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  • Preserving Jewellery Created from Plastics and Rubber: Application of Materials and Interpretation of Objects

Rogerson, Cordelia, 2010, Thesis, Preserving Jewellery Created from Plastics and Rubber: Application of Materials and Interpretation of Objects PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

The adoption of plastics and rubber to artist jewellers’ repertoire of materials in the late 1960s marks a significant and permanent alteration to the artist jewellery discipline. Since this time the physical and conceptual possibilities of plastics have fuelled and enabled developments in this artistic field. Since the early 1970s museums and private collections have continually acquired artist jewellery created from plastic. Some of these artworks are now exhibiting change or deterioration. Discussion and debate regarding their preservation is a pressing need. To date, whilst there has been recent research into the deterioration of plastic materials found in cultural heritage, almost no published work or debate has addressed artist jewellery specifically.

This research positions plastic artist jewellery within the expanding discipline of modern materials conservation and aims to raise awareness of preserving plastic jewellery artworks. The prevalent plastics in use for artist jewellery, their properties and importantly application, to create artistic intent, are identified. Current attitudes of custodians and artists towards preservation, which has a bearing on the past and future prospects of the artworks, are analysed. Despite not having articulated their opinion previously, many jewellery artists have considered the long term prospects of their work as part of their artistic practice. As change and deterioration of the artworks is inevitable the impact of change to jewellery artworks is considered. Understanding how material properties are applied to create intent, as identified, is essential to comprehend meaning and any alterations as a result of change. Finally, having deliberately drawn artists into the preservation debate the nature of their input is considered. Should jewellery artists intervene in their own work when treatment is required?

The research is from a humanities rather than scientific perspective and is concerned with objects and their interpretation in the context of preservation. The artworks are the starting point and their context as jewellery objects is the primary concern. Oral testimony of artists is also crucial to draw the artists into the preservation process as stakeholders and because jewellery artists are hitherto unrecorded in this context. What is demonstrated throughout the thesis is that the wearable function of jewellery has a bearing on their perception and interpretation as objects.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art > W160 Fine Art Conservation
School or Centre: School of Humanities
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2011 14:49
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2011 13:17
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/338

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