Introducing M A T E R I A L S P I R I T: Handmade electroformed statement jewelry by Detroit artist Bethany Shorb. An amalgamation of art. alchemy. myth. + science. In Japanese folklore, tsukumogami 付喪神 are tools over 99 years old that have acquired a spirit, or kami. 19th century scientists Edison and Faraday used electroforming in their work. We blend artifact, specimen, past, and future.
Electroforming is a long, intricate process of fusing metal onto another medium using a low voltage electrical charge. Coated with a conductive medium, the jewelry-to-be is suspended in an electrolytic solution comprised of an acid bath and copper sulfate. After days of moving copper ions onto the organic piece, it is removed from the bath, going on to polish, patina, and sealing processes. The original organic material remains encased in its new copper exoskeleton.
Electroforming results are unique to each specimen and will never be identical, even when crafted under what seems the same conditions. This nuance and variation is characteristic of the singularity of the piece and process. See something sold out you must have? Please contact us, and we absolutely can make something very similar or in the size you need.