Pollinate. A collaborative project by Jennifer Ramirez and Rachel Suzanne Smith. Waterjet cut aluminum, powder coat, digital embroidery, ribbon, fabric, batting.
This piece was created for the 2021 Society of North American Goldsmith Exhibition in Motion event. Smith designed the aluminum structure using imagery of native plants recommended in supporting pollinators of the NorthEast Ohio area, where she and Ramirez share a studio.
Goldenrod. A collaborative project by Jennifer Ramirez and Rachel Suzanne Smith. Waterjet cut aluminum, powder coat, laser cutting, crochet, ribbon, fabric, batting.
This piece was created for the 2019 Society of North American Goldsmith Exhibition in Motion event. Smith designed the aluminum structure around tracings of dried goldenrod specimens. Goldenrod flowers are critical in the support of monarch butterflies in the fall months. Monarchs are migratory pollinators in serious need of support right now. Goldenrod is also often mistaken for ragweed, or considered an eyesore. We created an opulent and over-the-top piece in celebration of the plant to shift the narrative and deem it as valuable.
Included in these images are process photos of the CAD work, laser cutting, and waterjet cutting process.
Protect. A collaborative project by Jennifer Ramirez and Rachel Suzanne Smith. CNC cut aluminum, powder coat, ribbon, fabric, batting.
This piece was created for the 2018 Society of North American Goldsmith Exhibition in Motion event. Smith designed the aluminum structure using imagery of carnivorous plants that adorned points of weakness on the body. The harsh metal armor was padded with lush sewn flowers and quilted petals.
Wearable Wallpaper. Vinyl, waterjet cut and powder coated brooches. 2020.
Inspired by Victorian wallpaper and historical decorative design/ the decorative arts, I created a wallpaper of brooches that can be taken off and worn as desired. Each piece is designed in Rhino, waterjet cut, formed, powder-coated, riveted, and attached with a handmade pinback. When worn, the proximity to the wall allows the wearer to blend in or stand out, depending on personal placement. I wanted to create a piece that would allow the wearer to sink into an opulent surrounding area, or stand out in a more casual setting.
Knapweed Series. 2018-2019. Waterjet cut and hand-cut aluminum.
Each piece in this series was based on the same outlines of a really hearty knapweed plant growing behind my apartment complex. I used a flatbed plotter to create stencils for the hand-cut bracelet series, and waterjet cutting for the larger ruff pieces.
Digital Embroidery Series
Digital Embroidery Series. 2019. Digital embroidery, laser-cut acrylic, copper, aluminum, powder coat.
These works were also inspired by Victorian Wallpaper and the decorative arts era. I used photography and sketches of mosses and flowers to create my digitized designs for embroidery. The backs and sometimes fronts of each laser-cut acrylic piece was etched with up-close photographic imagery from the forest floor.
Plantain Wall Brackets
Plantain Wall Brackets. 2019. Waterjet cut aluminum, powder coat, gold leaf.
I created a set of eight wall brackets that are inspired by decorative moulding and trim work, as well as the table bracket kits one can buy to assemble a workbench or table. Each piece is created using the outline of a plantain plant, which often looks like a weed at first glance, but when eaten has healing and anti-inflammatory properties. I liked the idea of supporting a room on all corners, creating a rich, decorative environment, but doing so with positive and re-worked imagery of a weed, formalized and honored.