Helen Britton the Australian-born jeweler, photographer, writer, and collector, is eloquent in each of her talents and obsessions. Invariably, her own words are the best guide to her work. “Making jewelry,” she says, “I play out tensions and beautiful collisions in a small complex space, building miniature theatrical landscapes and emotional responses to the material world.” Britton’s materials are drawn from many sources, notably her treasured collection of junk jewelry components, which she documents through drawings and incorporates into colorful, complex constructions— each a “little machine or landscape for wearing.
”For Britton, ornamentation “is a form of desire, a sign of pleasure, and a solidifying of the flow of material excess.” She stresses that that the components she uses were always intended for jewelry, some of them for high-end costume jewelry, as well as for mass production. “I like to think of them,” she says, “in terms of their specific material and production histories: Who thought them up, where were they produced, out of what and under what circumstances, and for whom.”
Download the PDF: Helen Britton | Narratives of Creation by Andrea DiNoto and courtesy Metalsmith Magazine, Volume 34 Issue 3.