Alex Calder: Wearable Art

On my little expedition round the Eden Project a couple of weeks ago, I took some photos of these strikingly beautiful echinacea plants.

I love the dynamic, architectural shapes of the petals and prickly looking middle. Stong and beautiful.

I’ve been racking my brains to think how I could turn this into a glass bead……then I realised what it reminded me of…. Alex Calder’s Jewellry!

This amazing bracelet was made in about 1948, from scrappy pieces of silver. Nowadays he’s more known for his large mobiles, but he actually started making jewellry from scraps of wire for his sisters dolls way back in 1929. I’m loving the raw quality in the hammered ‘petals’ and if you look really closely, you can see plier marks on the wire.

These pieces are strong and confident,  handmade with simple materials giving an earthy beauty. For me, jewellery is about identity and empowerment, and this has it in bucket loads!

This piece, worn by Anjelica Huston is definately wearable art rather than ‘pretty’ jewellery……..made aound 1940,  it’s called ‘The jealous Husband’ 🙂

This piece Calder made for his Mum in 1930 is exquistely beautiful, encapsulating all the ideas i love: found treasure, precious objects, recycling……. and an excellent way to use up all the broken bits of china I’ve been saving for years.

Not sure where this is taking me……. I like the idea of combining glass,found bits and metal into a piece …..this might be an idea that I revisit after i’ve played some more with the meadow beads. What do you think to Calders work? Good, bad, ugly… Bex xxx

One Response to “Alex Calder: Wearable Art”
  1. miriammcclay says:

    Great post, really like the feature image and the first Calder piece of the post. Did you find anything on those other websites? Mostly ‘pretty’ stuff but some of the focal beads were interesting I thought. Monday art day at Newent is fine by the way. xx

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