Echo Knowledge


Repoussé, Russian Filigree, Chased, and Engraved Miniature Bookcase Brooch/Pendant
18K Gold, Sterling Silver, Fine Silver

2-1/2″ x 1-3/4″ x 3/4″

This piece was featured in Metalsmith magazine’s 2007 Exhibition in Print and was be part of Framing · The Art of Jewelry at SOFA in Chicago, 2007 and at The Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon, 2008.

Eastern repoussé, Russian filigree, chased, and engraved miniature bookcase pendant/brooch

“How peaceful life would be without love, Adzo, how safe, how tranquil… how dull.” – from the movie, The Name of the Rose, based on the novel by Umberto Eco. The line in the dialog between the main characters refers to both the love of people and the love of books.

One of my most favorite novels is The Name of the Rose. Its theme of the censorship of art and knowledge in the name of rigid religion inspired me to create this tiny library. The gothic arch is one of my beloved and frequently incorporated shapes, but also for this piece it seemed appropriate to use it to symbolize the sacredness of knowledge and the devotion we give it. This shape and the semi transparent doors represent the history of suppression and simultaneous preservation of art and writing by the Catholic church.

My entire life has felt as if it has been a continuous gathering and integration of experience and knowledge for the sake of creation. (This includes my love of collecting physical books!) On the piece’s book spines, I chased the names of some of the authors, artists, explorers, musicians, and books that had most influenced my work up to that point.

I created the inset repoussé facade of book spines from one sheet of sterling and soldered the thick wires that are the ‘shelves’ afterwards to create sharper edges. While most antique bookcases would have solid backs, the ones in my studio are open, so I chose to complete the tromp l’oeil effect this way via chasing and engraving. The positioning of the books also reflects my somewhat hurried and pack rat like shelving habits. The piece is designed so that it can be worn as a brooch/pendant.

On some of the book spines:

The Name of the Rose
Tutankhamun (for Howard Carter and the artwork he discovered that inspired me to become a metalsmith)
(Katherine) Myers
(Isabella) Briggs
Leonardo Da Vinci
Van Gogh
(Joseph) Campbell
The Tempest
Hildegard (von Bingen)

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