Alchemy: jewelry Exhibition by Yuri Na

Posted on September 2013


Creative Experience and Memories

4 April – 11 April 2013

Jewelry is an object of desire representing what women want, and jewelry that has memories connected to it works as a tool to manage their holders’ memories. In my observations of crafts-consumers during my doctoral research period, there were a few significant things that played the roles of bridging emotional ties between crafts and consumers. Crafts-consumers wanted to know about the maker and where the crafts were made. Thus, they wanted to share the maker’s inspiration connecting intimacy, rather than satisfying simple curiosity. What crafts-consumers expected from the relationship with the maker was seen as a desire to connect and ground their new experience with the object in the greater and more intimate context of the object’s own creation story.

The title ‘Alchemy’ was a project of designing for and with people. In a historical sense, alchemy is the pursuit of transforming common metals into valuable gold. In this project, ‘Alchemy’ was the pursuit of transforming creative ideas and designs into tangible items. In order to create more meaningful and personalized objects as an alternative way of producing jewelry, the project proceeded in collaboration with seven participants. My collaborators shared stories that inspired me, and gave me relevant images, such as sketches or design schemata, as well as particular requests, such as color, materials, and measurements. In the last stage, they participated in some aspects of the jewelry making processes, engaging in an experience that provided self-achievement and added personal value to one’s own jewelry.

What excites me as a jewelry designer-maker is the relationship that can exist between a piece and its wearer, an object and its holder; the idea that people develop personal, sentimental, or intellectual affinities with objects, as much as personal exploration and conversations with materials I have been involved in. Through this exhibition, I hope to share stories of my works, recalling many fond memories.

Yuri Na (b. 1979 Seoul)

Doctor of Arts
Post-doctoral Researcher | Jewelry Designer & Metalsmith
EMPIRICA Research Group
Department of Design
School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Aalto University