Saturday, June 13, 2015

Jana Brevick's 'Trace Elements 1' Brooch

'Trace Elements 1' brooch by Jana Brevick. On view now at the Bellevue Arts
Museum. Part of the show titled 'This Infinity Fits In My Hand.' Photo by Doug
Yaple. Used with permission. 

Jana Brevick's 'This Infinity Fits In My Hand' is the jewelry artist's first solo jewelry and environmental installation exhibition. Jana's work will remain on view at the Bellevue Arts Museum until August 16, 2015. The show consists of a selection from each of Ms. Brevick's collections, which have evolved over time to include her 'Tiny Universe', 'Eavesdropping', 'Moving Targets', 'Tracking Device', and 'The Elements & Diagrams' (and more) series, as well as several environmental installations and her astounding Everchanging Rings.

If I were asked to choose a favorite piece from this exhibition, I would have to declare a tie between 'Trace Elements 1' (the brooch pictured above) and her dynamic Everchanging Ring. The 'Trace Elements 1' brooch is a revised periodic table which features the following pure elements, set in rounds on a sterling silver mount: aluminum, iron, nickel, copper, zinc, ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, silver, indium, tin, iridum, platinum, and gold.

Perhaps its the elemental nature of the piece, or the orderly nod to science, but this brooch truly moved me. I would definitely wear it out and about, particularly if I needed grounding or if I wanted to broadcast my uber smart side.

The brooch belongs to Jana's 'The Elements & Diagrams' series, a series that aims to examine "the properties of minerals used commonly in metals."{1} Being wearable, the brooch affords the pleasure of experiencing these metals, and their metaphysical properties, in an interactive way. Because of the purity of the elements used in this series, those who have worn this and other pieces from the series have commented on how different they feel from other jewelry. I would love to experience that difference.

I would also love to experience the thrill of owning one of Jana Brevick's Everchanging Rings. It is a customized ring, typically made of gold, though I imagine Ms. Brevick would use any metal of your choice. The ring's owner wears the first incarnation of the ring for a time determined by him or her. When the time comes for significant change in their life, s/he returns the ring to Jana, who melts it down and works it into a new incarnation. Each stage of the ring's progression is carefully documented in photographs and words in a book that Jana makes to accompany the ring.

There are so many things I love about this concept, and the first to note is that Jana is as expressive in words as she is in metals. The book is as interactive and meaningful as the manifestations of the ring. The second thing I love about this concept is the marking of significant seasons in one's life with a special jewel.

We are so often never the same, though unchanged at our core, after powerful and transformative events in our lives (like marriages, births, deaths, etc.). In the same fashion, this ring is also the same at its core yet altered in its expressed manifestation at various stages of its journey. In a culture that has downplayed the importance of rites of passage, I think Jana Brevick's Everchanging Ring is a much needed concept to mark the important transitions in our lives.

So there you have it, my two favorite Jana Brevick pieces on display at the Bellevue Arts Museum. If you would like to visit the museum, you may click on the hyperlink to learn more.

~Angela Magnotti Andrews


  1. As quoted from the display case at Bellevue Arts Museum.

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