Two creative makers I am in total awe of, Lucie Gledhill and Kasia Wozniak, are embarking on
taking their collaborative project, SWAP, to new realms.
Their joint work has been selected to be showcased in the prestigious Collect Open, part of the Collect International Fair for Modern Craft & Design, in London this February. It is an honour to be invited and a testament to the incredibly beautiful, thought-provoking combination of jewellery and imagery they create.
They are ambitiously pushing the boundaries of their skills and knowledge to create a whole new series of SWAP and need support to be able to do so.
They have set-up a Kickstarter campaign and lending your assistance won’t leave you empty-handed. You can bag a number of goodies: 18ct gold single link stud earrings, a wet plate collodion portrait sitting, limited edition prints and a whole heap more.
Lucie, we caught up last April, and Kasia, you and I in June, via Greater than 11%’s podcast. I really loved learning more about each of your careers and processes. On both occasions it was so enlightening and inspiring. A huge congratulations on being selected for Collect Open - that is awesome.
R: Can you tell me more about the origins of SWAP?
L: We started as friends. There was immediately a connection between us creatively because we both heavily research and employ traditional processes whilst challenging them by breaking rules.
K: Lucie often talks about ‘embracing marks of the hand, demonstrating the process’ and I really see embracing mistakes and preserving plates, which would be considered as a failure in the nineteenth century, as part of my practice.
Lucie commissioned me to photograph her work a number of times and during one of these sessions we both started talking about our main material - silver.
We asked ourselves how does solid material - precious metal from Lucie’s work - become something which I could use in photography? Where does silver come from? How does it become light sensitive?
The conversations continued and six years later we finally had an opportunity to create SWAP 1 - a chain, which Lucie had painstakingly made from gold tubes and filled with silver and which we removed by dissolving in nitric acid, turning it into silver nitrate that I could use in a photographic process and to make a mirror.
SWAP 1 created further questions, ideas and a hunger to learn more about silver and other how other metals react with nitric acid.
R: Kasia, can you give us an overview wet plate collodion and the process?
Wet plate collodion is a dinosaur in photography world - a technique that goes back to the mid-nineteenth century. One of the main components of the process is a silver nitrate bath, it is responsible for sensitising a pre-coated plate. The particles of silver penetrate the plate, making it light sensitive and ready to be exposed and register an image.
R: Lucie, how does Kasia’s work connect to your jewellery-making and can you share a little more on your focus on ‘chains’?
L: To start with, there is the use of silver which I connect with. It's fascinating for me to see it used in a way so unfamiliar… the metal is something which I use and manipulate every day. I thought I knew the material so well through melting, soldering, bending, sawing, etc. but it turns out there’s so much more to understand.
But there is also Kasia’s approach, which I admire. It embraces and celebrates the process but also uses it to reflect modern concerns. Such as her recent editorial ‘Wind of Change’ or ‘This is Plastic’ where she walked in the footsteps of Anna Atkins documenting plastic instead of seaweed found on the beach.
I’ve been interested in chain as material as well as a subject. I have been exploring it with precious metals, iron and wood throughout my practice as a jewellery artist.
R: Can you tell me about the new work - what you are hoping to create?
K&L: We really want to show our work as an installation, introducing three new versions of ‘SWAP’, exploring further the dissolving process and working with the silver nitrate in new ways - growing crystals.
We will also be exploring copper, which will introduce blue into our work.
R: What does being selected for the Collect Open create the opportunity for in both your practices?
K&L: Collect Open is a great platform where we will reach a wide audience within a craft discipline. It will provide the opportunity to show the work independently in our own space and in an installation as opposed to only being able to show single pieces in a group exhibitions.
R: You have an abundance of options for those that pledge to support you - can you give us an overview of what is on offer?
L: I’m offering limited edition of silver and gold studs some of which use the dissolving process used in SWAP or you can get just one of four curb chain rings handmade by me - which there are only three left.
K: I’m gifting prints, portrait sittings and workshops. There’s also an opportunity to purchase printed or digital copy of our zine which accompanies the exhibition. It includes an overview by Dr Suzanne Fagence Cooper, who recently published a wonderful book ‘To See Clearly: Why Ruskin Matters’.
R: I’m super excited to see the outcome of this new development for SWAP - I have no doubt I’ll be even more obsessed than I am now by both of your work.
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE PEOPLE! You only have 6 DAYS left to pledge and secure some hand-crafted, limited edition creative work. Jump to Kickstarter and support the creation of some fantastic new work!
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