A Crowning Achievement

by Angela Li, M1, Class of 2023
“A Crowning Achievement”
A three dimensional piece made using metal-smithing techniques, and made out of copper and gold leaf. Pictured above is Angela Li modeling her metalwork headpiece.

Having been a cross-disciplinary student studying both biology and visual arts, my undergraduate work sought to combine the two interests, which can be seemingly contradictory but also surprising similar. Most of my work is inspired by nature; the natural world around us is incredibly beautiful, with all the different forms and colors, and it is also scientifically fascinating because every element exists for a purpose and is a specific adaptation. This contrast and tension between rigidity and fluidity is an idea that underlies the pieces I make in the metalsmithing studio, in an effort to find a balance between the two. 

“A Crowning Achievement” truly serves as a culmination of my undergraduate artistic career, twisting together realism and fantasy, and striking a balance between delicate and aggressive. It had always been a dream to make a headpiece and this piece specifically was inspired by the costuming and design of the Lord of the Rings series. The making of crown was a challenge to myself: to make something as flat and lifeless as metal sheets into something that was three-dimensional and organic. So, this crown is made almost entirely of thin copper sheets that has been hammered into hollow branch forms; these branches were soldered, hammered again, cleaned, electroformed, patina-ed, and finally gold-leafed.

— Angela Li, M1

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