Tuesday, March 20, 2012

UK artist Alex Raphael comes to SCC!

Exhibition of Enamel Jewelry: March 30-June 30, 2012
Free Artist Talk: Friday, March 30, 6 pm (Reception: 5:30-7:30 pm)

Join us for this special opportunity to meet and hear from Alexandra (Alex) Raphael, a gifted artist who has perfected the ancient craft of enameling over many years. Largely self-taught, she specializes in plique-à-jour (backless enamel) and cloisonné jewelry. 

Alex's talk will reflect on the experience of growing up with SCC Founder Elizabeth R. Raphael as her mother and how this influenced her artwork. She will also speak about her new "Celestial Dream Series," which showcases the delicate ethereal images in rich colors reflected within gold and silver that can be achieved with the challenging plique-à-jour technique.

Necklace for my Mother, Gold and silver cloisonné enamel with tourmaline on lapis and silver beads
The depth and meaning of images in Alex's jewelry are often personalized for the wearer. This necklace, created in memory of the artist's mother, depicts: "eclipse of the sun with date of my birth, windows (from our first house), zodiac signs, acorn (representing our community of Oakmont), bee representing Mother - always busy as a bee and her initial, the letter "B", water, the word "STAY", phases of the moon, stars, and my hand holding a drop of blood."

Alexandra's latest collection of gold and silver cloisonné jewelry reflects the individual style for which she is well known. From ancient times, the mystical properties of stones are held as precious talismans. In her new three-dimensional "Within the Stone" series, she entices you into the magic and powers of the jewel. Looking through the stones there are delicate pictures drawn in gold and silver cloisonné, with the stones’ facets changing the reflective image.

Silver and gold cloisonné earrings with foils and natural pearl drop. 1"x 3" long. Photo by Richard Valence.

In her new "Study in Grey" series, her imaginative use of reflective gold and silver foils change her colors as they flow across the surface with warmth of the gold and the cold of the silver.

Alexandra's amazing enamels have won her numerous prizes worldwide, and are in the permanent collections of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths as well as the Musée Municipal de l'Évêché (Limoges, France), Musee de l’Horlogerie (Geneva), and the All- Russian Decorative-Applied and Folk Art Museum (Moscow).

The exhibition of Alexandra Raphael's work and her March 30 talk are signature events of SCC's 40th anniversary year. The talk is free of charge, but we ask that you R.S.V.P. in advance to 412.261.7003, x12, or development@contemporarycraft.org.

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