The iconography of colour: exploring glass as a jewellery medium

Bohm-Parr, Judith (2008) The iconography of colour: exploring glass as a jewellery medium. Masters (Research) thesis, James Cook University.

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Abstract

This thesis offers an account of the historical and contemporary importance of glass as body adornment, hence concentrating on one sub section of the genre of jewellery, the non-precious. The primary focus derives from non-Western use of glass as a component of neck jewellery rather than attempting to encompass the story of glass as body adornment in its entirety. Within specified criteria, the essential characteristics of form, function and innovations implemented on both a global and personal level are discussed. Whilst acknowledging the vast historical roots of jewellery from the traditional aspect of gold and silversmithing, primary focus is placed on the evolution of non-traditional and ethnic approaches as opposed to the implications of Eurocentric preoccupation with precious materials, such as gold and expensive gemstones. Even as recently as the nineteenth century, specifically in Africa where glass trade beads were exchanged for slaves, ivory and other commodities valued by western civilizations, glass was considered to be a valuable and precious material that has been continually used as a precious material in jewellery for over five thousand years. Although the scope of research encompasses 35,000 years of functionality and aesthetics involving historical contexts of jewellery the main body of work concentrates on Western and cross cultural contexts over seven thousand years from the oldest recorded occurrence of glass neck adornment in Neo-lithic Iraq through to the beginning of the Modern Movement. Whilst the study is organized via classifications of pivotal aesthetic and technical developments there are clearly cross-overs of cultural influences over time.

The study addresses the question of why the neck has continued to be adorned whether fashion decreed its concealment or exposure through probing and documenting the complex unwritten language, social, cultural and aesthetic, of glass body adornment. The latter part of the thesis explores the contemporary artistic potential of glass as a medium for neck adornment and discusses artist’s ideological intentions and needs in relation to colour as a principal aesthetic tool. It documents the process of the creation of the visual work through the stages of methodology, concept, development and maturity of a personal iconography of colour. It further documents the development and management of the body of visual works for exhibition, analyses outcomes and discusses future directions for practice and research.

Item ID: 9625
Item Type: Thesis (Masters (Research))
Keywords: glass jewelry, history, jewelry, glass bead jewelry, wire jewelry, pate de verre, jewelry manufacture, jewellery, glass jewellery
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2010 05:57
FoR Codes: 19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1905 Visual Arts and Crafts > 190501 Crafts @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950104 The Creative Arts (incl. Graphics and Craft) @ 100%
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