Change is inevitable, but where it takes us relies on influence. With this in mind, Ethical Metalsmiths Student Committee, the newly formed student branch of Ethical Metalsmiths, has given a voice to students and celebrates their influence on the field of Jewelry and Metalsmithing.
The Ethical Metalsmiths Student Committee understands that students hold a unique position within the metalsmithing community. While working in close proximity to each other in shared studio spaces, at a time when students are just beginning with metalsmithing, ethically minded students can influence their peers via example. Conversations regarding wise studio practices, when multiplied by the volume of students within a given studio, generate a capillary effect of awareness throughout the field. We have formed the Ethical Metalsmiths Student Committee to utilize and exemplify the significant impact students have as they claim a greater voice in shaping the contemporary conversation.
Taylor Zarkades King: Chair, 2017-Present
Originally from Seattle Washington, I received my BFA in Jewelry & Metal Arts from California College of the Arts in 2010. Though I trained as a metalsmith, my interest in materials has expanded my increasingly more sculptural bench practice. Using jewelry as a lens, I explore the tilt between utility and expression—both through how a piece rests on the body, and the life that surrounds and holds it. I enjoy the sway adornment has on our varying abilities to open and offer parts of ourselves to others. My work is concerned with this exchange, and plays with the obvious and obscure points of touch present in the subtleties of connection. Now a graduate student at VCU, I could not be more excited to join the Ethical Metalsmiths community through EM Students, and look forward working with So Fresh + So Clean, and the continuous re-imagining that goes into building a more conscious and environmentally concerned studio practice.
Anne Bujold: Co-Chair 2017-2018
I received my BFA from Oregon College of Art and Craft in 2008 with a concentration in Metals. Scholarships to Haystack Mountain School of Craft and Penland School of Craft in 2006 to take introductory blacksmithing classes changed the course of my artistic trajectory completely. After graduating, I established Riveted Rabbit Studio in Portland, Oregon, doing custom welding and blacksmithing. Returning to school as a MFA student at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2016, I continue to pursue my interests in metal work and sculpture, combining them with my passion for social and environmental justice. I am so pleased to be a part of the Ethical Metalsmith Student Committee.
Haiyin Liang: Committee Member, 2017-2018
I graduated with my BFA in 2016 from Colorado State University with a concentration in jewelry and metalsmithing. Currently, I am a MFA student in Craft and Material Studies Department at Virginia Commonwealth University. In my recent work, I combined porcelain with silver to associate the content of mending and healing. Meanwhile, as an artist from China, traditional Chinese cultural elements are embodied in my work. I am excited to join and help with the Ethical Metalsmith Student Committee.
Everett Hoffman: Committee Member, 2017-2018
Growing up in Idaho, camping, hiking, swimming and skiing in the beautiful wilderness has instilled in me a deep appreciation for our natural environment. After graduating with a BFA in Metals from Boise State University I moved to Seattle, started working as a bench jeweler, and set up a community metals studio with like-minded metalsmiths. I recently decided to pursue my MFA at Virginia Commonwealth University in craft and material studies. My current work explores the construction of gender and sexuality through everyday objects. I am thrilled to work with Ethical Metalsmiths as a student committee member to strengthen and build upon the growing community of Ethical Metalsmiths.
Meg Wachs: Committee Member, 2017-2018
Coming from the mountains of upstate New York, I received my BFA from the State University of New York at New Paltz in metals. I am currently continuing my education at Virginia Commonwealth University as a graduate student and my work is focused around non-representational portraits people and examining the physiology of emotional responses and creating jewelry to represent those. As much as I have tried to have an ethical studio practice, being at VCU and being a part of Ethical Metalsmiths Student Committee has taught me so much more.
Morgan Babic: Co-Chair, 2015-2016, Secretary, 2014
I graduated with my BA in 2013 from Baldwin Wallace University with a focus in both painting and jewelry making. Currently, I am working towards my MFA in metals/ jewelry making at Virginia Commonwealth University. My work is focused around the use of mixed media and is specifically driven by turning unwanted or forgotten objects into something that will be treasured. Since my time here at VCU, I have become more aware of the importance of ethical studio practices and I am excited to be a part of the Ethical Metalsmith Student Committee.
Carli Holcomb: Co-Chair, 2015- 2016, Outreach Coordinator, 2014
As a first year Graduate Student at Virginia Commonwealth University, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the great people of Ethical Metalsmiths Student Committee. I recently graduated from the University of Wyoming with my Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. Growing up in the mountains of Wyoming I was surrounded by vast untracked wilderness areas. Places where you could escape in a moment, and be truly alone. It is this wilderness spirit I hope to both capture and preserve with my work.
Lucy Louise Derickson: Committee Co-Chair, 2013-2015
The role of Co-Chair of the Ethical Metalsmtihs Student Committee is one that I accept enthusiastically. As I experiment with concepts and materials while working towards my MFA at Virginia Commonwealth University I have become increasingly concerned with my responsibility as an artist to influence my community and call attention to relevant and contemporary issues. Whether I look through the lense of a figurative microscope or telescope, I am interested in examining the chain of circumstances that result in social shifts. For the past two semesters I’ve been working on a series of surrogate devices that provoke memory through smell associations, and act as stand-ins for personal relationships. By creating these devices from repurposed pewter serviceware I utilize material that already exists in the world, rather than supporting the mining of new material.
Kelley Morrison: Committee Co-Chair, 2013-2015
I received my BFA in Metalsmithing from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2013 and recently earned my MFA in Craft/Materials Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University this past May. Through the course of my education I have been lucky enough to study with professors who are ethically aware and make sure that their students know that their material choices have ethical ramifications. As a result in my work I try to use what I have before buying new materials. I like to reuse as much as I can, giving old jewelry and clothing new life. I love the history and the story that repurposed objects carry, but more than that I feel good knowing that my work keeps these discarded items from being thrown away. Growing up I remember my Grandma always saying, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” this is a mentality that I feel the world could use more of.
Jane Barton: Communications Design, 2013-2015
I recently earned dual BFA degrees in Communication Arts and Craft/ Material studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Over the past several months I have been working as project assistant, web promoter and graphic designer for Radical Jewelry Makeover – Richmond. My work explores the human form as landscape, which I then document through portraiture photography. Specifically, working with my brother or using my own body, my jewelry and photography focus on topics such as ethical material sourcing, landscape and adornment. I am constantly seeking new ways to improve my studio practices whether that means making my own ingots out of scrap silver or using biodegradable material in my work. I am delighted to have been extended the opportunity to serve on the Ethical Metalsmiths Student board and hope to continue encouraging thoughtful practices within our industry.
Brian Fleetwood: Founding Committee Member, 2013-2014
My jewelry work and practice are greatly influenced by my youth spent in a rural native community in Oklahoma and by my background in the biological sciences. I recently received my MFA at VCU in Richmond, Virginia. My work mimics structures and relationships throughout nature with the purpose of gently suggesting alternative views of our relationships with the world around us. My Mvskoke cultural background and training in ecology have informed my desire to cultivate a practice that fosters both environmental justice and social justice for native communities.