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© 2020 Jade Kerste
© 2013 Marjan Unger
© 2013 Marjorie Simon
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Turning ideas into jewellery Ė new work by Iris Bodemer

-> to the original Dutch version

2020 Jade Kerste

Gemstones on a pedestal--hidden drawings in metal wire-- scratches in silver. Iris Bodemer is a master in transforming her ideas into powerful pieces of jewellery that donít have too little, and donít have too much. For her latest work, she had an abundance of ideas, leading her to work on multiple series simultaneously: sixÖ and counting. All elements that make Irisís work recognizable return in this new series. The work is playful, graphic, sketch-like, intuitive and detailed. Her joy of making is apparent in the work.

The array of stones

Gemstones are characteristic in Irisís work. She doesnít adapt the stones to a piece, but rather, their form is the starting point for a new piece of jewellery. Often she immediately knows how she will use them, or she finds the perfect one for an idea she already has. Then itís only a matter of determining the form of the base on which the stone rests. This base has to either support the stone or be an equally strong component of the whole. Iris makes sure that her jewellery pieces with stones do not become too beautiful or decorative. They have to have that raw appearance that fits their nature: they are rare rocks, originating from the earth. They carry energy that is passed on to the wearer and incorporated in the piece.

Array is a series where Iris combines her love of stones with a material that she never worked with before: aluminium. With this metal she forms the base--a pedestal on which the gemstone can shine. Working with aluminium brings new challenges. The metal needs to be cast, which means that the design needs to be extremely well thought out, since after the casting process, no adjustments are possible.

The series Figure -- consisting of only two brooches Ėstarted with a beryl crystal cut in slices. The naturally present tiny holes in the stone show that the two pieces were originally one stone. The slices were lying around in a drawer for a long time, waiting for a way to bring out their qualities in a piece of jewellery. The solution is surprising-- the stones are attached to a mirror. Through the transparency of the beryl, the holes are reflected in the mirror and clearly visible. The pieces of beryl are placed on the mirror symmetrically, reflecting the original form of the crystal.

A composition of materials

For the series Sound and Topography Iris uses the technique of electroforming,. This process allows metal to be formed over thermoplastic. Every Sound piece is a collage, consisting of a silver surface with a three-dimensional drawing in silver wire that is covered by electroformed silver. The wire drawing seems to want to hide, like a body under the sheets, but is still visible to us because the layer of thermoplastic shaped itself to its form. Next to it, pieces of tigerís eye or carnelian are attached. In the silver base of the jewel scratches and shading are visible--small drawings that determine oneís viewing direction.

In the Topography pieces, no drawings in metal are hidden, but other forms in silver and tigerís eye are concealed under a surface of silver. Turning the piece around reveals which form or stone instigated this deformation. Like the surface of the earth, the jewel has depth and heat has formed the landscape over time.

To wear the Topography pieces, simple shoelaces tie around the neck.. The Sound necklaces have their own leftover material as a chain. Other series have a calm, hammered chain, and in some pieces the closure coincides completely with the form of the work. This way, each of Irisís series has a fitting and original chain for wearing.

The escape of 3D

Juxtaposition: Two elements that we find more often in Irisís work form a juxtaposition this title refers to. Loose drawings in metal have been attached to a flat surface in a neat shape. Playful and strict, loose and fixed, flat and sculptural, light and heavy: the pieces are both.

In Construction Irisís 3D-drawings have detached themselves from the flat surface to form a small sculpture. The work can be placed down as an object but is meant as a piece of jewellery. Clipped to a long chain, it is both a necklace and a sculpture. A three-dimensional drawing for the three-dimensional body.

The unity of each group of works is paramount to the artist. All individual pieces strengthen the others. This is why Iris doesnít stray endlessly within a series. Juxtaposition for instance is a rounded group of five: the surfaces in each of the pieces have different shapes and the 3D forms have been formed in five different ways. Meanwhile, her head is processing ideas she will work out later on-- an endless cycle of processing, sketching, experimenting, making and processing again, towards new pieces of jewellery.

Jade Kerste, Art Mediation, 2020