• VMAA

Beyond the Precious: Exhibition Review by Katie Li

Updated: May 19

On Thursday, my teacher Louise Perrone invited me to go to the opening reception for Vancouver Metal Arts Association’s group show “Beyond the Precious” at Port Moody Arts Centre. The VMAA is a feast for metalsmiths, jewelry designers, mixed media artists, enamelists, and anyone who creates art with metal. This is the second annual VMAA group show, and my first time visiting a jewellery exhibition, so I was very excited to see everything.


Because I am a student of jewellery design, I focused on jewellery. There were many types of jewellery made using different techniques that I had never seen before.


Looking at the exhibition, there was a small box named “Bhuj Box” that attracted me. This box was made by Julie Kemble. I had seen this box on the poster for the exhibition, and so I was already interested in it. I found Julie and did an interview with her. Julie is very friendly and told me about the inspiration for this box. Julie told me she had done a lot of traveling in India, where she found some beautiful textiles in a market. She thought about the idea of making something using textile and metal, and also added a Indian coin on the top of the box, making it look more Indian.

My favourite metalworking technique is filigree, so I was excited to see the work of Su Foster. Her work is so pretty! She told me she likes filigree because she always focuses on small details of jewellery design. She learned this technique at Pratt Art College in 2006 and will be teaching a filigree workshop in her friend’s store, Tiny Finery, next January. Going to this exhibition and looking at the jewellery gave me much inspiration, and helped me realise that my inspiration could be more open and varied. Because of the Vancouver Metal Arts Association, I now know some artists, and can learn from them. This was a great experience for me. Originally published in VMAA's December 2014 newsletter, this piece has been reproduced from the VMAA archives. At the time, Katie Li was a Jewellery Design student at La Salle College in Vancouver.

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