- The world inside a cut-apart stone seems like a universe or a panorama, says Domingues. “You may lose your self on this microworld”
- She creates traces, fractures, and cuts in each pure and synthetic gems to craft jewellery that resembles landscapes
- The strain between intentional acts and uncontrolled accidents fascinates Domingues
Patricia Domingues works with pure and synthetic gems in a extremely unique manner. Utilizing reconstructed onyx, lapis-lazuli, aluminum, and different supplies, she creates traces, fractures, and cuts to craft brooches and necklaces that resemble landscapes.
Domingues is fascinated by the stress between intentional acts, resembling reducing into the fabric, and uncontrolled accidents, such because the fractures that happen as she works with a hammer and chisel.
“I take a look at myself as an intermediator, as somebody who initiates actions that find yourself having a will of their very own,” says Domingues. Her first solo present in america known as A Fracturing Observe. It’s at present on view at Brooklyn Metallic Works, till August 31, 2023.
“I wish to assume the items of bijou kind a hyperlink between the immense and the detailed, and current a option to carry a grand-scale facet of pure and industrial environments into the intimate realm of the human physique.”
Domingues is Portuguese however now lives in Germany. She has taken a tutorial strategy to her apply. Final yr, she earned a PhD in visible arts from the College of Hasselt and PXL-MAD Faculty of Arts Hasselt. She is at present a analysis fellow on the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, in Amsterdam. There, she explores the way in which expertise depends on extracting mineral and geological assets from the Earth.
Her work has acquired quite a few prizes, together with Munich’s Talente Award in 2014; Australia’s Mari Funaki Award, in 2014; and the Younger Expertise Prize of the European World Crafts Council, in Belgium, in 2015.
Jennifer Altmann: You have got been making jewellery because you have been 14, when your mom took you to an open home for an arts highschool in Lisbon. What occurred?
Patricia Domingues: My mother instructed me that I may select any topic however jewellery. Her good friend was a jewellery maker, and he was promoting jewellery on the street—she didn’t need that for me. I began watching all these movies [about the school]. There was a picture of items of scattered silver melting as they joined collectively, and it was this lovely motion. I believed it was so highly effective. I checked out my mother and mentioned, “I’m very sorry, however I’ve to decide on jewellery.”
You moved to Idar-Oberstein, in Germany, to earn a grasp’s diploma in jewellery design from the College of Trier, which is thought for its program in gems. You continue to reside there in the present day. What attracted you to working with gems?
Patricia Domingues: I struggled loads at first with gems. It was a world that was obscure as a result of as soon as you narrow a gemstone aside, you instantly see the world contained in the gemstone, and it’s such a fancy world. It seems like a picture of the universe or a panorama, and you may lose your self on this microworld.
Concurrently, I got here throughout the universe of synthetic, artificial, and reconstructed stones. These supplies are sometimes a mix of resin with stone or steel powder. The variations in origin and materials qualities between them have been an inspiration.
On one hand, a pure stone is all the time a novel ingredient within the sense that, in nature, no two are the identical. [But] the reconstructed and synthetic materials is an enormous industrial block. On this case, the thought of uniqueness is misplaced, since regardless of the place the fabric is reduce, the end result inside is all the time the identical. The factitious materials features for me as a clean sheet, the place I can reinvent and reconstruct the observations I’ve made within the pure world.
The fractures that I’m making are a gateway to reflecting on the geological forces of the Earth but additionally on our fracturing relationship with supplies and landscapes. The motion of fracturing has turn out to be in my apply a metaphor and a mythology to look inside issues.
What’s your course of of making a bit from a reconstructed gemstone?
Patricia Domingues: In my studio, utilizing a chisel and a hammer, I try to flake a bit of the reconstructed stone that I’ve beforehand introduced into form and have mounted on the vise. As my actions break up aside fragments from the principle piece of fabric, my fractures appear to be concurrently an act of creation and of destruction.
You additionally work with drills?
Patricia Domingues: Sure. Core drills are particularly designed to take away a cylinder of fabric from contained in the [stone]. The fabric left contained in the drill bit is known as the core. This sort of expertise permits me to achieve the within of my supplies in a manner that I couldn’t with a chisel and a hammer. Drilling permits me to generate a form of undercut within the materials, so I can in flip provoke what seems like a spontaneous inner fracture. In a few of the works, my actions mimic the extractive gestures carried out by mining industries.
And also you just like the unpredictability of the method?
Patricia Domingues: Sure. Once I hit the fabric, I by no means actually know what’s going to occur. I can have a sense, an instinct, however I can’t actually management the outcomes. It’s form of a managed accident.
There’s a bent to understand craft as a type of management: You grasp the supplies and the methods. However as a substitute ability will be reinterpreted as a option to relate to landscapes and forces which are past our human area.
The works within the exhibition are made with many alternative supplies, together with reconstructed onyx and aluminum, in addition to pure supplies resembling Arkansas stone or limestone. Why did you select these?
Patricia Domingues: For me, it’s vital to be surrounded by supplies that I like. I by no means work from an thought. It’s not that I’ve an thought and I am going notice it. It’s the truth that I am going to the studio on daily basis and reside amongst machines, instruments, and a wealthy materials panorama that informs me as an artist.
I’ve a specific curiosity within the line between pure and man-made supplies, but additionally within the present pressure between decorative gems. I’m keen on the truth that decorative gems, due to their magnificence, all the time appear to have a prestigious place in our lives, at dwelling or on our our bodies, whereas the extra sensible supplies that represent our constructed and technological worlds are sometimes seen as easy background.
Inform me about utilizing silica, a quite common materials that we don’t have a tendency to consider very a lot.
Patricia Domingues: The primary time I visited a gemstone engraver within the area, this little cabochon spoke to me as a result of it had a unique shine. I requested what it was, and he answered “silica.” I went dwelling and began to analysis the fabric. It’s truly silicon, the fabric that [furnished] the title “Silicon Valley.” It’s in all our smartphones and computer systems.
What do you hope the viewer thinks about when trying on the exhibition?
Patricia Domingues: The act of constructing, for me, has turn out to be analogous to the act of finding out the panorama. I’m hooked up to the concept not solely every bit within the exhibition has a resemblance to a pure scene, but additionally how, as a physique of labor, the set up appears to counsel the formation of a panorama. A panorama within a panorama.
I need the viewers to mirror on the geological forces that fashioned and regularly kind the panorama as we all know it. I additionally need them to consider our society’s extractive wants and the way in which people objectify and deal with the world of stones and minerals.