Kat Cole Juror Statement

Kat Cole - Juror Statement

It was an enjoyable endeavor to jury this student exhibition, there were many examples of technical skill and ingenuity in the work submitted.  And while many are just beginning to explore the medium of enameling, there is great promise in the work shown. To jury this exhibition I focused on several factors.  First, the quality of the enamel work- did the maker display intention and skill in the application?  Second, the overall form and aesthetic of the piece, does the piece show quality metalwork and good design?  Third, image quality, this is especially important in an online exhibition, even the most skilled work can come up short if the image does it no justice.  

Enameling as a medium is often only given brief attention in many metalsmithing programs, and so it is refreshing to see the range and depth of current student work being produced.  This exhibition shows examples of strong contemporary enamel exploration like Can Lid Teapot by Michael Hull alongside the striking skill and detail shown in The Crane and Plum by Haiyin Liang.  The pile of handmade plique-à-jour buttons by Karen Trexler makes you long to see them in person, hold them in your hand and examine their delicacy.  As an enamelist, I know the range of color, techniques and surface available can be overwhelming, which is why I was particularly drawn to the quite, reserved quality of Listen, Speak, Act by Winona Hwang.

With enamels rich history in wall work, I was disappointed not to see more submitted in this category, but overall I felt there was good diversity in the work.  I encourage the artists represented in this exhibition to continue their exploration of enameling, pushing the medium, and all of us in this field, forward.