Patricia Sullivan: “Widget Locket #1: Homage to Old Technology”. Sterling silver (fabricated), Katan silk, plexiglas, archival paper, 20.75″ x 1.75″ x .25″, 2012.
This past month, November, has been a whirlwind of excitement for me. Within days of each other I received word that two of my jewelry pieces have been accepted into two different international juried exhibitions. The first one is a fine contemporary craft exhibition coming up in December in North Carolina (a true epi-center lately for the East Coast U.S. craft world) and the second is a juried group show of contemporary art in northern New Jersey. Both shows received over 460+ entries worldwide, and in both cases, only 38-40 works were chosen for each event.

I feel extremely fortunate to be able to introduce a piece at each show from my new body of jewelry/metal work. The series is called “widget lockets” – pieces fabricated entirely by hand in sterling silver (this includes a handmade oval sterling chain, clasp, bail and constructed hinge), with the addition of mixed media such as silk, plexiglas/acrylic, graphic 2-D elements created in Adobe Illustrator, printed in color on archival paper and set inside. To give an idea of what I’m essentially trying to discuss through these pieces: just like Victorians memorialized their loved ones in the historic pieces known as “mourning jewelry” – these lockets are an homage to a “dying” or near-outdated technology, such as lockets that incorporate news streams or short snippets of current headlines that scroll across computer screens/monitors.

Patricia Sullivan: “Widget Locket” (rear detail), fabricated sterling silver, 2012.
At first glance when the lockets are viewed from the front, back or closed, the object appears to be a precious item made from a precious metal and covered in silk, so as to fool one into thinking it is merely a highly personal, beautiful object. But upon opening the locket – one reveals to the viewer an unexpected screen snapshot of stories that parlay technology and how this technology has begun to consume our personal lives and wants. The text is appropriated from current news articles of importance from recent months; every aspect of this 2-D element was created by hand, including the typed-out sentences and
P. Sullivan: “Widget Locket” (inside detail), 2012.
chosen typeface.

These images of my silver lockets are “fresh from the bench” – however, I am planning to get professional photographs taken. It always poses a challenge to get good images with such reflective surfaces like metal and plexiglas. I hope to be writing my next blog post on artdoesmatter with critiques of others’ fresh, new artwork viewed in-person at one of these two upcoming group exhibitions. Stay tuned!

All images, creative concepts and objects pictured in this blog entry are copyright-2012 Patricia Sullivan / artdoesmatter and may not be used or duplicated without my permission.

Posted by:artdoesmatter

Patricia Sullivan is a metalsmith and studio artist – living in the suburbs of Philadelphia across the great Delaware River in Southern New Jersey for the past 12 years. She spent seven years prior, living in both New York City and the Hudson Valley, New York, studying at Parsons School of Design, moving onward to receive a second degree (post-graduate) in Fine Arts/Metals at SUNY New Paltz. A Philadelphia native, Patricia was exposed to the arts and music of this region since a young age, receiving her first Bachelor's degree at Temple University in Philadelphia before her sojourn to New York began. Patricia has exhibited her artwork nationally. Recently, Ms. Sullivan was one of only thirty-four artists worldwide to exhibit her work at the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design as part of being selected for Metalsmith magazine's prestigious annual "Exhibition in Print - Moved by Metal."

21 replies on “Latest metal work: Two upcoming juried shows

  1. Congratulations on the acceptances, well deserved. Lovely design, I like the totally hand-made aspect, and the startling effect of the contemporary text. Not sure if Mark Zuckerberg would like to have his brainchild referred to as a ‘fading technology’, but you are right.


    1. Anita, thank you so much. I feel VERY lucky to have been accepted into two shows; I applied to three, and I’m in shock that the odds worked in my favor to get accepted to two of them! I genuinely appreciate your kind words!


    1. Stitchedupmama – you are way too kind. Thanks so much for your lovely compliments; you make me think I’m “all that!” – :D. I can’t possibly tell you how much I’m enjoying your blog, and love your latest “pocket” pieces. Your work is very inspiring – I love to see what you come up with each time I check out your blog!


  2. Congratulations on having your work accepted in two shows! And it’s great to see there is a lively crafts scene in your part of the world.
    I like your brand new take on mourning jewery.
    Attention to details, use of mixed media, and quality of execution – all contribute to bringing to life an original and meaningful piece of jewelry.
    I look forward to reading your next posts and seeing more “fresh” work.


    1. Hi metalandmettle, thank you for your lovely comments on my new work; I’m equally enjoying reading your blog; we metalsmiths seem quite rare to these blog pages. I’m always looking forward to seeing more of your work, as well as your most inspiring post re: Peruvian metal arts. Keep your wonderful posts coming! And thank you for visiting artdoesmatter!


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