Jewelry Raw & Cooked

Jewelry Raw & Cooked

If you show people two objects and ask which is a bing and which a bong they can often agree.  Theories have been spun to explain this but I prefer to believe they’re all inadequate and I dismiss them.  My last post I Can’t Get There from Here spoke to the same dilemma: that an essential part of human beings knows things and communicates them without words.  We can tell a bing from a bong.

There’s nothing logical here. And it’s delusional to believe that scientific method can investigate the nonlogical. A saw can’t do the work of a napkin. Rather, we must learn to experience our nonlogical gifts. We must use them as tools.

The tusks on a walrus are tools. Varied uses.


French anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss wrote about another bing and bong: the raw and the cooked, which he painstakingly defined. My apologies to Levi-Strauss but I’ve repurposed his terms for another use. In today’s world of free-for-all aesthetics and media I find myself wanting new terminology.  Raw and cooked serve well.

Today’s post looks at contemporary jewelry which has jumped outside the velvet-lined box. Jewelers offer both sublime artistry and high tongue-in-cheekiness. Value is no longer just weighed out in carats and karats. A brooch can be made of cement, scrap metal or sea urchin quills. Cache is gained in the palaver a wearer can have about her jewelry.

To wordlessly illustrate raw and cooked in this fast-booming field I offer the work of two women artists, the Norwegian Liv Blåvarp — masterful woodworker, and the Israeli Deganit Stern Schocken who dares to dare.


Cooked: Liv Blåvarp

Blavarp necklace
Liv Blavarp wooden necklace. via 


Raw: Deganit Stern Schocken

Deganit Stern Schocken, Neckpiece
Deganit Stern Schocken, Neckpiece, Heaven on Earth, 2008. Aluminum (smashed drinks cans), silver, gold, diamonds. Photo: ur i grun. via galleryloupe.

Two jewelry designers, poles apart.  I’d wear either of these pieces with wicked delight.


For a wider look at contemporary jewelry see my Pinterest board Advanced Frippery.  Robin Ayers is another vigorous Pinterest figure whose boards on contemporary jewelry are well worth your time.

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