Arts Kinetic - Forrest Bacigalupi
My approach to jewelry design is as an anthropologist, treasure hunter, philosopher, and social commentator, as well as artist. The techniques I employ in the studio change from day to day, and my style is marked by the resulting eclecticism.
I use a combination of metalsmithing tools and approaches, cold connections, and wirewrapping in the construction of my pieces. Sometimes I carve wax and cast different components, and sometimes I deconstruct watches and video cameras, sourcing and modifying those objects for my jewelry. I use mixed metals, gemstones, resin, found objects, and graphic images in my work. I love going to vintage stores and antique markets and searching cases and bins until I find a great component that deserves a second chance. My most recent collection has incorporated cultural artifacts—reidentifying and reformulating them to imbue those pieces with new meaning and cultural significance. The idea of reinvention and metamorphosis has figured heavily in my work since Katrina impacted our lives in such a profound way.
The many different interests in my life all dovetail when I’m at my jeweler’s bench. Components that represent a place and time have so much more symbolic meaning, and engage the audience in a way that a simply “pretty” piece cannot—not that it isn’t proper for a beautiful object’s raison d’etre be to simply celebrate beauty. Of late, I have just been enjoying the opportunity to see my audience take, double take, and then stop to inspect more closely what’s at play. It’s great to work in a medium that challenges conventions, and in the process, serves to raise fundamental questions about style and beauty.