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What is jewelry and what does jewelry do? This is the considered question as I develop the series, Ligare. I began to think about the literal and conceptual structure of jewelry. What are the ‘bones’ that support the efficacious ability of jewelry? This led me to think about ligaments, which attach bones to bones and allow bodies to move, contract, and act in relation to the exterior. As I researched ligaments, linguistic analysis revealed that the words ligament and religion share the same root word, from Latin ligare “to bind”. Historically, jewelry has been utilized as a tangible and intimate device used to connect our physical selves to metaphysical concepts like faith, luck, love, protection, and fertility. Jewelry has the concentrated capacity to connect us, to focus our belief, and to affect our existence in the world. Throughout time, and within each culture, jewelry has been given this power and purpose. Many of these types of jewelry have become universal symbols, repeated across the globe, and utilized in various contexts from religious ceremony to mass produced fine jewelry. In Ligare, a few of these symbols—the heart, the evil eye, the cross—are conceived of as bodies, their ligaments in the act of pulling their parts together to realize the symbols potential.
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