In my studio practice I keep my materials simple—recycled silver, glass beads (which are often old and served a different purpose before me), fiber... I use basic jewelry techniques and few chemicals. By nature I am not extreme. I don’t proclaim to be 100% green or knowledgeable in my studio practice but I do make an effort. I have spurts of information gathering and change. I welcome input and strive to be thoughtful about how the things I do in my studio have larger consequences. I use citrus pickle and flux without potassium bifluoride.
RJM makes me think about fashion & trends and the fast moving pace of our culture. Often having little regard for any part of the making process and how the materials were made, how an employee was treated. There is so much junk, discarded, unwanted pieces of jewelry that were once something that casually and for a short time expressed someone’s identity. Excess. Little thought. I want to consider what I bring in to this world.
I have a hands-on process, using materials themselves to sketch. Sketching 3-dimensionally, I move things around and arrange the content visually until I am satisfied. It is so much fun to start with something. This is where my studio habit of keeping scraps, cutoffs, seconds, parts and pieces that were unsuccessful for what they were initially made comes in very handy. I find this to be both creative and resourceful.
For RJM I took this same approach. I unpacked the jewelry that was sent to me and started arranging the contents in different ways. Familiarizing myself with what I had. I used what was in front of me—often junky materials—along with nicer materials and occasionally something from my personal studio practice made its way in to a piece (such as handmade chain).What is of value/real/precious/fake? I have enjoyed the mash up in this way, creating pieces that are not innately related to material value, yet fun and even flashy.
Raïssa Bump studied jewelry at Rhode Island School of Design and Alchimia School of Contemporary Jewelry under Giampaolo Babetto. She’s skilled at making both intricate one-of-a-kind pieces and beautiful edition collections–all of which speak to her interest in wearable arts, textiles & textile techniques and slow & methodical handwork. Raïssa’s a keen observer of her environment, very curious and enjoys adventure–her jewelry is a reflection of this. She collages together her observations into pieces that are bold from a distance, yet draw you in, ask you to look closer and notice subtle details or how light coruscates across surfaces. Raïssa exhibits nationally, teaches workshops at Penland, Haystack & Arrowmont and is co-chair of the board of Art Jewelry Forum. She grew up in the Hudson Valley region of NY and currently lives and works in San Francisco, CA.