“Heretic Adornment”

Laura Kahler, artist

Jewelry is almost always used as a means of adornment. Heretic Adornment is the result of examining Medieval torture devices. These implements have always interested me, for they are meant to draw out the process of punishment no matter the device. While researching and juxtaposing jewelry and papermaking, I chose to combine the ferocity of metal with the delicacy of paper. Changing the direction of the torture outward instead of inward, the danger is not to the wearer but to the outside environment. The Heretics Fork is a medieval device that is basically a doubled-ended fork that is placed between the offender’s throat and chest; they must hold their head up in order to not pierce their skin. It was meant push the person to the exhaustive point where they could no longer hold their head up and allow it to drop in tire. The Heretics Fork greatly influenced the piece, in that the person wearing the adornment is in charge of their fate. They are protecting these vulnerable body parts, such as the wrist, neck, and head. Taking abaca fiber that was beaten and pressed, I wrapped the prongs that shoot outward from the cuff and studs. The pigmented paper and patina-dipped copper evoke a less dangerous form of beauty through translucency and color. The ferocity of the beauty is just below the surface.










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