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SO MINT! No One’s Holding On by Kristine Ervik

Oslo National Academy Of The Arts, Norway '19

SO MINT! is a series of posts on fresh graduates in fashion, jewellery and design from around the world. Handpicked by Current Obsession.

Trembling chain
Dyeing in purple

In my master’s project “No one’s holding on”, I’ve chosen to explore one of the jewellery field’s archetypal elements, namely the chain. Traditionally made from expensive and high gloss polished materials, it has always been an object to engage in communicating power, status and wealth. However, the historical embrace of the chain among kings, queens, clergy and contemporary gangsters has largely cemented the chain’s function. As a repetitive instrument used in the upper-class society, and among those who aspire to become part of this sphere.


The project has taken shape based on expectations of the chain’s symbolism and function, whereupon I examine how a chain based on an intricate chainweave can change and be perceived through materials such as steel and latex, texture, color and size. Focusing upon the natural properties of the materials, I use the expression of value and the communicative ability of jewellery as a strategy to promote beauty in the downgraded and volatile, traces and processes that can testify and remind us of the natural world. Rather than communicating power and elevated status, my work points to the things we conceal and disregards.  Through the fragility within the materials and construction my chains function as an item of reflection on the transient character of life and object.

Each of my pieces include a larger ring, an open link, which gives the opportunity to hook on and off the chain. Being aware of the chain’s flexibility, as an object with several purposes beyond the context of jewellery – it can pull, lift, delimit, it can protect, moor and hold. My handmade structures share qualities found both in fine jewellery and industrial chain and as two separate expressions, they intertwine as they both emphasize, borrow and reveal each other’s qualities, weaknesses and strengths. With this separate, open link my desire is to keep the chain open for further explorations and more approaches. My work can be experienced in interaction with the body of the wearer, or by its own, staged and displayed in various settings as a freestanding object.


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