The Philadelphia Art Alliance is currently featuring a collection of sculptural jewelry designed by Tyler Graduate Emily Cobb.
“I began making jewelry my sophomore year at Tyler when I took a jewelry class as an elective. Before that course, I had no experience making jewelry,” Cobb said.
After receiving her MFA from Tyler, Cobb began focusing on designing jewelry with a story behind each piece.
“I am really inspired by fairy tales and fables. Especially those with a dark undertone or moral to the story, like the original versions of Grimm’s Fairy Tales or Aesop’s fables. Overall, stories are an important part of my creative process,” Cobb said.
These stories inspire Cobb to come up with her own imaginations for her designs.
“I imagine plots and characters that inspire the jewelry’s composition and form, ” Cobb said, “Then I think about material choice, how the work will interact with the body, etc. At this point, the story and the piece are not definitive. The appearance of the characters, or the direction of the plot, may change as the jewelry piece is designed and made.”
Cobb’s jewelry is cast in colored nylon and photopolymers from molds generated by three-dimensional, computer-ailed design (CAD).
“I first design the jewelry pieces on the computer using a 3D modeling program called Rhinoceros, which I learned as an undergraduate at Tyler. When I finish building the digital 3D model, I send the file to a 3D printer,” Cobb said, “Finally, once I receive my 3D printed parts, I dye and assemble the pieces.”
Cobb credits Tyler with allowing her to be creative with her designs.
“My time at Tyler continues to help me immensely when designing and creating my work. The ability to work closely with 3D printers in the Metal/Jewelry/CAD-CAM really helped me understand the process. In addition, the professors teach and encourage innovative approaches to making jewelry, which continues to push me to explore new mechanisms, forms, and materials when designing my work, ” Cobb said.
Her designs will be on display until December 10. Viewers of her show can also write their own stories and captions for her pieces in books at stations in the exhibition.
“The pieces in my show are all narrative-based, and a book accompanies each piece with a descriptive title and caption on the cover. Within the book are black pages where the viewers are encouraged to write their own interpretations of stories behind each piece, ” Cobb said.
Every week, Cobb will photograph and upload the viewer’s submissions to her Tumblr website.