Emily Cobb is a jewelry designer and maker living in Philadelphia. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM from Tyler School of Art in 2012. In addition to a solo exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, she has exhibited at museums such as the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, the Racine Art Museum, and the Bellevue Arts Museum. Her work has been featured on the cover of Metalsmith Magazine and in publications such as Digital Handmade: Craftsmanship in the New Industrial Revolution. Emily utilizes 3D printing technology and traditional jewelry-making techniques to create her work. Emily is currently a full-time assistant professor position in Jewelry and Small Metals at Humboldt State University in California.
Living things transform in beautiful and haunting ways throughout their existence, becoming stronger or more fragile than before. Each of these jewelry pieces are inspired by the physical and psychological change that occurs with the passing of time. By imagining another reality in which animals show signs of aging in unusual ways, Cobb explores both the appealing and destructive results of this process. Birds unravel like ribbons as they grow older, until they completely become undone. Fish dry up overtime; the surfaces of their bodies cracking apart like riverbeds during a drought. Frogs slowly thaw like icicles on a warm day, their skin succumbing to gravitational pull. She continues to make wearable work because when the body becomes part of the composition it animates the work even further. Also jewelry, not being confined to a wall or a pedestal, enables the wearer to make a statement and spark creative discussion in all kinds of social settings.
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.