Emily Cobb is a jewelry designer and maker living in Providence, Rhode Island. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM from Tyler School of Art in 2012. Her work has been featured on the cover of Metalsmith Magazine and in publications such as Digital Handmade: Craftsmanship in the New Industrial Revolution, and exhibited internationally in museums such as the Racine Art Museum, Bellevue Arts Museum, and HOW Art Museum. Emily is currently an Assistant Professor of Jewelry and Metals at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston.
Cobb’s jewelry illustrates emotions, experiences, and relationships through the abstraction and reconstruction of animal forms. By imagining alternative realities in which animals grow and age in unusual ways, she develops beautiful yet haunting physical transformations by combining both metalworking and digital fabrication techniques. Birds unravel like ribbons as they grow older until they completely become undone. Fish dry up over time, their body’s surface cracking apart like riverbeds during a drought. Frogs slowly thaw like icicles on a warm day, their skin succumbing to gravitational pull. Through juxtaposition, metamorphosis, and abstraction of representational forms, Cobb considers both the appealing and damaging results of the passing of time.
For some time I have been interested in how various cultures portray nature as an explanation of beauty. How nature is mediated by ornamentation and aestheticized continues to hold my interest. Particularly in jewelry, which is my primary format, interpretations of beauty seem to be intractable. My own interest in this subject has evolved and what I seek to characterize as beauty has shifted from an integrated ornamental condition to a more incidental bodily appearance, which I believe matters, thus the title for this series. These works are intended as topographies of sorts, skin like, land like, amalgams that are taken from the body and brought back to the body. I use the word body here both as a euphemism and actually. The materials I choose are critical to the physical character of the work and the resulting experience for the viewer. How things appear to us are the result of our value systems, and I am interested in representing what I value.