Sophia Emmett is a jewelry artist out of Newcastle, New South Wales in Australia. In an interview with TokyoArtBeat, she talks of her recent exhibition and how well its gone on with the locals in her town.
“My aim is to create thoughtful and beautiful pieces that people can cherish. In each piece of jewelry there is a story of something reclaimed and then of something loved. I have three lines of jewelry,” said Emmett when asked about sustainability and working with salvaged materials. "One made from coal, the idea of using coal was to engage people in the conversation about how we use raw materials, the real cost and how and why we value things. The graffiti I find in Newcastle Skate Park peels off the walls. I like to use materials that would otherwise be discarded to encourage people to find beauty in unexpected things and use resources that would otherwise be rubbish. “Each shard is like a little layered history representing generations of graffiti artists, their self-expression and creativity. I want to celebrate that.”
When asked about what attracted her to using coal during her time as a glass artist, Emmett said, “I moved to Newcastle, which has the largest coal exporting port in the world. We are surrounded by coal mines. Coal is all around me. The burning of coal is the main cause of climate change, we need to stop burning fossil fuels. A lot of people have never seen a piece of coal. It takes millions of years to form, it is a beautiful material. By making jewelry from coal I wanted to start a conversation about the real cost of burning fossil fuels. Not just the short term gains but the ever lasting effects it has on all of us. Glass is my first love. I will always use glass in some form. With my larger sculptural piece I use glass, I also make glass jewelry. My past experience working with glass has definitely influenced my mesh pieces with the techniques I use. I live near the ocean and swim almost every day in summer. I am constantly finding amazing sea creatures and seaweed that supply me with a constant stream of inspiration for forms and ideas.”
“The founding principles of my work are: proportion, simplicity and beauty. Using found and unvalued materials to challenge our perception of their significance,” said Emmett when asked to describe her work. “Finding beauty in surprising places and creating thoughtful and considered jewelry pieces for people to cherish. I like to think of my pieces as small sculptural forms. Apart from creating a point of interest, the most important thing for accessories is to be comfortable and joyous. Form and function.”
When asked about her plans for the future, Emmett said, “I love working with the mesh and I am planning to make a larger, more sculptural form. I am also keen to get back into the hot shop to blow some glass and also combine the two materials. I would love to have another exhibition. Tokyo is such a lively, vibrant city.”
Information originally sourced from TokyoArtBeat.