So Fresh + So Clean 5 May 2021 - ongoing

I Know Im Home 2021 by Toni-Maree Savage

So Fresh + So Clean is an online international competition and juried exhibition curated by Ethical Metalsmiths, Cincinnati, USA. Artisan jeweller Toni-Maree Savage's work I Know I'm Home, 2021 is included in the exhibition.

Message from the Jury

With increasing concerns around the immanence of global warming, we turn our efforts more aggressively towards the critical review of studio practices. The mission of EM Students is to examine what it means to be an artist in the 21st century, and an important feature of being an artist today is rooted in the inevitability of our works, valuing their existence not only in the context of now but as well, generations moving into the future. This perspective as a maker takes effort! We may sometimes feel powerless in the face of such uncertainty, but the reality is that we have control over the decisions we make in our studios and in the innovation of our designs.

Our mission as adjudicators was to carefully review the full portfolio, paying equal attention to the writing and the images. As a group of jurors, we share certain perspectives as metalsmiths. Each of the four jurors this year has some relationship past or present to the So Fresh + So Clean online exhibition. As well, through our diversity we curate through four contrasting lenses, bringing together a wide range of approaches, understandings, and relationships to the curatorial process. Our hope with this exhibition is to highlight those students who are merging their self-expression with environmental and humanitarian ethics, in that sense this exhibition is a huge success! There are incredible works of art and innovation showcased in this exhibition.

Applicants were asked to explain how their work fits within the conceptual framework of the call: to consider their work through the lens of Seventh Generation Principles, a philosophy that asks that we make decisions today that result in a sustainable future seven generations from now. While incorporating this motivation into one's practice did not necessitate an aesthetic outcome, we wanted to hear from the applicants through their writing. We were looking for sensitive consideration, forward-thinking strategies for materials, and innovation. As a virtual online exhibition, we were charged with the task of selecting work both captured and framed within a compelling image. This often meant that strong work not contextualized in a strong image was left out of the exhibition. The award winners met all of these criteria both through their dynamic work but also their strong, thoughtful writing.

We had the unique privilege of viewing work from all over the world from students whose burning passion is present in the emerging voice for this field. It has been a breath of fresh air to know so many of you have turned your gaze upon shifting approaches in the name of environmentalism and humanitarianism. From creating biomaterials to fabricating hardware that aids in easy deconstruction of artworks, to ethically sourcing raw materials the range of efforts has been awe-inspiring and your work shows those efforts!

It was a pleasure co-curating this exhibit and we hope you enjoy the selected works! Congratulations to our three award winners, and to the selected makers of this year’s So Fresh + So Clean 2021 Online Exhibition!!!

Artist Statement

I love Eucalyptus trees – the smell, the sight, the sound. When I feel tired and overwhelmed, I take a walk among the Eucalyptus bushland near my home. I breathe in the sweet smell of freshness, feast my eyes on the majestic towering branches, and listen to the gentle whisper of the leaves and bees. When I’m among the Eucalyptus, I know I’m home. The inspiration for my statement necklace is to share my delight in the Eucalyptus. I want the wearer and viewer to feel something of the embrace and comfort I feel when I’m walking among a grove of Eucalyptus trees. I challenged myself to create this feeling of beauty and warmth from metal, which is cold and hard by its nature. Using organic forms, soft curves and patterns of natural repetition, I have infused the metal with life. Soft gum green and natural hemp fibres heighten the transformation to create a modern interpretation of the ancient Eucalyptus.

Responsiblity Statement

I have strived to find a sustainable and ethical option for every process and material in making my statement necklace. At each step, I considered even the most minor elements, such as the source and manufacturing of the pencil and paper I used for drawing my designs, to more obvious details, such as collecting all waste products from my making for recycling. In support of the 7th Generation Principle, my work uses only cold connections in the form of flush riveting. It is also a single metal to enhance reuse and recyclability by future metalsmiths. Specifically, after much consideration, I decided to use uncontaminated aluminium sheet to ensure the purity of the metal for future refining.  I strived to avoid toxic chemicals and made limited use of non-renewable resources. I planned my making to be only during daylight hours, avoided using electric machinery, and predominantly made by hand. I limited the use of gas to annealing my metal in scheduled bulk sessions. I researched extensively for an eco-friendly paint option that did not produce harmful fumes either in application or removal. I was excited to find paint that is water based, 100% free of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and can be removed using non-toxic household vinegar. I also sourced my handspun hemp cord from a sustainable, fair trade supplier.

Online exhibition available on the Ethical Metalsmiths website.