#8 – Kevin O’Dwyer


Madhatter Teapot

Rocking Teapot

“The attraction of these creations is the relationship between the complimenting shapes – the solid form and the space that surrounds it. In a further development of the teapot series, O’Dwyer literally suspends the body of the pot within the circle of its own handles. In expanding the focus of the object he invites the viewer to explore the full range of the piece and its mobility. There is an irresistible temptation to behave like a naughty child at the teaparty and rock the teapot! O’Dwyer’s wit however never becomes whimsy, and while his sense of humour is evident throughout his work, his craftsmanship and the focus of his designs remain his stronghold.”


Kevin O’Dwyer gave a lecture during the 2012 SNAG conference about Saint Manchan’s Shrine. First of all I love art history and I found the story of the shrine compelling. But then he showed us his work and talked about how studying the shrine had influenced his use of pattern. This is all very interesting, but mainly it is his designs which catch the eye. Who would’ve thought to make the handle into the base and have the teapot rock. And who wouldn’t call that or all the spirals he uses whimsical. And what is so wrong with whimsy anyway? I love whimsy. Plus he calls several of his teapots the Madhatter’s teapot. Well…

#7 – Naoko Inuzuka


Brooch and Neckpiece


“Jewellery as a personal creation reflects my personal inner path. A journey between notions, conditions, and relations, physical displacement from one culture to another, and the act of balancing family responsibilities and self capacity. Situations of in-balance foster a tension that elevates one into a state of being “in-between”. I look at things around me rather than inwards, to identify emotive forces in a state of ‘in-between’. Through observation I can interpret how they are positively fluxing and balancing. I believe jewellery as a personal object should convey a story as opposed to a style.”


I’m quickly learning that I really just like fun. I’m not even sure what that means. I like the way Naoko uses enamel. It is not her goal to enamel something, but rather a tool she uses to get a result. I like Noako’s pieces because they are fun. A blimp, a hot air balloon. Clouds, and rain. Playing with natural shapes and putting them together. And above all, colour. Her use of colour astounded me when I first saw one of her pieces in Heat Exchange during the SNAG conference. I’m afraid my pictures of those pieces aren’t great and she has put none online (but see below)… But they reminded me of a Weepies song, “Slow Pony Home.” In the song she sings about keeping people in her suitcase heart. I don’t think it was just a general connection with the word suitcase because I’m trying to figure out where to go and what is next, and trying to hold on to the people and places that matter. And I think that is partially what Naoko is addressing in the first part of the statement above. That got a little deeper than fun, but there is a connection here which reminds me that everything can be fun.

Between I – V

#6 – Courtney Starrett

It Doesn’t Take an Expert

It Doesn’t Take an Expert (detail)

The Sociable Choice

“In another time the silicon creations of Courtney Starrett would have seemed whimsical. Starrett’s strikingly biomorphic forms and swelling rubber bubbles, however, are explicitly parasitic. She describes them as “forms that feed upon the personality of the host… I want to establish the illusion of the piece grabbing, sucking or squeezing onto a part of the host.” It is enough to evoke the alien sci-fi horror thrillers.” Metalsmith, Vol. 30, No. 1, p. 49


I stumbled upon Courtney Starrett while perusing the Society of North American Goldsmith’s new member profiles, which are really quite cool. I am attracted to colour, and whimsy. And no matter how parasitical Starrett is trying to make these, I still find them incredibly whimsical. The shapes she makes with the silicone, and then they way she puts them together and the forms she creates to go with them are entirely fantastical, and this is only aided by the colours she uses. If I was going for parasites I’d chose gross-er colours, like that putrid green colour, or fleshy colours, or reds. But these are too bright, too fun. I love them.

#5 – Sue Amendolara

Eye of the Storm, 2010

Bottle Stoppers

“The forms of the work are pared down to include only the essentials, with the hopes of capturing the essence of an idea.

Plant life has been a major source of inspiration for her work. She is attracted to and draws from the distinctive blossoms of heliconia, bird-of-paradise and acacia and the leaves of various plants. Healthy plants are strong living organisms yet their forms can be delicate and intricate. It is this contrast between delicacy and strength which Amendolara finds to be a compelling element of nature.”


Sue Amendolara is currently the President of the Society of North American Goldsmiths, as well as part of Edinboro’s art department. I have not met her, but I am attracted to her work. I like the idea of forces of nature as a symbol, and although she doesn’t talk about weather as a source material I see it in her work.

#4 – Pamela Ritchie

2010, Neckpiece, sterling, enamel, Plexiglas, pearl. 41 cm long x 6 w x .5 d.

2010, Brooch, sterling, plexiglas, enamel, lapis lazuli. 10.2 h x 6.8 w x 1.2 d.

2006 and 2007, Three Hair Ornaments. sterling, 24k gold, venetian glass, mother of pearl, coral.

“Conventional techniques allow me to mine the history of jewellery for the purposes of extending or adding to this proven vocabulary.  New modes of production allow me the freedom to experiment with combinations of surface and form that would have been impossible or difficult otherwise. It is exciting to work within the rich terrain that lies between these two modes of production.

While content of my work may vary depending upon the series, two ideas that are important to me are the concentrating effect of detail and the paradox that an abundance of ideas, form and pattern can be encapsulated in very small decorative objects.  Under these guiding principles, even thoughts as expansive as dreams can be captured in something tiny and intricate.”


I found Pamela Ritchie in an edition of Metalsmith magazine back in April. I was drawn to her work by the colours and shapes. I loved how playful they felt, and how simple they were. I love the idea that even simple things can portray a much larger, complicated idea.

#3 – David Huang

Numinous Community, 2011

Whorled Flow, 2011

Lustrous Contours, 2011

“Conceptually this is about a metaphorical expression of people. We come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and complexities. Yet, within us all is a divine being, an inner light. I want to try and show the beauty in our differences and similarities.”


I had seen David Huang’s work only in Metalwerx catalogs until this May when I got the chance to meet him at the Society of North American Goldsmith’s conference in Arizona. I talked to him about his work and his inspirations and got to hold his pieces! I asked him if he was inspired by human muscles for his “Whorled Flow” but he said no, it is actually about tree roots/branches. I love the attention to detail. Each mark on his pieces is a carefully executed hammer blow, and I can’t imagine lining a vessel with gold leaf. The time and energy put into his pieces are well worth it.

#2 – Melissa Cameron

Blue Frilled Window, 2010

Watery Gothic Window, 2011

“Melissa Cameron’s pattern construction draws on the symmetric pattern-making operations; translation, rotation and reflection, the core transformations of Euclidean geometry. […] Each work depends on the tension of the cable against the weight of the strung elements to create space. In this way they emulate complex architectural forms. And yet, the fragile linkages between parts are reminiscent of the invisible ties that interweave seemingly independent organic structures in an ecosystem. The delicate balance in her works speak to a universal truth; the inextricable interdependence between the elements of any system.”

I met Melissa at the Society of North American Goldsmith’s May 2012 Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. She had curated an exhibition on show during the conference at the Shermer Art Center titled, “Heat Exchange: A Cross-Country Survey of Enamel” which brough together artists from four different countries, to talk about their work and exchange ideas. Her work speaks to me not only because I get a little over excited about cathedrals but also because of the materials she uses and the movement her pieces have. The pictures don’t do them justice, they are strangely springy and fun to hold. And again with the geometry. I like pattern-making processes involved in her work and her work just looks like so much fun to make.

#1 – David Peterson

Enigma 38
brass, copper, wenge, padauk
~25” x 20” x 4”

Altered Landscape II
Concept Drawing for Site Specific Work, Grizedale Forest, Cumbria, England
graphite on paper
~26” x 18”

“The juxtaposition of the familiar and the inexplicable, the ubiquitous and the abstruse, functions as a type of aesthetic Rorschach Test.  The qualities of kinetic and tactile interaction deepen, or so I believe, the viewer’s intimacy with the objective nature of the work.” -David Peterson


Three years ago I met David when I was a freshmen at Skidmore College, ready to tackle the medium and create something new. For three years David has been my mentor and his aesthetics have probably affected mine in ways I don’t even know yet. David’s fascination with the things that move and are fun to touch have undoubtedly inspired the way I work. Geometry and the exploration of forms found naturally is something I myself strive to undertake and thus David is my first and foremost inspiration.