Sum & Substance: Caroline Gore

Sum & Substance: Caroline Gore

Caroline Gore Herma Brooch Chatelaine

Herma brooch (chatelaine), 2014, 24k gold, 18k gold, oxidized sterling silver, spinel, jet, hematite, horsehair, silk, 7.3 x 3.2 x .5 in.; Photo:  Caroline Gore and Anthony Faranda

In her open-ended practice, Caroline Gore makes a striking range of work – from wearable jewelry to sweeping installations. But she invariably draws from her everyday observations. Her “jewelry tropes,” as Michael Gayk terms them, explore the meaning of adornment – as communication, as culture, as experience.

How she got started: In 1994, I went to school to study painting at Virginia Commonwealth University. After the first year, I decided to explore the crafts department and enrolled in jewelry and metalsmithing courses. I was soon spending all of my time fabricating and raising metal. Jim Meyer showed me the work of Tone Vigeland near the end of my first semester; I was awestruck by the possibilities.

Her training: I studied with numerous people at various institutions, the most significant being Meyer for my fabrication skills and Robert Ebendorf, who was exactly the person I needed as I started to make larger sculptural work. In addition to studying with Ruudt Peters in the Netherlands in 2009, I have taken numerous workshops at places such as Penland School of Crafts since 1996. This all speaks to my formal training. I have a long list of mentors and colleagues who have helped me along the way; Don Friedlich has always been an encouraging champion of my work.

How she describes her work: Put simply, I am always chasing beauty.

Why she makes jewelry: Jewelry is a cultural messenger and a vehicle for communicative and personal exchange.

Her biggest reward: The biggest reward is the conversation that occurs after the work is installed or tried on for the first time. What I make is always in service to the communicative effect of the work as an object, jewel, installation, etc., and ultimately is what I can give to others.

Her artistic influences: Observing the everyday is my greatest influence – my environment, the people I surround myself with, and everything else that filters through. What sticks is what I end up making my work about.

Her heroes: John Baldessari, Manfred Bischoff, Ann Hamilton, Eva Hesse, Hermann Jünger, Cy Twombly, and Tone Vigeland. There are more.