2nd Guideline - Create a piece of Jewelry from an object found on your walk.

Update: the guidelines project is still tugging along!

Go for a walk outside on a Sunday, rain or shine.  Begin your walk outside your home, walk a mile, and pick up an object you see on your walk. This object can be anything found, nothing purchased.  Take a picture of your object where you found it before picking it up, this photo will be displayed with your final product. Bring your found object back and create a piece of jewelry.

This second guideline, similar to the first is pretty straightforward.  This time I am having each artist take a look at their surroundings... their outdoor surroundings that is. Its all about location, each piece will vary depending on where the artist lives. Someone who resides in a city may confront more "trash" than someone who lives more rural. 

This second guideline gives the artists a chance to really be creative with how they interpret their final piece.  I did not specify what kind of jewelry they are to create, this is up to them. So unlike the first guideline, I'm hoping to expect a variety; necklaces, rings, brooches, earrings etc. They may have chosen to use the object(s) they found to create the wearable piece or just take inspiration from their findings. This was not specified in the guideline. 

Some of the artists have begun sharing process photos with me and through social media. If you would like to follow the project more closely, use one of these two hashtags to do so, #whengiventhesameguidelines or #guidelinesproject.

Here are a few little sneaky peeks for you to check out!!


Meet Victoria Marie Barquin!

Im excited to introduce another artist involved in the project, Victoria Marie Barquin! She will be creating beautiful prints to go along with all three guidelines! I am very excited to collaborate with her, and see what she creates with the images of jewelry made as well as her own creative touch. 

"My contribution to the Guidelines project is a suite of three, 18 x 24 inch screenprints that represent and respond to the work being made under each assignment. The prints will be included in the exhibition phase of the project as well as in promotional and marketing materials. All of the prints will be available for purchase.
Aside from making prints, collaborating with other artists is one of my greatest passions. There is so much to learn from the way another maker thinks and produces—especially if they work predominantly in another medium. I’ve had the immense pleasure of collaborating with Brie, Franko and Dan before and I’m so excited to work together again."
Victoria Marie Barquin (b. 1993) grew up in Cranbury, New Jersey and received her BFA in Printmaking from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2016. Barquin’s work meditates on the reciprocal relationship between past and present, juxtaposing old and new—analog and digital. She is currently working on a project inspired by the visual impact of walls, tiles, tags and graffiti, which highlights the intersection of text, image and architecture. Her work has been shown at Chicago Printmakers Collaborative and Spudnik Press in Chicago, where she is currently based, in addition to A R E A Gallery and Lens Gallery in Boston.

Check out more of her work here.

Follow her on Instagram.

1st Guideline - Make a necklace as long as you a tall.

As June is coming to an end, so does the first chapter of the Guidelines project. 

Make a necklace as long as you are tall. This first piece can be made out of a material of your choice and does not have to be wearable. Think sculpturally. The necklace must have a closure of some kind and the weight cannot exceed 30 pounds.

This first guideline is pretty straightforward, no deep concept behind the piece was given. My plan was to give a fairly vague guideline to start off this project to push each artist a bit out of their comfort zone (or maybe not). The key phrase in this guideline to pay attention to are, "as long as you are tall""Think sculpturally" and "does not have to be wearable".

These were the most important aspects of creating this piece, and I would like to share my intentions behind why. I did not say that the "chain" itself had to match your height, or that when the "necklace" is closed it must be as long as you are tall. By not specifying, I hope to see varying interpretations of how each artist choose to create the length of their necklace. To think sculpturally is always an interesting thing to say to a contemporary jeweler, because in my mind what we do is sculptural, or better, we create tiny sculptures to be worn or to interact with the body.

Lastly, "does not have to be wearable" pushes jewelers to think about what contemporary jewelry is or can be. Most of the time when you say "jewelry" to someone outside of the contemporary jewelry and or art world, they have a very limited idea as to what jewelry is, what it is made of, and why we wear it. Most jewelry is wearable, but it can also be created to challenge the wearer, or the idea behind wearing jewelry; becoming performative, or restrictive to the wearer.

This first guideline gives the artists a chance to use the limit of their own height to create a necklace that can be wearable or a necklace that pushes the boundaries of what is expected to be jewelry. Both are welcomed equally, and I look forward to the potential conversations and differences between the works. 

Some of the artists have begun sharing process photos with me and through social media. If you would like to follow the project more closely, use one of these two hashtags to do so, #whengiventhesameguidelines or #guidelinesproject.

I wanted to share with you some of these progress shots to give you all a sneak peek! 

Kelly Jean Conroy

Meet the Artist - Daniel Koy

Daniel Koy

The Diver - On display at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island

Daniel Koy is an illustrator, sculptor, and scuba diver from New York City. Currently mostly working in metal and wood, he makes a range of work from traditional sculpture, to furniture. His sculptural work explores his interest in nature, environmentalism and the experiences had while scuba diving, while furniture and design work focuses on comfort, craft, and composition.

What interested you in being part of the Guidelines project?

I’m about to embark on a move across the country to live in California and I think this is the perfect opportunity to make some fresh work inspired by this major life change. Although I don’t have a traditional jewelers background, it’s always something I’ve been interested in so I am very excited to be a part of this project

Last, but not least, Daniel Koy is the final Artist joining in on the Guidelines project! When he responded to my call for artists, I was so happy to have someone on board who isn't traditionally a jeweler, but with his background in blacksmithing and welding fabrication, I knew he would bring an interesting twist to each guideline. I was first introduced to Daniel while I was visiting our mutual friend Emma Levitz at Salem Art Works where they were both Intern Artists in residence. The following year I was an Emerging Artist in resident at SAW, and we have kept in touch over the past couple of years as part of the SAW family. Can't wait to see what you create Daniel! 

Follow him on Instagram

Meet the Artist - Georgina Trevino

Georgina Trevino

Georgina Trevino is a contemporary jeweler from Tijuana, Mexico currently living in San Diego, California. She obtained a Bachelors Degree in Applied Design with an emphasis in Jewelry Making from San Diego State University in 2014.
Georgina Trevino’s work is a personal narrative and reflection of the nostalgic memories of unfinished architecture in Tijuana, Mexico. She incorporates industrial material local to the framework of Tijuana infrastructure into jewelry that discusses the dichotomy between conventional building material straddling the United States and Mexico border.
This recent work is an extension of her work by paying closer attention to color pattern and shape in relation to modern architecture and contemporary art movements she is surrounded by now. She uses techniques and materials like enameling, found objects, polymer clay, cement and other fun color techniques that relate to her cultural and architectural background.

What interested you in being apart of the Guidelines project?

"When given the same guidelines" Interested me and motivated me to work outside my jewelry routine of production. I look forward to the guidelines and follow along the other artists work & process and see how each artist approaches the guidelines with their own aesthetic during the following months. ;) "

Georgina Trevino is an artist who is on fire in the contemporary jewelry and fashion world. Her work has been featured in magazines such as Marie Claire Mexico, Pin-UP a magazine for Architectural Entertainment, Vogue Mexico, and publications such as ANIMAL No 26: Archivos and Contemporary Jewelry Exchange Vol. 2 - a  project created by Olga Raben to bring artists from all over the world who get paired and asked to create a unique contemporary piece of jewelry for each other. 

I'm so honored to have artists like Georgina excited about the Given Guidelines, and can't wait to see how she navigates the process for each Guideline. In a way, having her on board makes the project feel whole in the sense that we now have artists from across the country, from the east coast all the way to the west coast. I'm thrilled and excited about the possibilities that will unfold during the project and ready to discover the conversations between the work presented by each artist involved. Only 10 days before the making begins!

Check out more of her work here.

Follow her on Instagram.

Meet the Artist - Alanna June Robbins

Alanna June Robbins

Alanna Robbins is an artist and metalsmith based out of Boston, MA.  Her work centers around her own social, economic and romantic endeavors in an attempt to break down these social insecurities. Through the use of traditional metal construction, Alanna makes wearable adornments that require a performer and a bystander's interaction to not only activate the object but to create the public spectacle as well. Alanna is a Mass Cultural Council 2017 finalist in crafts and an Adjunct Instructor in Jewelry and Metals at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. 

What interested you in being apart of the Guidelines project?

"While in an academic setting guidelines are like your "fish bowl", they are there for you to grow into, push up against, and when your ready, break down. They push you to create in a way that you otherwise wouldn't have, and ultimately this makes you learn more about yourself, and why you "make" the way you do. In the wake of my academic years, I have often found myself yearning for some constraints and DEADLINES! I'm not sure what I will end up producing during this challenge, but I am excited to find out!"

Alanna is one of my closest friends who constantly amazes me. Not only does she make crazy-cool work, Alanna is the perfect example of someone living the Artist Hustle. She teaches workshops at Metalwerx and also works as their marketing and special events coordinator, is a gallery educator for Family Programs at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, teaches night classes in the Jewelry department at MASSART,  and works as an artist assistant for Venetia Dale. I'm so happy she is going to find time to participate in this project. Alanna already sent me some sketches and ideas for the first guideline, so I know she's going to come up with some fantastic pieces! Who's excited!?!?!

Follow her on Instagram here.

Meet the Artist - Melissa Gisele

Melissa Gisele

"As an artist, I work to create a collection of jewelry that evokes a sense of simplicity and flow. I am intrigued by the intimacy of jewelry making; from working closely with metal using tools, to the connection of the piece and the client. I want to create powerful jewelry that gives the wearer a feeling of comfort and confidence. Every piece is made with careful consideration of design and wearability.
My muse; the mountains, lakes, and rivers, constantly teach me the power of simplicity. The reflection of birds flying across a still lake. The zig zag pattern of snowy mountain peaks. The texture of ice accumulating on the roots of a tree cascading into a river. I am inspired by these moments in time so much so that I can feel like I can breathe more deeply when I am experiencing it. These moments are like fuel for my artwork. I highlight nature’s perfect curation of simplicity, repetition, and texture into my jewelry designs.
My current work is bold yet simple. I use clean lines followed by a beaded wire to create movement. Pointed slopes; like mountain peaks or the tip of a leaf, are prevalent throughout my work. I like to use circle and pear shaped stones because they convey a feeling of calmness. I am challenging myself in this new collection by cutting, shaping, and polishing the gemstones. I am also exploring new shapes and lines then previous collections. All of the metalsmithing is done using traditional techniques. Each gemstone is thoughtfully cut and polished to an exact shape; the metal work being the perfect vessel for the vibrant gem."

What interested you in being apart of the Guidelines project?

"After studying at MassArt and working in Boston, I packed my car and drove out to California. I followed my California Dream but left my art community I created in Boston. I live in a small mountain town now so I can create my art but also continue to explore the wilderness. I would never leave the mountains because I love to escape with my dogs whenever I please but the only downside is that I am hours away from art museums and galleries and there is literally no "art scene" where I live. I want to join this group to connect with other makers outside of my mountain bubble and continue to challenge myself with new projects and new ideas."

Melissa is another MASSART grad! I enjoyed reconnecting with her to find that we both left Boston and ended up living in much more rural areas, taking in the mountains around us and going on long hikes between working in our studios. It's a big change to go from living in a city full of art and people, to live far away from anything familiar. Everyone chooses their own adventure in life, and I've enjoyed watching her jewelry grow; her love of stones and little details of the outdoors like mountain peaks are translated through her hands into the wonderful wearable work she creates.   I can't wait to see how her surroundings inspire and or affect her work for each guideline. 

Check out more of her work here

Follow her on Instagram

Meet the Artist - Adriana Decastro

Adriana Decastro

What interested you in being apart of the Guidelines project?

"I have found that life after academia is very unstructured and so when I read “When given the same guidelines” I thought YES. It brought me right back to SoLewitt’s large scale work which inspired me at MASS MoCA. I feel as though this Guidelines project not only gives us the structure we all used to thrive under but also brings us together as a creative community. Starting my wearable jewelry line and selling at shows has taken up a lot of time physically and mentally. I need to remember what I love about jewelry so much so I can continue to be inspired to make meaningful work and I believe this project will be a perfect start."
"A jeweler + metalsmith + knitter + overall maker, and 2016 graduate of Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston where I studied and received my BFA in Jewelry + Metalsmithing. I work part time at Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA where I teach jewelry workshops.
My work is informed by a combination of organic and geometric forms and textures. I am drawn to opposites and oppositions, especially the push and pull between forces. I examine their coexistence and how that might transform one another. Angles-curves, dark- light, open-closed, artificial-natural. Symmetry has also been a strong aspect in my work. I recently became interested in making objects that have movement or are intended to be touched, held, or manipulated."

When I read Adriana's response to the question I asked each artist, about why they are doing the project, I said "Yes!" and did a little fist-pump. This is because the second post of this blog I wrote about how a friend of mine showed me Sol LeWitt, whose instructions when I shared my ideas on this project. I've definitely gotten inspiration from his work as this project has developed, so I'm happy the Guidelines made Adriana think of Sol LeWitt's work as well. Adriana currently works in the Admissions/ Museum Shop, as well as an Instructor at the Fuller Craft Museum. 

Check out more of her work here.

Follow her on Instagram.

Meet the Artist - Shea Mizuno

Shea Mizuno

Shea Mizuno creates work out of precious metal and gemstones in a way that is unconventional, experimental and organic. She currently lives outside of Boston, MA, and is a recent alumni of Massachusetts College of Art and Design with two degrees in Jewelry/Metalsmithing and History of Art.
Shea began making jewelry after taking a Beginning Metalsmithing class as an elective her first semester at MassArt, which she attended with the intention of majoring in photography. During this class, she instantly fell in love with the medium of metal.  In her journey, she found that allowing the material to react to influence, such as flame, allowed her to give up some control in what is traditionally a highly controlled craft.  This let her dispel both negative and positive energy through her work, which she finds both therapeutic and cathartic.  It lets her connect with, and understand, the natural chaotic tendencies of material and surrounding world, in a way she never thought possible.
All of her jewelry is completely handcrafted by herself, which gives her absolute artistic freedom to make all of the decisions regarding her designs, as she often works intuitively. Due to the melting techniques she has developed in her jewelry practice, many of her pieces are one-of-a-kind, and  will always remain to be completely unique.
"I recycle memory, experience, and material in the making of my jewelry in a way that is cathartic for me as the maker.
Taking the idea of historical palimpsest, I begin my process by taking raw materials and transforming them into more usable materials. Through this, the significance gets reset, and a place for new interpretation and meaning can be added.
I then make an object that is inspired by memory.  These memories can come from either dreams or experiences which I have replayed over in my thoughts, and seem significant enough to have had a major impact on my life.  The form of the object depends on the memory. 
What happens next is brutal, yet cathartic: I destroy it. I use this destruction as a way to release emotions associated with the object.  Through this process, I cannot control how the end result will look, as I cannot completely control emotion and experiences I have had.  Each work retains traces of information of what it was before. This is done as many times as I see fit, through recreation and destruction.
I then take these new objects and make them into jewelry.  For me, this is a way to give these objects new life as an object of preciousness, for though the memory associated with them has caused pain or emotional distress, they are still extremely important to me, as part of the memory has been erased to make way for the new. I believe that negative emotion and experiences are part of who a person is, and that negative experience and memory in one’s personal history can be eventually converted and recycled into positive and constructive experiences because of the knowledge gained about oneself and the world."

Shea, another awesome MASSART alumni! I was always so impressed by Shea while we were in the Jewelry & Metalsmithing department together, double majoring in History. Her work spoke with rich influences from history and eventually evolved to a process in which she makes little pieces of history through what she explained as recreation and destruction. Shea has been setting up at the SOWA Outdoor Market in the South End in Boston since May 2017. She was also a featured artist as part of RAW Boston 2016, and shared a joint booth with Adrianna DeCastro at the Boston Home Show in the Seaport Convention Center 2017. 

What interested you in being apart of the Guidelines project?

"I am interested in this project because I like to challenge myself with working within a set of parameters set by another, as opposed to parameters set I normally would set for myself. It will be fascinating to see what I, and others, come up with intuitively within the rules of this project, and whether I embrace, or rebel, against them."

Check out more of her work here.

Follow her on Instagram

Meet the Artist - Kelly Jean Conroy

Kelly Jean Conroy

To Hold

Kelly Jean Conroy was born in 1983, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  Growing up in New England and being raised by an artist mother who emphasized making and painting, eventually led her to attaining her BFA from Syracuse University in art education and painting. She completed her MFA in Jewelry Metals from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2013. She is currently teaching metalsmithing at Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School, and metalsmithing courses at Massachusetts College of Art and Metalwerx. Her work focuses on life cycles in nature within a jewelry format. Her specialties are enameling, working with natural materials: carving bone, piercing mother of pearl, laser cutting, and casting.

Mother of Pearl

I first met Kelly and saw her work at the 2013 Annual SNAG Conference “Meta Mosaic” in Toronto, Canada. I fell in love with her jewelry immediately. It is so alluring and haunting the way she uses materials such as bone, birds, and other small animals. To find beauty in death and loss is a common tread for many artists. Kelly takes this to another level by creating jewelry truly made from nature. Even if it is too fragile to be worn, the idea of adornment is there, forcing the viewer to think about loss and life, but also perhaps to consider what can be used to make "jewelry" precious, beautiful, and unique. Kelly is someone I admire, she balances creating art jewelry and wearable work on top of being an educator, teaching night classes at MASSART and high school jewelry classes. I studied both Art Ed and Jewelry & Metalsmithing, so I love meeting and seeing others who balance the two. 

Bone Butterfly 

"I see my jewelry as layered paintings- collages with dimensional elements that allude to a story. The stories are about loss, something that touches us all eventually, but also about the beauty of life. If I can make death and the subsequent feeling of loss something beautiful, I can soothe my fear of future loss. We all carry these experiences of life and loss within the inner layers of our being, and I see my necklaces as a way to wear these moments on one’s outer layer."

What interested you in being apart of the Guidelines project?

"When Given the same Guidelines interested me as a form of connection to others in my field.  Connection lives in many ways... as jewelers, our work is meant to be worn and connect to the viewer/wearer, and in some way we're looking to connect to the folks who think and feel about the same things as we do.  The concept of working 'alongside' other jewelers near and far pulled me in, and I'm excited to be apart of such a creative concept!"

Check out more of her work here.

Follow her on Instagram.

Meet the Artist - Chloe Leigh

Chloe Leigh

"Chloe Leigh is a Fine Jeweler who currently resides in Rockport, MA. She graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing in May 2017 and sought additional training by attending Alchimia Contemporary Jewelry School in Florence, Italy; Davide Penso Glass Jewels classes in Murano, Italy; Marchutz College of Art and Design in Aix-en-Provence, France; and The Glass Furnace in Istanbul, Turkey. 
After graduating with her BFA, she established Chloe Leigh Design Studio in Gloucester, Massachusetts. She is currently designing her first jewelry collection. Chloe is establishing her own handcrafted jewelry business that focuses around everyday wear with a sophisticated and delicate style. She continues to be inspired by circular forms, a warm palate, and the sense of balance that she experiences in her coastal environment. Chloe’s goal is to create memorable fine jewelry with a fresh and simplistic look to compliment the wearer."

I gotta say when I saw Chloe's post on facebook about her new studio and storefront I was definitely feeling a bit jealous (cause I'm human and working on building up a studio myself), but more so, I was so impressed! As she put it, "These past three months I have been working hard behind the scene out of the public eye… I have been working to create a healthy working environment and building communities in the north-shore." And she did this all while working a part-time job and just graduating. Though she made it look easy, starting up your own studio is the opposite of that. She worked hard, and by doing so she was able to finance the start of her studio through scholarships, awards, and organizations that supported her and her work. Chloe describes herself as an Entrepreneur, and she is just that. Happy to have another hard-working, talented, emerging jeweler aboard this project!

What interested you in being apart of the Guidelines project?

"The project, “When Given the same Guidelines,” inspires me to make, become a part of a conversation, and explore the interpretations of other artists.  I look forward to sharing my own perspective and hearing the voices of others."

Follow her on Instagram

Meet the Artist - Kelsey Larsen McQuown

Kelsey Grape 

Kelsey Larsen McQuown is an artist currently relocating to the Leelanau Peninsula in Northern Michigan.  Kelsey's work centers around the reimagining of traditional metalworking techniques and is inspired by her exploration of this ever-changing world we all call home. 

Shoreline Necklace

Like Shira Brooks, I first met Kelsey down in Atlanta at the American Craft Council Show. I was lucky to have her as one of my neighbors in the emerging artist Hip Pop booth. Kelsey's work is unique in the way she uses a historical technique in a more modern way. Filigree is a type of jewelry/metalworking process made with tiny beads or twisted wire or both. Kelsey hand twists and solders delicate gold and fine silver wire together and then frames the filigree inside of bold modern shapes. Her work is classic and contemporary all at the same time, and I know she's going to create some magic for each of the Guidelines!

What interested you in being apart of the Guidelines project?

"I’ve recently moved from a shared space to working completely on my own. In many ways it is an exciting change, but I do miss the moments of collective inspiration that can happen when working alongside other artists. I am participating in this project as way to insert more playfulness and creative thinking into my everyday process. I am very excited to see how the project develops."

Sunrise Cuff


Check out more of her work here.

Follow her on Instagram

Meet the Artist - Franko Kosic-Matulic

Franko Kosic-Matulic

"My work is a close study of the functionality of jewelry - but with broken, bumpy, tiny objects. I received a whimsical education from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and currently reside in Boston, MA."

Color in concrete products may vary

Franko is another talented friend of mine from MASSART. He received the Helen Blair sculpture award as a graduating senior. He then went off to do an internship at the Smith shop, has attended workshops at Haystack and Penland, and is now working as the shop manager at Formlabs, a 3D printing technology developer and manufacturing company based in Somerville, MA. He's real cool, and I cant wait to see his work made for this project!

What interested you in being apart of the Guidelines project?

"When Given the same Guidelines interested me because it's a call out to people trying to make work outside of a conventional setting. Turns out there are quite a few of us out there.”

Meteors are like little planets

Non-recyclable materials 

Check out more of his work here.

Follow him on Instagram

Meet the Artist - Liz Clark

Liz Clark

Silique Necklace

"Liz Clark received her BFA in Crafts/Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2006.
She lives in Providence, RI and maintains a metal studio where she creates art and jewelry.  She exhibits her work through various galleries across the country.  Liz also works part time at Metalwerx, a school for jewelry and metal arts in Waltham, MA as the Administrative and Events Manager."

Liz Clark and I have been what you call "social media friends" for a while now, but I finally meet her in person at the Metalwerx online auction opening reception, held at LAP Gallery through the Monique Rancourt Artisan Gallery.  She is an awesome hardworking person, artist, and jeweler that Im glad Ive met, and happy to have on board for the Guidelines project. In an Art Jewelry Forum interview with Olivia Shih, Liz explains that flowers are ever present though her life, through marriage ceremonies, funerals, holidays, etc. and are what fuel the making behind her visually strong, beautiful, floral jewelry.

From the interview:

Olivia Shih: Do you have any new projects on the horizon? Do you think you will be exploring floral themes for many years to come?
Liz Clark: I do not feel that I have exhausted the floral motif. I hope to continue using nature as a theme, shifting the focus microscopically to find patterns and form. I plan to make larger pieces that would push me out of my comfort zone and challenge me to make nonwearable work.

Read the rest of the interview here

I cant wait to see what Liz creates for each Guideline, weather she uses the Guidelines to create wearable work, or more sculptural body adornment! 

What interested you in being apart of the Guidelines project?

"I was interested in participating in this project because after more than 15 years being out of an academic environment, I missed working within parameters. Other than commission work, professional artists and jewelers rarely are given specific "guidelines" to work within unless they are self prescribed."

Elliptical Bloom Earrings

Wildflower Medley Necklace

Check out more of her work here.

Follow her on Instagram

Meet the Artist - Olga Hall

Olga Hall

"My work features clean, modern design and bold forms. I use shapes and repetition to create patterns and symbols. I strive to make jewelry and objects that act as talismans of confidence, style and creativity."

Another fellow MASSART alumni! Olga Hall isn't just a Jeweler, she also studied illustration during her undergrad. She still currently resides in Boston, MA working as the Visuals Program Manager & Production Lead for Sophie Hughes Jewelry. Im very excited to have her on board for this, she has allowed me to bounce ideas for the over all Guidelines off with her, and is excited, interested, ready, and willing to give new projects a go. She is a great friend of mine, and an old roomie, cant wait to work with her again, even though we now live in different states!

What interested you in being apart of the Guidelines project?

"The premise of this project- accumulating jewelers across the country to independently respond to the same given prompt- is so intriguing. No two artists puzzle together the same connections or create work in quite the same way. I add my voice to this collective to see in what ways we share ideas and beliefs about the many facets of jewelry, adornment, and sentiment, and in what ways we have formulated our own perspectives."

Follow her on Instagram here!

Meet the Artist - Shelby Goldsmith

Shelby Goldsmith

I'm so glad Shelby is on board as one of the artists in the project! I first met Shelby while studying at MASSART. The jewelry & metalsmithing departments at MECA and MASSART would come together once a year to do a cross-critique on a shared assignment we all took part in. Interesting that this is how we first met, participating in a "given guideline" through an assignment by our professors to come together and discuss the outcomes. Shelby is a fantastic artist; I remember when first seeing her work, feeling like her brooches reminded me of objects that could be found in folklore / fairy tales, fragments of what something once was. They are beautifully crafted and are truly whimsical, I'm looking forward to the pieces she creates from the given guidelines.

Shelby Goldsmith is a jewelry artist living in Maine. She earned her BFA in Metalsmithing & Jewelry (‘14) from Maine College of Art, where she teaches occasional Continuing Studies courses. She was recently awarded The Belvedere Fund to outfit her home studio. She serves as the secretary to The Metals Collective; a Portland, ME based group of makers whose mission is to promote their craft through public engagement by exhibiting their work regularly. Her work explores themes of memory, loss, and preservation.

What interested you in being apart of the Guidelines project?

"As an emerging maker who completed their undergrad not too long ago, I was intrigued by the idea of being given an assignment once again."

Check out more of her work here!

Follow her on Instagram

And check out the episode on the Perceived Value podcast where Shelby talks to the host Sarah Rachel Brown about the Metals Collective here!

Meet the artist - Dan Lynch

Dan Lynch

Dan Lynch is an artist currently working in Chicago, IL. He graduated from the Metalsmithing & Jewelry Department at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2016.

Pipe Earrings

Vent Brooch

I was happily surprised by the amount of friends/past studio mates from college that wanted to participate, and Dan Lynch is one of the many MASSART alumni in the Guidelines project. Many, like myself, have moved away from Boston and left that inspiring environment provided to us at MASSART.  Sharing studio space with other artists in or out of college can help push us as artists to create more work, collaborate, and take chances. I have a strong memory of Dan in the J&M studio of him hard at work at his bench, ear plugs in, looking determined to complete something new! He is very experimental, on top of making beautifully crafted sterling silver pieces, Dan works with materials such as resin, grout, gouache, and found objects. Dan is not afraid of color and making fun, but beautiful work. Im looking forward to see what he comes up with!

Blue Brooch

What interested you in being apart of the Guidelines project?

"Outside of school, I have found it hard to stay motivated and inspired to produce new, thoughtful work. When I do sit down to make something new, I often shut down an idea that doesn't feel worth it. I am participating in this project as a reason to loosen up and embrace the surprises that come up in the making process. By following the guidelines Brie has put in place I plan to spend less time worrying why and more time thinking about what."

Check out more of his work here.

Follow him on Instagram!

Time to meet the Artists - Monique Rancourt

Monique Rancourt

I'm very excited to announce the first artist participating in the Given Guidelines project, Monique Rancourt. On top of creating her stunning sterling silver jewelry as an independent artist, selling at craft shows around the country, Monique runs her own Artisan Gallery in Waltham, MA.  Monique Rancourt Artisan Gallery showcases around 20 other contemporary Jewelers, and over 15 other artists working in various mediums from ceramics to handmade clothing. She has also held various jewelry exhibitions in her gallery including her holiday earring show, "Ornaments for the Ear" in 2016, and 2017. I had the pleasure of interning then working for Monique for just under 4 years in and out of undergrad at MASSART. She is truly inspirational, and I can't wait to see what she creates for each Guideline! 

Oceanic cluster cuff

"I think of jewelry as sculpture for the body. I tap into my love of the traditional adornment of Africa and Eurasia. Using  sterling silver that add impact without much weight. The feel, sound, and movement of these multipart necklaces, bracelets, and rings allow a flexibility that responds to how they are worn. I want to create dynamic, contemporary forms that feel uniquely powerful and inspiring to the individual wearer. Combining traditional metalsmithing techniques in precious metals, my completed pieces create an alchemy of pattern, texture, and fragments of memory and call to mind the transformation of nature over time. Intricate groups of repeated elements that shift in size create an overall organic composition, with detailed textures. These repeated forms build up to a larger scale and a more dramatic impact to establish an urban, contemporary edge."

Oceanic cluster necklace

Check out more of her work here.

What interested you in being apart of the Guidelines project?

"I really wanted to work on this exciting project to force me to think outside of my comfort zone. I also enjoy the camaraderie that happens when artists come together for an exhibit. Especially in the jewelry world, such a rarity."

Cascade Collar

Follow her on Instagram.

March brain storming...


Stay tuned...

In the following months leading up to our first guideline assignment, I'll be introducing and highlighting the super fab Jewelers for you all right here on the blog. Showcasing some of their current work, some background on who they are, and why they wanted to be apart of this project.


Now that I've been back home for a couple weeks after the ACC Atlanta Craft Show, I'm starting to settle back into this project. I cannot express my excitement for this to get going, though this feeling is mixed with so many nerves! The response to my idea was much bigger than expected, nothing crazy, but enough awesome jewelers have reached out that I will have to narrow the group down. 

The idea of creating art by following guidelines or instructions is a historical way that artists have made work in many mediums. When I shared my idea with a sculptor friend of mine, they told me to take a look at Sol LeWitt's instruction drawings. I was in love. It is very similar to what I am envisioning in many ways, except that my participants and I will not be following the guidelines or be creating our pieces alongside each other. 



"The use of instructions was a major strategy used by Conceptual artists. Among its principal originators was Sol LeWitt, whose instructions for several series of geometric shapes or detailed line drawings, made directly on the wall surface, sometimes took teams of people days or weeks to execute."

In the follow-up of one of Sol LeWitt's instructions, there are points I want the viewers of "When Given the same Guidelines" to think about as well. It's an interesting idea that people can be given the same guided instructions but because of their personal aesthetic, skill, material, and location, they can create very similar, or vastly different outcomes.

"Are there differences between the two drawings you made? Is it because the drawer did not correctly follow the instructions or is it because LeWitt’s written instructions can be interpreted in different ways?"

Project Introduction!

Hello, and welcome to the blog of my new passion project! 

"When Given the Same Guidelines..."

Bringing contemporary jewelers from across the country that are no longer immersed in an Academia setting to engage in various assignments with other emerging or full time jewelers to ultimately break out of our immediate communities and engage in a broader conversation.

Now let me begin with, this is still an idea at this point... BUT I'm feeling pretty determined to make it happen. I've gotten 10 jewelers who expressed interest without fully knowing what the project is really all about. So earlier this evening I sent them all out a lengthy email explaining why I want to make this a reality, what the project IS, and begged them to be a part of it. That last part isn't 100% true, but I am hoping at least a few of them will want to participate. If you read this and think, hey I want to be a part of this too, then please send me an email, or DM me on instagram! I want to try and keep participation to 10 Jewelers for this first run of the project,  but I could be open to more.



Im sure you're probably dying to know, what IS the project all about? 

Participating jewelers will follow 3 sets of Guidelines to create 3 different pieces of Jewelry. The final product must be “Jewelry”, but does not have to be wearable. All jewelry must be handmade. The project will run over the course of three months beginning in June, giving artists one month to complete each piece of jewelry. At the end of each month, I'm asking each artist to send me images of their final product. I will be posting those here for you all to see, along with process shots, drawings, artist highlights and more. I will also be proposing our final works as an exhibition to a gallery to have a final show So check back soon for more updates! I'm excited to get this project moving, and jewelers making.