These neckpieces, from my MFA exhibition entitled Solace, present jewelry as a source of physical comfort. Placed on the body and intimate in scale, jewelry fosters an interaction between an individual and an object. Historically jewelry has ‘functioned’ as personal adornment, self-expression, status indicator, and memory keeper, taking into consideration the body of the wearer. More recently, artistic expression has become the primary focus in contemporary jewelry, with the wearer a secondary consideration. In contrast, my pieces consider the experience of the wearer integral to the work by recreating the sensation of comforting touch.
Medical research has shown that firm pressure touch to the upper torso reduces anxiety and can be used to treat a variety of medical conditions. The available therapeutic choices are effective but utilitarian and announce themselves as medical interventions. The neckpieces presented in Solace are an attractive alternative that are recognized and function as adornment. The physiological sensation of calmness or reduced anxiety conferred by the neckpieces is a fundamental component of my work.