BEN DORY
Inverse Plus Stud Earrings

$95.00

BEN DORY
Inverse Plus Stud Earrings
Stainless steel granulation, stainless posts
.25 x .25 x .25 in.
Item #383-04

1 in stock

SKU: 383-04 Categories: , Tags: ,

Description

Technically challenging processes like damascene, mokume-gane, and salt (or electrolyte) etching attract Dory, and his current obsession is granulation, a technique closely associated with the Etruscans, but dating back about five thousand years. The technique was prominent in Dory’s educational experience because his teacher at Carbondale, Jon Havener, was a student of John Paul Miller, a jeweler renowned for his work with granulation. Typically, granulation involves pure gold or fine silver, and artists melt small bits of metal to form the tiny granules (surface tension pulls the molten metal into spheres) and bond them to a metal substrate. Dory likes the repetition of granulation, observing that you “see something new each time because there is so much visual texture.” 

      Dory’s twist on this ancient technique is to use machine-formed bearing balls of stainless steel. He emphasizes the importance in his work of “thinking in modules,” both for materials and process. At the moment, he has a set group of base shapes that he uses in combination with the balls. Much contemporary granulation appears as simple lines or jumbled mounds, and while Dory allows his granules to gather organically, their precise geometric forms naturally fall into regular patterns (like the molecules of a crystal) that impart an industrial aesthetic.

To create his granulated steel work, Dory micro welds the shiny bearing balls to the piece of jewelry or to each other. He uses a narrow, tube-shaped vacuum with custom silver tips to pick up the granules, and when he presses a pedal, electricity moves through the tip and ball. An arc forms where the ball is in contact with the working surface, and the focused application of heat causes the elements to fuse together. A slight miscalculation in the alignment, and the four-thousand-degree discharge can melt whole areas of work; Dory notes that the learning curve was painful, and he endured numerous shocks and tiny burns as he refined his technique and modified his tools.

Excerpt from “Ornament” Magazine 40.4, article by Ashley Callahan

Artist Info

Ben Dory- Little Rock, AR
Ben Dory is a metalsmith and jeweler based in Little Rock, AR. An MFA graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, he specializes in combining steel and titanium with traditional jewelry techniques. Exhibiting nationally and internationally, his work can also be found in the collections of the Evansville Museum of Art, History and Science and the Emprise Bank Collection in Wichita, KS. He currently artist in residence/instructor at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock.