Christopher Darway’s new solo exhibition at the Hunterdon Art Museum may be titled “Sculptural Jewelry,” but that only tells part of the story.
Darway’s unique brand of wizardry employs the design and engineering of tiny – and not so tiny – objects, including kinetic jewelry; the invention of games and gadgets; expertise in metalcraft, gems and minerals; contemporary and synthetic materials including metal, clay, polymers, latex and plastics.
His work transforms materials through methods of forming and shaping known to jewelers and metal artisans for centuries- – including fabrication, lost wax and other casting methods, enameling, and gilding – along with new technologies.
Christopher Darway: Sculptural Jewelry opens at the Hunterdon Art Museum on Sunday, Sept. 17 with a reception at 2 p.m. featuring an artist talk and refreshments. The show runs until Nov. 12.
This exhibition includes several of Darway’s iconic pieces, including his Wooden Ball Necklace, alongside his new Mechanical Brooch, created for this show. This new work resonates with the artist’s inventiveness and wit, noted exhibition curators Ingrid Renard and Hildreth York.
Darway’s unconventional and quirky art might have been anticipated by his earlier career as a keyboardist and songwriter in several rock bands in the 1960s and 1970s, including The Critters (which had several Billboard-charted hits including Mr. Dieingly Sad) and as a founding member of Johnny’s Dance Band.
Darway received his BFA in craft design from the Philadelphia College of Art and has been working in metals for about 38 years as a teacher and designer. He is a Precious Metal Clay senior instructor for the Rio Grande Company and has been involved with this material since its first introduction.
He is a two-time recipient of the New Jersey State Council of the Arts Award and the winner of the International Pearl Design Contest in Japan. His work has been exhibited in Japan, England, and Germany.
Image Credit: Christopher Darway, Wooden Ball Necklace, wood, sterling, bronze, steel, courtesy of the artist.