Daily Gem: Jennifer Trask’s Woodsy Necklace
On a recent visit to the SOFA Chicago show at the New York Armory, this amazingly over-the-top necklace caught my eye in a big way. Artist Jennifer Trask created the piece out of an assortment of found (often in the woods behind her home in upstate New York), repurposed and antique materials. The jumbo stunner features deer antlers, cow and ox bones, pigeon skull, teeth from a nutria (that’s a beaver-like animal for you fauna novices), pre-ban ivory, plastic, steel, brass and five tiny hidden diamonds. Needless to say, I had to ask her a few questions.
What inspired you to make this piece?
I’ve been working on it along with the large wall installation (below) for the Dead or Alive exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Design. Naturally, the work has been mingling and some of these are fragments from the larger piece. The ornament and growth are directional, circular if you look carefully at the neckpiece. The recycled materials also address the uncomfortable distance we have created from nature itself. The references are specific, biological and metaphoric.
I wanted to work with something elemental and bone serves three purposes: the concept, it relates on a visceral level to the body, and is easily sourced as remnants from hunting, or as found material.
How long did it take you to make?
It’s hard to say how long a single piece takes since I work on several projects at once and there is an organic evolution to the process. I gather materials and arrange them, and then rearrange endlessly, sometimes, until there is a natural flow to the design. When you start looking at growth patterns there are curious overlaps—nerve cells and capillaries to the way plants branch and vines twist, and so on.
The W Editors’ Blog is going on a “Treasure Hunt” for May. We’re searching out the latest and greatest baubles, watches, jewelry designers and boutiques and will present one a day to you throughout the month.