A Collection of Wearable Sculptures
The Expansion Series is a set of one-of-a-kind bracelets and necklaces that were started during Alexia's undergraduate studies in Jewelry and Metalsmithing at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The forms for the outer frame are directly derived from the shape of Cohen's wrist, which was molded and cast in plaster. By drawing a series of tangential lines to the shape of a cross-section of her wrist, she discovered that a complete three-dimensional frame could be made to "hold" these lines. The first bracelets of the series were fairly flat, and emulated the initial drawing directly. As the series advanced Alexia explored ways in which to create multiple frames that could be crossed to enable a more exciting and dimensional effect.
Jewelry is usually imposed on our body. The inside of a ring is a circle; the inside of a bracelet is circular or oval. Yet, our bodies are everything but ovals and circles. We are organic beings composed of curvilinear contours. Starting with a bone structure, covered by muscles and tendons, and finally the skin which is stretched over this understructure. With the Expansion Series I want to address specific parts of the body, and instead of the pieces being imposed on the body, derive them directly from the shape of a specific cross-section.
Architectural structures—especially bridges—are created in accordance to a very specific section of the landscape. In order for an architect or engineer to start working, there is a need to observe the site, study what the conditions are, and design around them. The jewelry I have been producing in the past year have a very similar starting point. My pieces are not meant to be structural or functional in the same way, but they are structures that have the purpose of defining a determined space or part of the body. It all begins—like an architect looking at a landscape—by looking at the body, its forms and getting closer to it. Starting from the cross-section of my wrist and neck I created drawings using lines as tangents to define the shapes completely around in space. My three-dimensional interpretation of these drawings in metal became the starting point for an ongoing experimentation, with a lot of potential to change and evolve in many different ways. The pieces that I have been making are comprised of an outer metal frame which holds under tension a series of elastic cords that form the basis of the original drawing. The elastic cords actually touch the body and suspend the metal frame around the wrist or neck.
In an effort to make these objects more dimensional—the first works being almost flat—I intersected two planes, which gave way to a crossing of the tangents in lively new directions. The jewelry forms are essentially the product of my observations and my mathematical mapping of the body."