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  • Stephanie Sun

Long Journey for Found Objects

Updated: Jun 28, 2020

I have the tendency to collect random objects.

On my strolls around the neighborhood and parks, I used to pick up seed pods, interesting looking branches, flowers, rusty metal washers, and rocks from the ground. When I get to travel to beaches, I pick up sea shells and sea glass pieces. When I go to the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, I get a small bag of old buttons, colorful toy pieces, and other found objects that I think have potential to be used for "future" art projects. However, usually I don't get to include those found objects in my work and had to decide the most precious ones to keep when I move from apartments to apartments.

As an active workshop participant and someone who dabbles in all the interesting-sounding workshops, I have random pieces such as concrete blocks, electroformed hollow metal forms, enameled copper flowers, polymer clay leaves, wool-felted forms, and other artistic creations that awaits to be incorporated into a finished design.

Couple years ago, when I attended artist Bob Ebendorf's “The Art of Personal Adornment: Low-Tech Problem Solving" master workshop at Contemporary Craft, I was finally inspired to use these found objects and loose artistic creations as the center of the work. Using mostly cold connections and creative settings, making humble components like toy pieces, champagne bottle caps, and a common quarter into gems.

These half-finished pieces from 2018 were recently completed due to the COVID-19 work-from-home orders in Pennsylvania. With all the extra time at home, I am finally able to convince myself to lay out the incomplete set of jewelry tools I have and figure out creative ways to make a pin back, findings, and settings. With these completed, I am planning to make more of these assemblage jewelry pieces!

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