The Spaces Inbetween

Dolmen Ring ©2012 WTEK copper, sterling silver

Last weekend at Peters Valley I was happy to see Pam Cummings (former Artist of the Month) whose work I love. She was commenting on my jewelry and the negative spaces that I use. Pam mentioned that those spaces were an integral part of the design and that the nothing was its own something (I’m super paraphrasing here.) That comment really rang true with me.

Many times an empty space is seen as a place that needs to be filled, incomplete somehow. One of my teachers warned me about putting a huge hole in the front of one of my collars because it “makes people feel

Entropy ©2012 WTEK sterling silver, almandine garnet

uncomfortable” like if a portraiture artist cuts off a limb at the joint. But perhaps the spaces are just as important as the tangible parts.

In some pieces, like the Entropy series, there are holes right in the middle of the main element. Others have jagged edges or are joined in the back to give the appearance of floating parts with empty space between them. These spaces help give a flow to the work and draw the viewers’ eye around.

Ultimately the open spaces give a sense of relief to me. I love texture and layers, but empty areas give a contrast to the roughness. It’s like a mini-meditation, a pause, a spot to contemplate. The open parts become the jewel of the piece.