"Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder" showcases 247 images chosen from entries from over 55 artists representing North America, South America, Europe, Australia, Central America, Africa and Eurasia.
The drive to adorn the human body is surely as old as human kind. From pre-historic times this drive has led humans to use the materials at hand, combined with the technologies and tools available, to create objects to adorn the human body. The oldest jewelry found to date goes back to at least 75,000 years ago in Africa.
Early jewelry was made of bones, shells, sticks, and whatever other materials the people could find and shape. Over time the ability to mine and shape metal developed, and jewelry was made from bronze, silver, gold, platinum and other metals. Gold has long been thought of as a "precious" metal, and today it is joined by silver and platinum as the three main materials modern jewelry is made from. While much jewelry today is made from these three main metals, a large body of jewelry world-wide is still made from a much wider range of materials. This exhibition, "Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder", focuses on jewelry made primarily of materials other than gold, platinum and silver.
Jewelers today are still using found objects such as shell and bone; they are using "green" materials - upcycled and recycled objects and materials; they are using cutting edge plastics and newly developed technology; and they are using older metals such as copper, brass and bronze.
Some of the more unusual materials include vinyl LP's, velvet, VCR components, rattlesnake vertebrae, corian, canvas, paper, crab claws, magnets, synthetic rubber electrical insulation tubing, and aluminum grounding wire.
More traditional materials used include copper, bronze, brass, glass, various types of wood, gemstones, pearls and seeds.
Techniques range from traditional metalsmithing, through a range of beading techniques, textile techniques, photography techniques and cutting edge industrial fabrication.
Participants range from professional jewelers with international reputations to students just learning their craft.
Hosted on the Ganoksin website, the world's largest internet site devoted to jewelry- related topics, the exhibition is a snapshot of what jewelers around the world are exploring, and an inspiration to all. The exhibition was conceived Beth Wicker, an artist from South Carolina, in the USA, and curated by Beth and Hanuman Aspler, founder of the Ganoksin Project.