Keith Farley / Metalsmith

Statement concerning Jewelry

I consider myself, in large part, a sculptor and devote a good portion of my time to thinking and working on a much larger scale than jewelry. My larger works are, unquestionably, obsessively crafted and tend to be quite elegant. These aspects overlap into my approach to jewelry making and much of the similarity ends there.

Regarding jewelry then, I find myself interested in issues of wearability. Where many contemporary jewelers seemingly tangle with notions of "the unwearable," I remain only moderately engaged in dealing with such issues. I do not attempt to suggest that someone acquire jewelry that does not evoke from the wearer some form of personal expression. I do feel that jewelry should be relatively comfortable to wear and not burdensome, as some contemporary works can be. At the same time, I strive to go beyond the obvious solutions in designing and executing any particular piece of jewelry. This may take many forms. Often I make use of challenging stones, both in terms of size and shape. These may challenge me, personally, from the planning stages through the completion of the piece and may also challenge the idea of wearability to a point. I always enjoy creating small surprises--from an unexpected hinge mechanism to gemstones that are incorporated in places where they are not normally seen. I like to cause people to consider, even if in a small way, where the boundaries of their jewelry wearing experience might be as well as notions of preciousness versus non-preciousness. Through my approach to making these wearable objects, it is my hope that people become aware of why they select those particular types of jewelry that they wear and how these reflect, to the world, something of the nature of the wearer.


Opal Laminate Brooch

14K yellow and white gold brooch with opal laminate, sugilites, chrome tourmaline, diamonds, and Chinese fresh water pearl

Columnar Ring

14k yellow and white golds, cast and fabricated, set with fantasy cut citrine

Spinel Ring

14K yellow and white gold ring with natural pink spinel, triangular Lannytes, and diamonds

Torumaline Ring

14K yellow and white gold ring with fantasy cut tourmaline and diamonds

Macaroni and Cheese Pin

(From Macaroni and Cheese Series) Sterling silver--cast and fabricated

Flying Buttress Ring

14k yellow and white golds, cast, fabricated, and set with London blue topaz, tsavorites (green garnets), and diamonds

Pouring Vessel

1980--Sterling Silver--shell forming techniques--12" x 8"" x 6.5"

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Last Updated: Wed, Feb 7, 1996