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Relics of a New Age

Article Published: Nov. 4, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Relics of a New Age

Hand crafted jewelry of Una Barrett.

While out for November's Art Crawl, crawlers can stop by ArtWalk, where the hand crafted jewelry of Una Barrett will be featured.

The Asheville-based artist creates masterfully constructed earrings and necklaces using copper, brass, bronze and sterling silver.

Barrett uses a variety of metalsmith techniques, including forging, lost wax casting and soldering for her line of jewelry, which she has named "Relics of a New Age." She references, in both form and construction, the iconography and utilitarian artifacts of a wide range of ancient societies, including the abacus from Asia, the papoose of the Americas, bookbinding methods of Ethiopia and the spirals of Gaelic and Chinese traditions.

Compositions from contemporary architecture and culture are then superimposed on these historical references, resulting in wearable objects of art that are primal and modern, organic and industrial, all at the same time. This thought-provoking line of jewelry raises questions about the nature of contemporary culture and where it fits in the continuum of history.

Several pieces include precious and semi-precious stones, castings of fossils, or castings of botanical elements, such as thorns or seed pods. Each anachronistic piece is intricately constructed out of several different elements and metals, forming complex and entrancing compositions that suggest mechanization and movement.

Barrett participates in shows and art festivals throughout North Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York, and has work in galleries in North Carolina and Tennessee.

Una Barrett's jewelry is located on ArtWalk's main level, just inside the front entrance. With three and a half floors and more than 300 local, regional and national artists, ArtWalk is located at 611 W. King St. (across from Mast General Store) Boone, N.C. 28607. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. For more information, call (828) 264-9998, e-mail ( or visit

Gallery Times

Gallery Times is a weekly news feature of the Focus section of The Mountain Times, featuring short news items submitted by local galleries.

For more information or to make a submission, contact editor Frank Ruggiero at ( or (828) 264-6397.

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