Artist Statement: I approach jewelry as both the format and subject of my work which straddles craft and design. Undulating between these two fields, my research centers around mass-produced jewelry, because it has the capacity to serve as a cultural symbol for sentiment as-well-as commodity. As a designer/maker I am suspicious of industrially produced objects that embody emotional significance. The potency of craft objects stems from their connection to the maker and their enduring value. I find the area where industry intersects with emotion and my own values related to craft very intriguing. With these ideas in mind, I am developing a craft based body of work in which I appropriate found mass-produced commercial jewelry. Inversely, I am also producing a design based line of work in which I examine jewelry as an industrially produced luxury object related to commodity.
Erin Rose Gardner is a Portland, Oregon based studio artist whose practice undulates between craft and design; focusing on jewelry as both the format and subject of her work. She makes objects that are informed by ideas and research, and is always searching for meaning through material culture. Gardner studied metalsmithing and jewelry at the University of Oregon and upon graduation she was awarded a Windgate Fellowship, honoring the work of the best emerging graduates across the United States. The award allowed her to research mass-production in Guangdong Province in China, continuing her examination of craft, production, and sentimental objects. Today, Gardner's work is part of the permanent collection of the Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey and has been exhibited internationally, including Galerie Rob Koudijs, Amsterdam and more.