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Hello everyone and sorry for staying away for so long but I’m back now with yet another new column called “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Student“, which will focus on students of jewellery around the globe, whose work, well, I admire.

San Diego, CA has been a lot on my mind lately and not only because of the international Comic Conference, which just started and I’d love to visit at least once in my lifetime, but also because our first guest Michael Rybicki is a very talented jewellery student at San Diego State University. When I discovered his work online, I couldn’t stop looking, so I decided to drop him a line and I was very glad to find out that he didn’t mind giving us some insights on his Poured collection.

“The PouredGrid/Column pieces were made for my 2011 BFA senior show at UW-Whitewater, although a few predate that. Two of the earliest ones were exhibited in national shows; PouredGrid:21 was in State of Flux: SNAG Student Show 2011 and PouredGrid:39 traveled with Alchemy Exhibition 2011: 9th International Enamelist Society Juried Student Exhibition. Teresa Faris, head of the Metals/Jewelry area was my professor/mentor there.

This work stemmed from my interest in architecture, construction and the interaction between body and structure. My father is a carpenter, and I grew up on many of his home construction sites, which had a large influence on me, both in visual vocabulary and in understanding the process of building by hand. The materials in the Poured series were chosen to reflect the materials I had seen used in construction processes. Forged silver frames held cast enamel pieces, which I chose to work with for the way in which both the process and the surface mimicked concrete.

The following is my artist statement that accompanied that work:

Stairwells, entrances, distances between adjacent buildings, corridors– these spaces either consider the movement of the human body in passing or work to guide it. The arrangement of structure and material creates a multitude of such spaces for the body to engage. The occupation of such spaces and the resulting interactions/intersections of body and structure intrigue me.

Poured: as a series examines such relations between modern/contemporary architecture and the body. Intimate structures of metal and enamel are used as adornment, isolating space on the wearer. Utilizing processes similar to poured/cast concrete, enamel is fused within brass forms to create solid volumes. The porous surfaces that result mimic concrete, a strong contrast to the tradition of enamel as surface embellishment for precious objects, shifting the value placed upon structural elements. Unlike the buildings and urban environments referenced, components of my work are allowed to conform and respond with areas on the wearer via pins, links and cables. Cast enamel forms, suspended between sterling frames rest slumped against the body, then rise and fall as the wearer moves.”

Thank you Michael for sharing your process with us and we look forward to hearing from you in the future!

Michael Rybicki - PouredGrid:18x12 (2011). Necklace: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, Stainless

Michael Rybicki – PouredGrid:18×12 (2011). Necklace: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, Stainless. Photo from michaelrybicki.com

Michael Rybicki - PouredGrid:18 (2011). Necklace: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, Stainless

Michael Rybicki – PouredGrid:18 (2011). Necklace: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, Stainless. Photo from michaelrybicki.com

Michael Rybicki - PouredGrid:150 (2011). Necklace: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, Stainless

Michael Rybicki – PouredGrid:150 (2011). Necklace: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, Stainless. Photo from michaelrybicki.com

Michael Rybicki - PouredGrid:75 (2011). Bracelet: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, 23k Gold

Michael Rybicki – PouredGrid:75 (2011). Bracelet: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, 23k Gold. Photo from michaelrybicki.com

Michael Rybicki - PouredGrid:49x4 (2011). Brooch: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, Stainless

Michael Rybicki – PouredGrid:49×4 (2011). Brooch: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, Stainless. Photo from michaelrybicki.com

Michael Rybicki - PouredGrid:77 (2011). Brooch: Sterling Silver, Brass, Enamel

Michael Rybicki – PouredGrid:77 (2011). Brooch: Sterling Silver, Brass, Enamel. Photo from michaelrybicki.com

Michael Rybicki - PouredGrid:42 (2011). Bracelet: Sterling Silver, Enamel

Michael Rybicki – PouredGrid:42 (2011). Bracelet: Sterling Silver, Enamel. Photo from michaelrybicki.com

Michael Rybicki - PouredGrid:42-Detail (2011). Bracelet: Sterling Silver, Enamel

Michael Rybicki – PouredGrid:42-Detail (2011). Bracelet: Sterling Silver, Enamel. Photo from michaelrybicki.com

Michael Rybicki - PouredGrid:21 (2010). Brooch: Sterling Silver, Brass, Enamel

Michael Rybicki – PouredGrid:21 (2010). Brooch: Sterling Silver, Brass, Enamel. Photo from michaelrybicki.com

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