School of Art to feature jewelry in digital technology exhibit


Submitted Photo,

Endya Watson

A cross between digital technology and handcrafted jewelry will be the face of “The Digital Hand,” a School of Art Gallery exhibit opening Tuesday.  

The work of 18 metalsmiths will be showcased in the exhibit, many of which used Computer Aided Design (CAD), a computer system that can be used to design and print 3-D pieces.  

Exhibit curator and art professor, Kathleen Browne described 3-D printing as designing an object in a computer program, then using a machine to print the design in thin layers of plastic or other material.

“Some in our show use it [3-D printing] ever so slightly, then you have people who make complete pieces that are 3-D printed,” Browne said.

In addition to the many different types of 3-D printing, Browne said the show will also include jewelry made with laser cutting, laser edging and wax printing.

This variety in each artist’s technique is one of the reasons Browne chose such a diverse group to be in the show.

“I wanted, most of all, to show a range,” Browne said. “Not just the most cutting edge, wild piece but a real range of how artists are using technology in their practice.”

One artist in the show, Cleveland Institute of Art professor Matthew Hollern, has been using CAD in his work for the past 25 years. Hollern will have three bracelets in the show that combine 3-D printed nylon and synthetic ruby.

“My work has always been more focused on the shape of things rather than the surface or image,” Hollern said. “What can be done with the 3-D form or shape does more than what can be done with images.”

Conversely, jeweler and designer Pam Argentieri, focuses her work more on design than form.

“I love repetitive patterns; I love texture and color,” Argentieri said. “I’ve spent a lot of time trying to push myself to use them in a way that’s different from everyone else.”

One of Argentieri’s three bracelets in the show uses handmade stone and 24-carrot gold colored in transparent reds, oranges and yellows.

The exhibit will open Feb. 11 followed by an opening reception on Feb. 13 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. A 3-D printer will be set up at the opening to demonstrate how the digital technology works.

Browne said she hopes that visitors will take away new knowledge of 3-D printing from the show.

“I want people to recognize that these technologies are being integrated not only in schools but in the larger world of art making,” Browne said. “I want the exhibit to advance the student’s thinking about how one might create things differently than handmade.”

For more information about “The Digital Hand” including a full list of contributing artists, visit the School of Art’s website.

Contact Endya Watson at [email protected].