PAST WORK 2013-1997 > Soot Balls

The very same jewelry we use to beautify ourselves is responsible for some of the worst environmental degradation, mercury poisoning, and war—to name a few. By under firing enamel to the point where it might lose granules when worn (enamel causes respiratory illness when inhaled in large quantities), I am symbolically passing off some of these dangers to the wearer. Although it is impossible for real harm to come to anyone, my goal is to suggest danger.

This work considers material value and the subjectivity of desire. By coupling black ‘charcoal’ soot balls with diamonds, I am making a comparison between the hardest, most prized substance on earth, and a residue of little worth both made with essentially the same material, carbon. Gold leaf was used consciously because it will wear away with time both losing its shiny lustrous appeal and revealing the brooches’ real surfaces. In the end, the wearer will have to decide what is beautiful: what remains or what was taken away. Beneath the skin of gold is a simple ball of soot.