila said...

Congratulations! They are both gorgeous and are so unique. They keep you wondering and dreaming, which I always dig in art.

LisaS said...

Congratulations Erin! Your necklaces are so wonderful and they have found their place among the very best.

Lori Bowring Michaud said...

Congratulations Erin! I'm overjoyed for you!

The Cabby Crafter said...

Congratulations, Erin! You always do beautiful work. I love both pieces - very artistic and lovely!

Tracy Statler said...

Indeed a bid deal Erin and so well deserved. I have always admired your Spring to Summer necklace that you have had pictured on your website header. It really is stunning! It is awesome that both pieces were chosen from so many and I'm sure they were a breath of fresh air for the editors because they not only very artistic but tasteful and wearable. No wire wrapped tampons or peeing, armless dolls if you know what I mean! Big congratulations. : )

cw whitedogjewelry said...

Congratulations Erin, both pieces are stunning, great designs.

'continued success to you!

mairedodd said...

congratulations, erin! wonderful highlight for you - well deserved.

sandi m said...

Congrats Erin. I've been waiting for this book's release. You've used some of my favorite elements - peanuts, pearls, and that wire bead. Most deserving recognition!!!

Jeannie said...

Congratulations Erin, I'm so happy for you.

Naomi Rose Designs said...

This is awesome!
Congrats!

Naomi Rose Designs said...

And, you ARE an artist!

Cynthia@Ornamental Style said...

I loved both of these necklaces when you first posted about them. They truly are stunning and definitely worthy of being included in the book. Don't doubt yourself. You ARE a jewelry ARTIST! Congratulations!

Stories They Tell said...

Your necklaces are fabulous and totally worthy of in the book! But I am more impressed by your courage-- it takes a lot to overcome our doubts and fears that we "aren't good enough" and that causes us to miss many opportunities. Thanks for being a role model for us.

Tanya said...

I am so excited for you. I remember seeing those and the first one just took my breath away.

Both of those are stunning and totally deserve the honor of being in the book. I am so glad you submitted them! I always enjoy seeing your work and it is awesome that so many will see your designs in the book.

Wendy said...

Magnificent necklaces Erin. Truly art and how exciting to have both selected. Hearty congratulations! Wendy

Wendy said...
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Patti Van said...

I have been on vacation for a week, and my WIFI on my Ipad would not allow me to comment! But, I am home now and had to stop by again say Congratulations! I have ALWAYS admired your work and completely understand why the editors chose your designs! Enjoy your successes!!!

Manohar singh Akeli'B' said...

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