Everything is Drawing
Unique Jewelry by Claire Falkenstein
Claire Falkenstein made her first piece of jewelry around 1945, an ornamental hat pin crafted to wear to an award ceremony held by the Association of Interior Design. From there, she produced jewelry throughout her lifetime, always related to and in dialogue with her large-scale sculptural works. Falkenstein famously declared, “Everything is drawing,” and her masterful harnessing of line is evident in both her twisted sculptures and elegant necklaces. Rather than creating a distinction between these two practices, Falkenstein embraced them both simultaneously, emphasizing their conceptual interplay and technical similarities. Further to this point, she affirmed, “Jewelry [making] is the best schooling I ever had. One can make mistakes, experiment in structure, design and relationship to the human body.” The exquisite pieces offered here demonstrate both Falkenstein's skill as a jewelry maker and her inventive design sensibility.
She continually reassessed her basic vocabulary—from discontinuous reflective surfaces of curved flat metal plates to networks of thick, coiled rods gripping chunks of glittering colored glass. Still attuned with the times, Falkenstein continues to update those forms and vigorously declares herself timelessly young.
Art critic Merle Schipper, 1986