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Thomas Mann

"Concha Earrings" - Thomas Mann, in collaboration with Daman and Marie Thompson

"Concha Earrings" - Thomas Mann, in collaboration with Daman and Marie Thompson

Regular price $520.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $520.00 USD
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"Concha Earrings" - Thomas Mann, in collaboration with Daman and Marie Thompson

Carved micarta, cold connections




silver, brass, bronze, copper, micarta, aluminum, turquoise


1.5” W x 2.75” H

Artist Statement

When I first learned jewelry-making skills in a high school class in 1963, we were shown samples of the work of southwestern native American artists who used turquoise. I was immediately intrigued, and for many years after, I imitated their techniques and the use of stones, not just turquoise, but definitely in emulation of their techniques of fabrication. It was a foundational experience. 
Then, a long-ago trip across the United States, with a lot of time spent in the Southwest, further enriched my understanding and appreciation of that genre. I loved seeing the work of our Native American brothers and sisters in person, especially in Santa Fe and Taos. 
As I matured artistically, I moved on to discover my own personal style, one that has propelled my career ever since, namely my Techno-Romantic™ vocabulary.  
I chose to use Daman and Marie's pieces in a way that would highlight their work by putting it against a neutral but interesting background. That neutral, bright background is the micarta material I've been using since the late 1970s, which I discovered in the material inventories of knife-making supply retailers.  
Micarta is a cellulose-based plastic not unlike bakelite* manufactured by  General Electric in the 1930s as the original substrate for printed circuit boards. In the early 80s, that material, adopted by the American cutlery-making industry as a substitute for ivory and adopted by the American artisanal knife craftsmen for the same reason, was altered chemically so that it would not age. When it does age, it produces an oxide-sided surface on the product, which was deemed unacceptable. GE reformulated it, eliminating that aging factor in the material, which I found attractive precisely for that reason. At that point, I went to every knife-making supply house in the country and bought up their then-existing supply of the older form of the material. Micarta machines wonderfully, carve marvelously, and, as a result, have become a a critical proprietary material that delivers a unique look and feel to my work. 

* Bakelite was invented by Leo Baakeland, a Belgian born chemist in Yonkers NY in 1909.

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