Bio-Organically Inspired Jewelry

The work of Jillian Moore is bright and colorful, shiny and bold. It can also be slightly disturbing in that it-looks-like-something-that-is-supposed-to-gross-me-out-but-I-don’t-want-to-look-away kind of ways. Moore creates wearable pieces that abstractly reference biology. Working from micro to macro, her objects mimic that which is too small to be seen, such as viruses and bacterias, and that which is contained within our bodies. The glossy finishes accentuate the organic forms of organs and microorganisms, giving them the slimy and slick appearance one might expect of such unfamiliar anatomies.

Having earned her MFA in Jewelry and Metal Arts from the University of Iowa on the coat tails of having completed a BFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry from Western Illinois University one might expect to recognize more metal ?in her pieces. The truth is, it is often difficult to parse out?exactly?what materials are used in making these extraordinary objects. I admit, I found the lack of material definition immediately provocative. As a jack-of-all-trades maker, I often examine closely the type of materials artists use, the technique and?appropriateness?for both, but Moore’s work is not willing to be so easily read. Pieces that appear to made from great gobs of glass and to have great weight prove themselves to be nearly weightless and far less fragile than expected. Free-standing objects have such movement that they appear to be boyant, yet they are heavy with the copper form that lies deep under many layers of paint.

In her artist statement, Jillian addresses her choice of materials and techniques, “I choose materials and techniques that are transformative, resulting in objects that do not readily reveal the processes of their making. Copper may be hidden under layers of paint, the only exposed metal oxidized. The electro-forming process allows for wax forms to be coated in copper leaving a hollow shell with textural encrustations–evidence of the accretive nature of the process of building copper on a molecular level. The resin pieces are light in weight, built on a core of carved foam that is strengthened by successive layers of an opaque, water-based composite resin. The clear epoxy resin is then layered with paint to create a depth of surface typically expected of glass work.”

Jillian Moore is currently a participating artist in the Elizabeth R Raphael Founder’s Prize Exhibition, on view in SCC’s Main Gallery. She is also being featured in our Store. All of the works pictured in this blog are available for sale. Please call 412-261-7003 x 16, or email to inquire about purchasing.