It’s not surprising when you discover that your favourite designer once trained in sculpture, or that the coolest weaver first studied fine art way back at the beginning of their career. Great makers have long been leaning in and out of various creative disciplines, and more often that not it’s this very approach that makes their work all the more beautiful and informed.
One such maker who now has a solo show on in the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts, is collaborative jeweller Steven Ford. However, this isn't a show of jewels by any means. Instead, it’s an exploration in print. Titled Parts and Labor: Print and Collage Works, Steven (one half of the jewellery brand Ford and Forlano) reveals to gallery-goers his own proximity to the manual process of print. Using simple print-making techniques, he uses carved linocut blocks and collagraph plates as his matrices to play with colour, light and pattern.
It’s easy to see the connection between Steven’s prints and his jewellery designs. In his prints he places emphasis on bold patterns and shapes, layered surfaces, lively compositions and an evocative use of colour – all of which also ring true in his work as a jeweller.
Playing with print since 2008, Steven originally studied painting in Rome where he met his future collaborator David Forlano (who now also works in his own multi-disciplinary practice). As this new exhibition shows, not only is it important for crafters to remain open to collaborators of all industries, it’s even more valuable to set your own limits – the further away from your own speciality, the better.
Parts and Labor: Print and Collage Works, 5 August - 21 September 2017
The Fuller Craft Museum, 455 Oak Street, Brockton, MA 02301