Maker x Maker with Alicia Goodwin (Week 1)
Maker x Maker with Alicia Goodwin (Week 1)
Artists from our community introduce you to the makers they adore.
Maker x Maker is a platform for artists to showcase other makers they admire. In this round, Chicago-based jewelry artist Alica Goodwin shares a shortlist of some of her favorite Black makers for you to follow, offering an inside look at their work from the perspective of a fellow artist.
We'll add a new artist to the list each day, so be sure to check back.
About the curator
Alicia is a Chicago-based jeweler who specializes in creating textures loosely based on the randomness of nature. Her work incorporates simple shapes with deep patterns in metal, creating dimensional and functional art. The work is also inspired by Meso American gold adornment as well as mourning jewelry of the Victorian era. Her love of craft knows no bounds and can be seen in her detailed, rich work.
Check out Alicia's Inside the Artist's Studio video.
Okay, y'all. My love of texture and detail hit new highs when I so happily stumbled upon the work of fiber artist Shenequa Brooks. Look, I’m a wannabe weaver, with dreams of running yarns through my fingers, foot on the pedal of some massive loom, yet Shenequa is definitely the real deal. Her hands are able to weave stories of bonding and love, Black women and their hair. When someone can create something tactile and tangible – something you don’t necessarily need the use of sight to experience – it’s truly a magical thing. Shenequa makes more than fabric. I mean, almost all weavers do. What she is creating is a memory. She is making future memories from ancient techniques, telling a story without the use of words.
Ancestry and love are truly told in each piece she makes. Perm rods, plastic rollers, and hair used for braid extensions are some of the accoutrements of beauty that assist in guiding the story of adornment. Her portfolio of work seems to keep expanding, with large photo tapestries that she adorns with hand embroidery and unique stitching, weaving even more love and care into memory.
I'm excited to say that I am a collector of her work and look forward to seeing where her talent will lend itself next.
Let’s start with the name of the brand, shall we? Ogechi has a great cheat, as “Eye of the Sun” is the literal translation of her name to English, giving us a hint of both her Nigerian and American background. The fact that both names sound and read so beautifully is an added bonus, as this brand is truly hers. Ogechi creates leather goods for the body, but in a more updated way, so what might be considered boring, like a fanny pack, becomes something else when it’s in the shape of an ellipse made of buttery smooth leather. She applies the same rule with an evening bag that is black leather, but also a three-sided pyramid suspended on a large, silver ring.
The way Ogechi plays with shapes using leather makes it look more like pop art than a wearable accessory for everyday use. Her choice of colors – bright fuschias, yellows, and oranges – stand out on a simple, thoughtfully designed piece. I love anything that will make a basic outfit pop, and this is exactly what her work does. It can truly be appreciated by many, which in art and craft, is usually a hard thing to accomplish. Her leather goods can both be added to a busy outfit or worn with all neutrals. Her signature wooden beads and lace fringes add a special touch to pieces that are already keepsakes.
Nacinimod – or Nas for short – has the hands of a creator. I can imagine him working quickly and with purpose with a small crochet hook, looping colored yarn in and around, rhythmically creating the most stunning wearable art. I jokingly call him one of the “Mayors of Brooklyn," as residents in the know love his work. Crochet as craft versus basic function is what he plays with so well, creating patterns on top of patterned yarn, adding an extra dimension to the fold.
Nas literally creates his own world of color and texture, complex and playful at the same time, making boot covers, gorgeous jackets, and other items of adornment – including masks! Just when you think only so much can be done with a small hook and yarn, he pops up with something else for your eyes. I can’t wait to see what else his mind and his hands create.
I’ve known Lauren for a long while, when she was still a zoologist, working less on her jewelry practice. Her respect and love for nature and all the creatures of the world really come through in her works in metal. We are both inspired by nature, and I just love how her more realistic interpretations of the world around her are transformed into metal and precious stones.
Lauren is a prolific jeweler, and it’s difficult to narrow down what creation of hers is a favorite to admire. From the beautiful cuffs that carry the texture of stingray skin to her many, many gorgeous custom wedding band sets (one Star Wars themed), her mastery in metal is truly something else. It takes a special person to translate the words and wishes of a client into a beautiful keepsake, to capture on the body forever. I love that she can literally do anything with her hands, and it shows in her placement of stones in conjunction with the rest of the piece. I’m curious to see if there is a third career for this woman with so much talent. If there is, I’m here for it!
I’m not sure how I stumbled upon Corey’s work, but I’m sad it took me so long to find him! Based in California, Corey works in glass, and although he executes so many techniques masterfully, a favorite are his “basket” works. With glass, Corey creates the look of a handmade woven basket tricking the eye into believing some sort of weaving has been going on – with masterful hands. His glass work isn’t intimidating. Instead, it invites the viewer to touch and hold the work – to accept it as tangible instead of just an “object” or figure on a shelf. Y'all know that depths of texture is a weakness of mine, I could really just look in awe for hours at Corey's work.
Did I mention that he also makes digital collages and incorporates collage into his other work? The ability to look at a photo or picture to dissect it is truly a special gift that a talented few possess. Honestly, when people are so talented, I am just so pleased that they have found their calling early and are able to share it with the world, because I can’t wait to see what he does next.
What can’t be said about this multi-talented human being? Making things comes second nature to this Michigan-based artist/craftsperson, and I am 100 percent here for it. Avery has work for every body, from colorful polymer clay jewelry for the ears, to her beautiful, methodical, grid-like paintings that show a careful discipline and also a slight playfulness in between the lines for the eyes. Her hands stay busy weaving the most gorgeous wall-hangings that are so full of various textures of fibers, you might get sensory overload! You can even find her work inside some of the most beautiful envelopes I have seen in a long time!
All of her work brings me thoughtful joy, but some of my favorite pieces of hers are the haunting vintage photos and collages that she makes of them. Using a landscape of gold glitter, transparency paper and glue, Avery uncovers emotions of the past while at the same time hiding them away again by not exposing all the parts of the subject’s body, somehow masterfully keeping that part in the past. I get chills every time I am able to catch a glimpse of these quiet gilded works on her beautifully curated Instagram page.
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