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Jewellery - David Hensel

David Hensel

Jewellery

My jewellery combines a fascination with small-scale objects and the challenges of  working with a range of materials from the precious to the commonplace. I like to carve semi-precious stones, wood or ivory, and I use representational elements in my designs -  imagery of natural forms realised in natural materials.

I haven’t wanted to focus on jewellery that is just for adornment, status or fashion but to treat it as small scale personal sculpture. All these serve as a way for the owner to demonstrate mastery of some aspect of the world or self, and jewellery works nicely as an energy template, providing patterns for styles of behaviour (which is possibly a function of all art). 

I've never been that happy with "jewellery" as a description.  My interest in it came out of a sense that small wearable objects can be symbolic and thus a language for communication and connection between people, and also from what seems to be a perception problem: sometimes I can't tell how big things are - tiny objects can hold the illusion that they are huge and far away or else I'm suddenly a giant. It's a way to get absorbed enough in the tiny carving, and a way to balance the detail with the form.  Because I make the things in my hands and close to me it makes sense to make them into rings and pendants, and that introduces some gorgeous materials to work with.
This Jewellery has been a consistent art form for me as part of a wider range of interests and media including larger sculpture, drawing and photography and the teaching of sculpture and drawing.

The work shown here includes examples from the past 40 years.  Fashions, tastes and outlet opportunities change and  technical interests develop.  Some of the work was done in response to commissions or to make something for specific exhibitions, others as part of the work’s continual development.  I've found I can never repeat a piece, rather they go in series of stages or variations of an idea.

(All ivory used is old, recycled and now I have some mammoth tusk ivory.)           


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