A Focus on Form


Carlier Makigawa, Brooch, 1985, gift of Robert W. Ebendorf, 1999.036


Fascinated by modern industry and architecture, some jewelers at the beginning of the 20th century dismissed conventional ideas about beauty and instead explored the aesthetic virtues of precision, proportion, and carefully considered form. By adopting nontraditional materials such as steel, aluminum, graphite, and plastic as legitimate media, they placed a focus on the expressive qualities of structure and volume.

Claire Dinsmore, Bracelet, 1987, gift of Zack Peabody, 2000.002.002


In their jewelry, Gina Pankowski, Carlier Makigawa, and Claire Dinsmore explore the expressive qualities and aesthetic virtues of precision, proportion, and carefully-considered form.



Gina Pankowski "fell in love with jewelry because of the intimate emotional and physical space jewelry inhabits." She makes intricate, kinetic works of art that create moments of contemplation and surprise. Drawing from her obsession with movement and patter she engineers her jewelyry with multiple linked geometric shapes that roll smoothly over the wrist or neck and come alive with every gesture.


Gina Pankowski, Vertebra Bracelet #1, 1993, gift of the artist, 2001.002

Carlier Makigawa is one of Australia's foremost contemporary metalsmiths. Her works have a sculptural fee and architectural presence, yet often their forms are inspired by nature: seed pods and buds, symbols of life and energy. Early inspiration taken from her father's architectural plans translates into "3-D drawings that when placed on the body, express another energy." Through making, Carlier searches for "the essence of a life ... trying to visualize something else not there but still present."



Lisa Gralnick, Bracelet, 1989, acrylic, sterling silver, gift of the artist, 1996.028


Claire Dinsmore, who began her art career as a ceramicist, moved away from large-scale sculpture towards jewelry when she felt herself drawn to the intimacy and personal involvement that jewely's small scale provides. Though Dinsmore has chosen to work small, her earrings and pins partake of the spatial dynamics of large sculpture. She employs multiple metalsmithing processes to achieve works of extreme precision, delightfully engaging detail, and a strong sense of depth.


<< Back | On to Layering and Repetition >>