(Fig. 1) Sandie Zilker, “Armored Car Elbow Ornament,” 1975. Sterling silver, plastic tubing, moonstone. Collection of Richard and Carol Hutchens. Photo by Logan Beck.
Nominated by her peers and celebrated by the Houston community, Sandie Zilker was named the 2014 Texas Master by Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC). As a result, she received the opportunity to show her work in a brilliant solo exhibition and now joins an elite roster of former Texas Masters, all of whom were recognized for their roles as career artists in Texas who have made a significant impact on the field of craft.
Zilker’s solo exhibition serves as a retrospective of her jewelry work over the past four decades. Using the body as a frame of reference, she pulls from elements of illusion and surprise to elevate adornment to its fullest potential. Each of her pieces is packed with personality, increasing the wearer’s senses and creating a unique relationship between wearer and object.
After graduate school, Zilker began experimenting with very large, hollow layered pieces. Armoured Car Elbow Ornament, 1975 (fig. 1), demonstrates the artist’s ability to manipulate metal into numerous folds and incorporate both the precious (moonstone) and the discarded (plastic tubing) into wearable form. Within a few years, her work shifted towards the more formal elements of design. The Zig Zag brooch series, 1989 (fig. 2), which is more structured in terms of composition, is an example of this deviation from her earlier work. In her most recent piece in the exhibition, Long Dangling Points, 2014 (fig. 3), she applied line drawings to the Styrofoam surface, adding yet another rich visual layer to the work. Continue Reading »