Cate Richards, 29

Lawrence, KS

I eschew the perceived preciousness of conventional jewelry materials to reveal the beauty of the things we’ve left behind. By forging tangible emblems of human history and mythology within the utilitarian language of craft, the haptic qualities of my work questions the corollary between the intimate and the universal. This spiritual placement within the natural world is that of ethereal contemplation, where transcendence can be glimpsed through objects and history can be held in one's hand. Mementos to times of earlier industry and upheaval, these wearable objects, in conjunction with the artifacts of infrastructure used to create them, references both the dominant forces of industry and production and the obsolescence of past technologies. The accessibility and familiarity of these manufacturing materials underlines not only our relationship with production and its history, but their manipulation also emphasizes our traditional concept of fine jewelry. Out of my conversation with these materials comes the infinite possibility of wearable relics, mementos not only to the past, but markers of human ingenuity and creation.

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