For four decades, Marjorie Schick has been one of the pioneers of original avant-garde jewelry. Her works are based on both the American pioneering spirit as well as the European jewelry concepts of the sixties and as such they cross over beyond the usual barriers of shape, materials and color. One important aspect of her works is the use of ‘unsophisticated materials’ such as wood and papier-mache. Inspired by sculptors such as David Smith, Alexander Calder and Julio Gonzalez as well as potter Hans Coper, the artist views the human body as a sculpture which she stages with the use of large and sensational pieces of jewelry.
Necklace ‘De La Luna/Del Sol’, 1998. Painted canvas and cord, stitched, painted, and tied
When Mar jorie Schick’s works are exhib ited in Europe, they are often given the label of being ‘very American’. In her homeland, the USA, the pieces are thought to show a strong European influence. Both statements are probably true. Schick, born in Taylorville, Illinois in 1941 now living mostly in Pittsburg, Kansas, is a typical ‘creature’ of the Midwest. Her works exude America’s pioneering spirit and natural vitality. The European influence is reflected on the concept that jewelry is a work of art and that the human body comes together to form a whole through a ‘sensual embrace’ with her colorful pieces.
One of her brooches reaches far beyond the shoulders of the wearer and as such livens up the surrounding area. A chain so big that it creates its own aura and a piece of jewelry worn on the shoulder and which wraps around the head and frames the face make the wearer herself a part of the design. Even as a young woman, Schick liked to create her own artist ic inventions. “My jewelry has to surprise the observer and, if necessary, unsettle them, so above all it needs to be aggressive – it must be striking.” At the start of her professional career, Marjorie Schick studied Celtic/Nordic and African ornamentation but was also influenced by jewelry artists such as Alma Eikerman and Margaret De Patta. Study breaks in Europe enabled her to familiarize herself with the avant-garde on the other side of the Atlantic. These designers too all experiment with size and ways of wearing their pieces as well as moving away from expensive materials in favor of variety and innovative tech niques and shapes.
Necklace ‘C hagal l’s Circles ’, 2006. Paint ed canvas, wood, and th read, stitched, painted, a nd tied
In 1998 she met Dr. Fritz Falk, manager of the Pforzheim jewelry museum in connection with the ‘Ornamenta I’ contemporary art exhibition. Afterwards, the distinguished expert in contemporary jewelry said: “Marjorie Schick, who is taking jewelry and decoration to whole new intellectual and formal dimensions, asked us for our opinion.
She makes a very informative point herself: “When you wear a flower as decoration or a ball dress, you have to move carefully through the room. Normally, wearing jewelry doesn’t mean that people move differently. But why not? My pieces create new experiences for the wearer, for a few minutes or a few hours. When the piece is removed, the memory remains of how it felt on the body and of how the body felt in the piece”.