“In 2014 I was invited to give a presentation to the Friends of the National Galleries, Edinburgh. My chosen theme was to research into 16th & 17th century jewellery in historical portraiture; examining its status, significance & symbolism. What particularly caught my jeweller’s eye was the exquisite detail and fine craftsmanship that went into the embellishment of the clothes, in particular Elizabethan blackwork embroidery.
As a jeweller I aim to explore the sensuality of the body through the tactility of materials.”
Susan Cross’s practice is fuelled by visual observations noted in her daily life, her love of travel and interest in cultures and their artefacts. Line, texture, layering, density, semi-transparency are all drawn to her eye, as are the juxtaposition of one form and surface to another and the spaces in between.
Fundamental to her practice is drawing, whether this is explored in a two–dimensional way or extended and developed through collage and models. Ideas are distilled over time both from drawing, material exploration and a constant reflective process. Materials are handled intuitively; this can also dictate method and form.
Gold and silver provide a basis from which to realise her ideas. These combined with textile threads offer contrast, spontaneity, colour and a greater freedom of expression. Silver is often oxidised black likening it to a drawn graphite or inky line.
Susan’s latest work explores enamelling, extending and deepening the focus and relationship between her drawing and making.