Driving America's Art Scene - Hunterdon County, NJ USA

Chris Mundy

Chris Mundy

Jewelry

As a child, I was often seen walking around, with my head down. ‘In a fog,’ as my mother put it. I was searching for things, interesting things. Much later I learned these things were called ‘found objects’ by artists. These days I tend to search in flea markets and at rummage sales. Some of my finds have developed into collections, such as old photographs, religious souvenirs, old buttons, old bottles, seashells, interesting stones. My collections don’t tend to have any value, they might even be considered junk by some people. But, they are things that I personally find interesting.  I believe my interest in these objects have a direct correlation to my design sensibilities. I prefer things that look old and worn to the shiny and new. I delight in the bizarre and quirky. These things surround me in my studio and inspire me. I don’t really have a sketchbook for ideas. A regular part of my process is to lay out objects and materials that I would like to include in a piece of jewelry. I meditate on these things and ideas for them spark into my head. It really does feel like a flash, and the pleasure of this idea-getting is hard to describe.

I have no interest in making the sort of jewelry you would find at a chain store in a mall. I’m inspired by both ancient jewelry and mid-century art jewelry. I enjoy making things that I, myself would love to wear. I find myself somewhat heartbroken when a piece is purchased, but I’m consoled by the idea that the person who purchased it must also love it. And, of course, I get to make more.