Monday, June 14, 2010

Kaleidoscope: Thomasin Durgin a.k.a. Metalriot stretching the boundaries

      Thomasin Durgin's latest installations dealing with the current oil disaster in the Mexican gulf raised the old questions in me : Where is the border between art and jewelry, or is there any? Is art in general functional? Is jewelry in particular functional? What if a piece of art is manifested as a piece of jewelry? Can it be functional without being wearable? As I was writing this post, I discovered  the latest entry of Thomasin's blog where she is asking similar questions. This is not only interesting, but  it also shows how extremely well she communicates every aspects of her thoughts to the viewer.

    In short, I think (art)jewelry and art in general is functional: They always carry a message. Jewelry in particular can be used to make this message particularly significant and personal. After all you could put that thing inside your personal space, making a very intimate connection.  But then sometimes an artist have such an important message, that overrides the wearability requirement and uses the (possible) attachment of the object to the body as an additional layer of meaning.

    Well, without any further blahbla, here it is through examples from Metalriot:

The first one would be a  perfectly wearable  ring with a pleasing look, if it was not for the "spill" ! I personally would love to wear it and feel frustrated that I don't even have a chance. Do I need to explain any further ( I will be happy to, just leave a comment)? Did you know that the epoxy used for the ring is entirely made of mineral oil?

© Metalriot  Ring a Day 151/365

You can wear this one, or even create one for yourself as a powerful demonstration of your commitment to save our planet, important natural resources (we live in a plastic world, that is made from oil!) and  future generations of Homo "sapiens" . I think this is the one that perfectly fits the category ( Oh , I hate categories) of conceptual jewelry -(What the hell is THAT?).

© Metalriot Use no oil -  Ring a Day 155/365 

Another conceptual piece , that can be wearable - IMHO not as much as to convey your identification with the cause, but as a reminder, how deeply we depend on oil and how  far behind we are with the technology to use it wisely. I think every CEO, shareholder and owner  of every drilling Co, refinery and automobile factory should carry one 24/7.

 © Metalriot Ring a Day 150/365

NO, no , nope!    She is not crazy and she is more than capable of making quite beautiful and perfectly wearable items:) Visit her Flickr or her blog  to see more after these :

© Metalriot  Tintype necklace






  1. Thank you, Pal, I am honored! How interesting that we were both pondering the issue of functionality in jewelry.

  2. I love you Tomi ! Definitely she is one of my favorites! She is brilliant, sensitive, clever artist and jeweler.