hand crochet and dyed monofilament, sterling silver
H: 1.5” W: 1” D: 1”
Beads have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. The entire length of my mother’s forearm has always been covered with large, colorful bracelets of stitched seed beads; personal adornment she created in her 20’s. As a child I entertained myself by moving and turning the bracelets on her arm like an abacus. Observing the way that people reacted to her vibrant array gave me a window into the performative power of jewelry- as a conversation starter, and as a way of sharing one’s story with others.
As a maker, I am constantly exploring processes and materials. My childhood spent knitting and sewing and an undergraduate education in fiber art has laid the groundwork for current explorations in crochet monofilament. The process of slowly building forms through stitching is meditative and results in intricate sculptural forms. The negative space between and inside the shapes makes the adornment feather light, and able to be worn easily. The crochet pieces are dip dyed with warm and bright colors before being joined with sterling silver posts or wires. A marriage of color and light, the adornment glows; creating an aura of intrigue.
Elaine Zukowski is an artist and maker based in Baltimore, Maryland. In 2002 she received her BFA in Fiber Art from the Maryland Institute. An introduction to the Baltimore Jewelry Center in 2009 sparked a love of metalsmithing and art jewelry. Continuous exploration with materials and processes has resulted in several jewelry lines since 2012. In recent years Elaine’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including at New York Jewelry Week 2021 and 2022.