Maker Crush Monday

I'm finding myself interested in pattern more and more these days. I'm not sure if it's an influence of the paper side of my studio practice, or teaching salt water etching to my students earlier this fall. At any rate, I feel myself moving away from some of the minimalism of the rock works and into new and more varied (and scary) territory.

So to take a look at this aspect of my aesthetic, today's Maker Crush is Elise Halto. Halto is a Norwegian jewelry artist with her Master's Degree from the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Halto's work deals primarily with ideas of ornamentation. Halto seems firmly in the jewelry camp, stating that those who don't care for Art, can still find value in craftsmanship, and citing historic attitudes to ornament and jewelry. She states:

"I work with ornaments as symbols of bygone times. To me they represent an era when people appreciated good craftsmanship and spent a long time making something as simple as a gate. Ornaments are therefore icons of happiness, and tell of something good and safe. Just like in nature’s own ornaments and grandma’s crochet and tatting."

Halto's Ghost Town series is based on a town in Bangladesh, where nature is overtaking the abandoned buildings. I love these pieces for their elaborate piercing, and the contrast between the architectural elements and organic elements. The surface treatment, subtle and shifting, remind me of the surfaces I try to create with my enamels. I also love how the stones are set with crocheted silk thread instead of hard metal. There is something very ghost like about these works. Even with all their detail that sucks you into another world, there's something ethereal about them. They speak not only about the permanence/impermanence of man and man's effects on the landscape, but also that permanence/impermanence of the nature of ornament.

I wonder about the place of ornamentation in my own work.

You can read a great interview with Elise Halto here.

  Ghost Town , 2010

Ghost Town, 2010

  Ghost Town , 2010

Ghost Town, 2010

  Ghost Town , 2010

Ghost Town, 2010

  Ghost Town , 2010

Ghost Town, 2010

  Ghost Town , 2010

Ghost Town, 2010