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Tricia Smith

"Traderous" - Tricia Smith, in collaboration with Daman and Marie Thompson

"Traderous" - Tricia Smith, in collaboration with Daman and Marie Thompson

Regular price $990.00 USD
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"Traderous" - Tricia Smith, in collaboration with Daman and Marie Thompson

 

@heidilowegallery

Materials

indigo dyed and hand-spun tencel, silver beads, sterling silver, turquoise, lavender and rose quartz, gold filled wire

Dimensions

Length: 17”, 3” pendant
Knitted i-cord 7mm dia

Artist Statement

Personal adornment has been my primary art form since 1990. My obsession with the magic of jewelry started with a box of tangled, broken and unfettered sparkling bits and beads given to me by my grandmother. Time spent on her plush wine colored carpet in front of the TV opening jump rings with my fingernails and closing them with my teeth will always be the moment in time that I identify as my point of origin as a jeweler. Materials that call attention to themselves not because of their value but because of their ability to catch light, comfort the wearer, or bring an element of empowerment to personal adornment motivate me. I am a metalsmith and maker who also has the privilege of being a teacher and firmly believe in the importance of art as a tool in developing the mind.

The opportunity of the High Low High exhibit inspired me to research Diné adornment history, specifically handmade silver buttons.This Diné form of adornment has been used in trade since the 19th century. A lineage which ironically frames the events that brought this opportunity to my bench. I felt compelled to leave these handcrafted artifacts intact.These objects themselves, their story, beauty and history allowed me to contemplate the covetous cultural appropriation of Diné silversmithing traditions and aesthetics. My impulse was to incorporate fiber, and I used tencel fiber that I indigo dyed and spun into yarn. As I spun, I thought about the treacherous territory of fashion, adornment and commerce; revealing the title for the first necklace, Traderous. Creating small silver “shackle” shapes to connect the buttons to their surroundings - visually strengthened their connection to the fiber but also echoed the “handcuffs” placed on these makers by this circumstance and the challenging history of indigenous trade with europeans. In Elevate, I simply wanted to enjoy some play, and have a joyful interaction with makers who I walk beside in the history and contemporary space of Craft. Using the shackle shape again, it became a triumphant arc, toggling the button to the delicate chain. The grapefruit colored chalcedony swinging and dancing with electric contrast to celebrate the beauty of a thing well made, humans working with their hands, and the power of community.

I am grateful to people who seek to offer space, support, and connection that helps to create a wider community that is supportive and genuinely awesome to behold.

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