2010 has been a year of dramatic natural events. Tuned to the media, I watched in disbelief as disaster after natural disaster unfolded as the year went by. To name but a few, there were earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, and China, a volcano eruption in Iceland, and recently, floods in Pakistan and India.
As video images of the disaster flickered across the screen and replayed themselves through my mind, I found myself deeply moved by the events. I asked myself if humans were in some way responsible for triggering this series of natural disasters. I wanted to do something, but what? I’m not a search and rescue specialist, a doctor or a billionaire, though; I’m a jeweler. So I did what jewelers do best. My first piece was a raging volcano pendant cast from silver, with a deep red coral seam and burning embers of red garnet, hung from natural wool. I next fashioned a baby volcano pendant, silver with agate and red coral, and finally, earrings made from concentric bands of hammered silver rotating around a red coral nugget that represents the heart of an eruption.
Is it right for me to say that I was “inspired” by these events? I prefer to think that I was struck by the devastation and loss of life. Through the medium of jewellery, I created works that are intended to serve as reminders to people about the dangers of human interference in nature. It was easier for me to experience nature as a child than it is for children today. I want to remind current generations to preserve nature so that the next generations will be able to experience it as I did.
To see these works and more, please come to RED, our upcoming group exhibition.
Young Kyoung Ko