Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Color has always sparked my creative imagination; it's where my artist-life began. I did my first oil painting of a landscape en plein air when I was nine. Later my work became progressively abstract and non-objective.

Color Dancing Series, 1994. Abstract non-objective colored pencil drawing. (11" x 13.5")

When I studied 3-D design, my momentum and direction shifted dramatically from flat art to manipulating shapes in space. Experiencing the world with this new awareness of the element of SPACE inspired a broad exploration of sculptural forms.

14K gold-filled and violet-colored niobium wires with semi-precious stones for color and shape detail, 2005. It lies flat here, but also hangs and moves in constant (slow) motion with air currents. (11" L x 6" H x 4" W)

As a sculpture grad student and later while teaching art, I worked with welded steel, cast bronze, clay, wood, stone, fibers, plastics, paints, fluorescent lights, and color theory. Thinking and working in these various materials and disciplines gradually evolved into designing and making some jewelry.

Asymmetric-Organic Wrist Sculpture no. 7 by Jan Dunsford

This one-of-a-kind wrap is from my new asymmetric-organic series. It's made from heavy 16 and 14 gauge sterling silver wires used for strong shape integrity. The stones are jasper, turquoise, tourmaline, citrine, and adventurine.

Now I use shapes and colors in a non-objective linear, fibrous context whether
I'm making jewelry, creating a piece of sculpture, or painting. Understanding metals as a sculptor, colors as a painter, and fibers as a weaver, I see the endless possibilities in combining these approaches to create mini-sculptures to wear. This perspective shapes the character of my creative output.

Please read what other Handmade Division members have to say about their work:

Andes Cruz, Thomasin Durgin, Jewelry by Natsuko, Lisa Hopkins, Maureen BZ (Cosmo's Moon), Abhaya Fibers, Susan Moloney, Tamra Gentry, Bill Martin.


Thomasin Durgin said...

Wonderful post, Jan! You are so very self-aware and you articulate your ideas about your work so well. xxoo.

Anonymous said...

Jan, what a wonderful post! Loved reading your entry, as usual. You are definitely multimedia!!!

Jan said...

Thanks so much for the support, Tomi and Ande! What a great topic for self-study and self-revelation! Can't wait to visit everyone and see what came up.


Lisa Hopkins said...

Fantastic post and beautiful work, Jan!

jewelrybynatsuko said...

fantastic post! it's wonderful to see all the different media come together in your jewelry design!!

Jan said...

Thank you for visiting, Lisa. And for the compliment! :)

Hi, Natsuko! I guess whatever we've worked through our heads and hands influences our next piece. That's kinda what I was trying to say. Thanks for summing it up for me! :)