AUTOR is a story imagined and built by passionate people, who inspire through creativity, vision and courage. We want you to discover one of the #peopleofAUTOR and let them stimulate you with their story and their creations.
Miao He was born and raised in Beijing, China. Since 2015, she has been studying in the graduate jewelry program at the Savannah College of Art & Design in Savannah, Georgia, USA. Miao creates her jewelry based on her life philosophy. She believes that everything in life decays: it is impacted by time and will change and deteriorate as part of the growing process. She is at her first participation in AUTOR Fair.
The participation in AUTOR implies a rigorous selection process, a collection dedicated to the event and a lot of work. What can you tell us about the collection with which you participate in the fair on April 20 and 21?
The main series I have chosen to present at AUTOR 2019 is my “garlic peel” jewelry set, and several pieces developed further from the same concept. These pieces are all focused on the “beauty of decay.” This garlic work was the very beginning of my jewelry study work, with which I tried to make something interesting, attractive and in my own style. I was not a jewelry major student before I began my graduate study and I had no idea about what kinds of jewelry I could make. Like many students studying abroad, I was looking for something to do to help relax me when feeling stressed, and I found myself more and more interested in cooking. So the kitchen became the place I found inspiration for my jewelry design. Looking at garlic peel, I found its texture to be so beautiful, yet nobody thought it was of any value. I considered the uniqueness of garlic peel, explored it, and finally modeled a style of jewelry on its form.
What does it mean for you to be present at AUTOR?
It is a great opportunity for me to join AUTOR because this is a completely different event to those I have previously attended. I come from China and am currently studying in America, and jewelry from other countries has until now largely only existed for me in books. I expect it will be fascinating to see the differences between American and European styles of jewelry with my own eyes. AUTOR 2019 gives me the opportunity to participate in a huge event with talented jewelers from around the world. I’m excited to meet these people who love contemporary jewelry and can’t wait to talk with them about the thing we all love.
The concept of this year’s fair is “Beauty never sleeps”. What does beauty mean to you and how this conceptinfluence your artistic creation?
I find beauty everywhere, but the most attractive beauty for me is in decay. The decay process exists in everything though time: fruit will get mold, flowers will wither, our faces will be covered by wrinkles eventually. It’s a process by which things are no longer perfect or even complete. Decay literally is a negative concept – if something decays it means it is on the way to death. When I see something decay, I see it as transformed from the original state to a new form, and I think that is a type of new life. In this case, decay is not a symbol of death, but has the potential of a new beginning, which is where the beauty of decay comes from.
Nowadays, attention spans are getting shorter day by day. How does contemporary jewelry reflect today’s society?
Contemporary jewelry has become more and more representative of our over-riding desire for new things and novelty. Because we find it so hard to pay attention to one thing for long, we are always looking for something different on which to fasten our attention. In my view, contemporary jewelry greatly focuses on catching the viewers’ attention, no-matter whether it is with the concept, the material or the forms. Practicality and durability are much less important than they were in the past. Also, jewelry today is not that serious in nature compared with jewelry in history, because we so easily shift our attention from one thing to another. Contemporary jewelry is becoming more ‘relaxed’ and diversified day by day.
Description of the collection “Bloom” at AUTOR 2019:
This series of brooch is made by outside layer of garlic peel and sterling silver with the nitrocellulose enamel paint for coloring in the year of 2017. The inspiration is from my previous garlic set and uses natural material to show the unique beauty of the material itself. Garlic peel for me is fascinating because of its texture, thickness and organic look. Yet it is too fragile and it couldn’t be preserved long enough as a jewelry piece. Then I created a new collection of “garlic” pieces, and this brooch is part of that collection.
The ultra-thin silver petals were constructed using a silver sheet of regular thickness. I put the first sheet through the roll mill many times until it reached the necessary thinness. After that, each petal was forged separately by being cut in the required shape. The stamen part and petals were first soldered individually, then several were soldered together as a bunch. Finally, the bunch of petals was soldered to the base.
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