My current body of work relates to the artisanal and trade skills associated with my home region of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and the gender roles related to each trade. Utilizing and referencing materials produced and consumed in the area (such as coal, lace, steel and cement), I combine decorative and industrial elements into wearable and sculptural objects.
Themes of gender, class, location, history and materiality are present and interrelated in my work. Each material has a culturally created history, traditionally affiliated gender and assumed purpose. My work combines materials prevalent within Pennsylvania while considering alternative roles for each material. For example making steel delicate and light, or floral motifs out of cement. The materials and imagery I chose to inhabit my work stems from the gendered impressions I get from each of these items. The disparate classifications of gender intrigue me, which cause me to question what truly makes something feminine or masculine?
Erin Turner is an art jeweler and metalsmith. She received two BFA’s from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania; one in Jewelry and Metalsmithing, the other in Photography. In 2013 she relocated to Denton, Texas where she earned her Masters in Fine Arts in Jewelry and Metalsmithing at the University of North Texas. Turner is an active member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths, with whom she has published a technical article entitled, “Laser Engraved Enamel” which explores using a laser cutter on enameled metal. She has exhibited nationally in the United States including the recent 2015 Materials Hard and Soft, a competitive exhibition focusing on fine craft.