Amanda Bergman earned her BFA in Jewelry and Metals from Ball State University in 2014 and an MFA in 3D Design from Bowling Green State University in 2017. Her work has been published internationally in Autor Magazine, exhibited most recently in SCHMUCK/SCHMOCK and Under Fire 2, and showcased in Emerging Artists 2018 at the Ohio Museum of Craft. Bergman served as an assistant curator for the GLOSSY exhibition featuring 25 international contemporary jewelry artists for JCK Las Vegas and NYCJW in 2019, and she continues to exhibit her work while working as a studio jeweler, educator, and gallery manager for Ombré Contemporary Jewelry Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“My jewelry is created by adapting the traditional champlevé enamel technique to the industrial powder coat system. Each piece of jewelry is hand-cut from brass and soldered in layers to create a dimensional surface that is colorful, durable, and most of all, wearable. The illustrative matte black lines contrast with glossy pockets of color that I inlay by hand in a similar way vitreous enamel is wet-packed and inlaid in champlevé. I combine these forms with handmade sterling silver elements, such as posts, chains, and clasps, and often create kinetic works that utilize my intimate knowledge of ASL.
The shapes of my work come directly from my illustrations and recordings of people I interact with daily. If a person makes an interesting combination of movements, I record this in a system of graphic bold lines and shapes originally inspired by Birdwhistell symbols. My jewelry can represent one person’s combination of movements: a dropped shoulder, an open mouth, a neck tilted right, or even a dialogue between two people. Many of my illustrations are enlarged and manipulated directly from my sketchbook to metal in order to create wearable contemporary jewelry that always leads back to referencing the human form.
My recordings and illustrations are inspired by my life-long experience and fluency in American Sign Language and Deaf culture. My brother was born deaf and attended a state deaf school. I also attended class, summer camps, and cultural Deaf events throughout my entire life, and our bilingual family spoke ASL and English in the home. Some of my work represents my illustrations of hand signs in ASL, such as the sign for “friend”. My work celebrates the Deaf spectrum and acts as a bridge for the hearing/non-deaf to gain access and understanding to the beautiful world of Deaf culture. As a hearing person myself, I try my best to fight ableism and audism along the way. In short, be a good human. Learn ASL.” – Amanda Bergman