A Sheriff’s Badge for the Modern Cowboy 

(Click on an image to enlarge it.)

September, 2019
3d Printed resin, sterling silver, stainless steel
46mm in diameter, 7mm thick

This brooch was made for an exhibition that the Metalwerx School of Jewelry organized in the Fall of 2019. The exhibition was titled “Imprinted” and it coincided with an award which Metalwerx presented to long time MassART professor Joe Wood. The exhibition included some of Joe Wood’s most iconic work, along with pieces submitted by his former/current students.

This was my contribution. Formally it is loosely based off one of Joe’s enamel brooches from the mid-90s both in terms of the main element’s color, and by virtue of that element being surrounded by a rim of some kind. The central element is a 3d printed resin that was done on a Formlabs Form 2. I felt it was important to present the 3d printed center as a raw 3d printed object without any further processing or refinement. I wanted it to exist as an object that was explicitly produced with this technology.

Joe was my professor at MassART from 2008 to 2012, and I utilized many of the techniques which he taught me during my time there. These included precise fabrication, pinback construction, and most importantly how to utilize the CAD software Rhinoceros 3d. (Which has had a huge impact on how I plan things out and produce jewelry.) I wanted this piece to encompass all of that, along with a bit of humor.

You see, during my time in MassART’s jewelry program, Joe always had a stern, serious demeanor that would betray a sense of humor every now and then. One of these times was in a CAD class I took with him where he slipped into a cowboy voice to explain one of the commands in Rhino. (Something to do with a lasso I believe.) It was jarring and quite frankly hilarious, and in talking with other classmates it became apparent that this was not a one-time occurrence.

Furthermore, Joe himself was a trailblazer when it came to utilizing CAD for art jewelry, as he fully embraced this technology within his work going as far back as the 80s. In a way he was part of the new frontier of this emerging technology, creating art in the wild west that was the pre-Y2K technological landscape. A CAD Cowboy if you will, with or without the cowboy voice. I figured it would be appropriate to make him a badge.

This piece was given to Joe after the exhibition.