The Agency of Adornment

Latex bracelets by Kristine Ervik. Photo by Ivar Kvaal.

It is our pleasure to welcome you to the fifth issue of The Vessel entitled The Outermost Layer. Edited by artists and educators Camilla Luihn and Agnieszka Knap, this issue offers a thought-provoking selection of texts that showcase the many possibilities and complexities of working with metal art and jewellery.

For the first time, we started the process of making an issue with an open call for submissions. Camilla Luihn and Agnieszka Knap were keen to invite art students, artists, academics, curators, and writers from the craft field and beyond to contribute their ideas for the issue, and we received pitches from more than 80 different people. The ideas were so many and wide-ranging we could have made ten issues of The Vessel devoted to metal and art jewellery (and maybe we will!), and so the editors faced the difficult challenge of selecting a handful of stories to be featured in The Outermost Layer.

The seven selected articles showcase the agency of adornment – how a piece of jewellery speaks to us and to our surroundings, and how inanimate objects can play a role in oppression, subversion, or protest. From WWII identification badges to wedding rings, body casts, and gemstones made from literal sweat and tears, the different contributions give an insight into the enormity of the field and the many connotations working with art jewellery, adornment, and metal art can bring.

As you delve into this issue of The Vessel, we invite you to explore the power of adornment and the ways in which metal art and jewellery can serve as vessels for meaning, memory, and identity. Through the diverse perspectives and voices represented in this issue, we hope to ignite your curiosity and inspire you to explore the outermost layer.

We wish to thank the editors for their efforts and hard work in shaping this issue into what you have before you, as well as the writers, artists, and photographers who have contributed their talents. The Vessel is published by Norwegian Crafts, and would not have been possible without the support of our funders: the Norwegian Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Hege Henriksen

Director, on behalf of the Norwegian Crafts team