Images of the art jewelry from my collection Disillusioned.
All images and art work is copyright Sherri Shawver 2010 and are not to be used without consent of the artist.
The Opening night of Disillusioned my departmental honors thesis show with three other honors candidates in jewelry and metalsmithing; Taylor Gilbert, Suzi Fitz and Danielle Carmen.
I’m currently working on applying several layers of gut onto the piece.
Here is an Image of the detail on the intestine.
Here are some images of my work completed and in process.
Wicked, Sherri Shawver 2010, Steel, Plasti-Dip
Wicked Prior to finish.
This is Introvert, in progress. I am currently covering the entire work in intestine.
Cuff Bracelet, Sherri Shawver 2010, Steel, powder coated.
My variety of gut samples for use in my collars and pendants. You really have to love the look of pig intestine even if you hate the smell.
1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse, Remake, Restyle, Recycle, Renew by Garth Johnson is here!
The book features Trash Bling jewelry by artists Jenn Parnell and Sherri Shawver along with many other inventive ideas for reuse and recycling.
The book is available from Quarry Books
I was lucky enough to have April Wood demonstrate how to use gut or pig intestine in jewelry design. After purchasing sausage casing or gut from a local butcher I then soak the intestine in cool water rinsing several times to remove the salt or brine it’s packaged in. Then I slice the tubular casing to create a flat piece. Working in small sections is best, approximately 3 or 4 inches at a time. You can lay the intestine flat or waxed paper and allow to dry for flat pieces. In my case I am wrapping the gut around steel cage forms. To do this I spread the intestine ( I suggest wearing latex gloves, the gut sticks to them enough for grip) and attach to an area then gently pull and press to a nearby area until the gut is tautly spread across an area. I then overlap layers for total coverage.
Gut can be dyed, I used food coloring, printed on and used like parchment paper. You can also cut it like paper when dry as well as seal it with matte or gloss lacquers. The only problems you may encounter is it does rip easily, it can crack when dried and most importantly the raw intestine does not smell pleasant. At all.
I found a local butcher for cattle teeth last year.
Lucky for me they also supply hog gut for sausage casing and birthday cakes for Professor’s birthdays. One stop shopping.
So I am currently in the planning stage of corset making for my thesis show. I want to make at least one with some of the “interesting” materials I will be using in some of my other pieces. I finally found a store that sells the parts to assemble the corset around. I rather like this image from corsetdesign.com but am thinking mine will be a little less Madonna in the 80’s.
By popular demand here is my current thesis proposal:
For a Departmental Honors project, I am proposing Wearable Theatrics, a collection of ten to fifteen wearable collars and neckpieces based on the history of fashion and tradition of costume blending reality with fantasy. My Fearsome Tendencies collection from spring of 2009 was inspired by sadomasochism and my personal fears. This theme will be revisited in my honors thesis through costume and masquerade. Wearable Theatrics is inspired by both ancient and contemporary fashion focusing on patterns and materials reworked with my personal flair for the dramatic and modern material choices.
I have always been drawn towards the surreal and more sculptural forms in science fiction and contemporary art jewelry. My investigation into the collar format began with The Chrysomelidae Collar and Masochist Cuff Bracelet from the Fearsome Tendencies collection created for senior project last spring. My work was a conceptual translation of the relationship between pain, fear and satisfaction. My jewelry focused on restraining movement and forms that were developed from objects that I find frightening yet beautiful. The collar format allowed me to express the restrictions I enforce upon myself through the collar encircling the neck. The incorporation of fetishist costume influences provides a tension and sexual taboo that also lends itself to the collar format. The neck has always been my preferred area of adornment. The grace and fragility of the neck holds such beauty and through ornamentation can be made to expose, restrain, beautify and demonstrate both mine, and the wearers’ personality.
The research for my honors thesis will examine the history of costume and clothing from ancient times to present and its relationship to the female figure. My research thus far is focused on corsets, bustles, the use of fur and alternative materials to portray a distinct aspect of personality. My design research includes the large collars worn in Elizabethan England to show power and grace; the wasp-waist, tight bodices and sensual androgyny of the 1930s to the 1950s as well as the accoutrements of the existing bondage sub-culture. The theatrical neckpieces will illustrate my inner turmoil and deepest secrets exposed while portraying a dominant female sexual identity similar to those found in past and current society like popular culture icons Marlene Dietrich and Bettie Page. Other influences include Alexander McQueen and Thierry Mugler, two examples of current haute couture fashion designers that use bizarre material choices like bone, fur and feathers in a dramatic, unexpected manor. These designers have strongly influenced my work due to their surreal creations and focus on dominant female characters portrayed through fashion.
The juxtaposition of ancient with contemporary alternative materials and traditional metalsmithing techniques, such as welding and soldering, will be combined to create a wildly striking visual. The choice of using alternative materials such as objects normally found in industry or used in technology will provide the fantastical, science fiction element. These materials will include fluorescent fiber; laser cut materials, household items and organic material. The materials will be used to enhance the intended character and interpretation of the pieces. The variety of materials will also provide an outlet for self expression utilizing the many methods of artistic construction that I have acquired over the years as a crafts person prior to becoming a metalsmith.
For the exhibition of Wearable Theatrics I will conduct a runway show of the work on the female body in addition to displaying the work on mannequins for the public to view in the gallery. The runway format will allow for a dramatic display and reflect the fashion design inspiration for the collection.
Drama can take many forms and each piece will focus on a specific persona that I relate to, for example the masochist, the fearful submissive, the extrovert and the perfectionist. Everyone wears masks, hiding their true nature, myself included. Masks are created to transform the wearer into someone they are not or protect the wearer’s identity. The masquerade concept stems from my own protective masks and the relationship between costuming and sexual fantasies. Deep down all people have inner demons and I revel in embracing mine, especially the demons no one expects. This collection will allow me to portray these different pseudo-personalities played up to the extreme.