Culture is something that has always intrigued me. Researching a culture different than mine paints a picture of what life there is like, and inspiration flows. Through my research I discovered an ancient African kingdom called Kilwa Kisiwani; it was known as the city of gold. Although the island was rich in gold, resources such as stone to build the kingdom’s structures weren’t available. As a result the kingdom of gold was built out of coral reef and rock from the sea. This philosophy inspired my thesis collection, Porous Gold | Precious Ruins.
My collection is based on the contrast of socially recognized high and low value materials, along with a variety of shapes and textures found at the ruins. By repurposing materials, my goal is to change the perceived value of the object that was once littered and covered in dirt, into something that is treasured. Materials include base metal, bottle caps, coral rock and shell, gold leaf, rope, and sterling silver.
Cast details inspired by coral kingdoms of the sea combined with found objects inspired me to design the collection by juxtaposing the elements into wearable jewelry. I also replicated porous textures by excessively drilling sheet metal to create a perforated surface. Arc shapes and reticulated silver emulate some of the architectural elements on the ruinous island. This collection is an interpretation of the kingdom and the contrast of valuable materials. Decomposed coral coupled with found objects alter the intrinsic value of the materials and thus, changing what was waste into something desirable.
Price upon request.