|For as far back as I can remember, I have been interested in
creating things. From the moment that I came up with an idea, I knew that I would do
anything I could to transform that idea into a reality. For all of my adult life, I have
been interested in creating jewelry. I am always looking for new ways of expressing my
ideas, and this has brought my work to its present direction.
My current work involves the exploration of body adornment in terms of three-dimensional interlocking and adjustable forms, accomplished via the use of computer-aided-design. I have created pieces that take advantage of this technology by utilizing one of the intrinsic qualities that this process allows---the ability to give form to the precise, intricate pieces that I have longed to create. I am able to use mathematical precision, while at the same time having complete freedom in the design process.
I am interested in creating new and unique forms and in redefining the concept of what constitutes jewelry. My work is not composed of small pieces that embellish and accentuate the body in a somewhat insignificant manner. Instead, in my bracelet and ring series, I have created pieces that fit comfortably on the hand, while at the same time limiting the movement of the wearer. One of the issues that I am exploring is the subject of large scale, to create dramatic pieces that both accentuate the body, while encumbering it at the same time. These are pieces that extend outward from the arm. They are composed of lightweight materials and have adjustable parts that contour to the body, giving the wearer some degree of physical comfort, as well as an aspect of personalization. I am contrasting this with the sheer size of these pieces, which will give the wearer a level of self-awareness, if not emotional discomfort. This heightened sense of awareness elevates the importance of the jewelry, to the individuals who are wearing it and to all of those who come in contact with them. When one is wearing these pieces, it is my intention that one will constantly know that they are wearing something special. Not intended to be worn every day, this body of work limits some movements that one would normally make with ease. Because of this, others will be aware of the work as well, which turns the human form into a living pedestal.
I have created my work in a three-dimensional computer environment because by doing so, I am able to incorporate the mechanical aspects of the jewelry as an integral part of the design, more so than I could have in any other manner. In addition, the complex precision and the detailed repeats of certain elements are an important part of my work. I have utilized the nature of the materials that I have chosen to my advantage. For example, in my bracelet series, I have employed the transparency of the SLA (stereo-lithography resin) to my benefit. By doing so, one is able to see the inner workings and mechanisms of the pieces, while at the same time, having a better view of the construction and the logic of this body of work. I have juxtaposed the mechanical elements of my jewelry against the more sensuous and organic forms that are apparent, both in the jewelry itself, and as it presents itself when it is worn on the body. I have utilized machined looking mechanisms and contrasted these with more curvilinear and expressive forms. It is this juxtaposition that relates this jewelry to the body.
In all of my work I have worked "actually." That is to say when I begin each of my pieces, I am doing so with the knowledge that I will be able to hold them in my hands as tangible objects as a result of RP (rapid prototyping). RP is the process of outputting in a physical state the objects that I have created in a computer environment. When I am creating my jewelry I am envisioning it, both in three-dimensional computer space, and in tangible materials. Giving tangibility, or a physical existence, to my artwork is important to me because it is only then that the wearer will get to experience the fruition of my ideas in the corporeal world. Even though tangibility may be, and has been, the end result for some of my pieces, it has been the exploration and the process of creation in a computer environment that is the most important aspect of my work. For me, the process of creating with keyboard, monitor and mouse has become so intuitive, so natural, that I have transcended my earlier view that the computer is a tool. Working digitally has become a new way of self-expression. It is an important part of my daily life and a natural extension of my thought process, and I believe that it will be this way for many as we begin the next century.
Andrew C. Czapka, December 1999