Gallium transforms from a brittle solid to a silvery, flowing liquid with extremely low inputs of heat–at temperatures that are above room temperature but below that of the human body. In the case of Bismuth, it has a very high melting point but exhibits a stunning response to heat by way of its oxidation–producing a thin iridescent, rainbow-hued film on its surface. Both these materials possess rich metamorphic qualities–particularly as they respond to heat.
It is these qualities that jewelry designer Sara Chyan capitalizes on, and uses to reflect and respond to the emotional state of a wearer or user, with temperature as her tool. It is these transitions–from solid to liquid state (and back again), and from mono-colored to iridescent–that form the core of Chyan’s ‘Emotional Jewelry’ project, and its experience.
Royal College of Art graduate Sara chose to use Gallium and Bismuth for her work because she believes these two metallic materials possess symbolic attributes that can be employed to reflect the emotional state of the wearer. The application of Gallium and Bismuth is rarely seen in our day to day life. Their low melting points allow her to instill heat as a factor into her jewellery pieces. Gallium melts at 29.76°C, and its shifting state is fascinating, from solid to liquid and liquid to solid, incessantly reacting to temperature. In contrast to Gallium’s low melting point, Bismuth melts at 271.5°C, and the oxidation of bismuth is stunning, where nature’s crystallized forms and colors can tell us the temperature.
In addition to her emphasis on material experimentation, Sara believes that jewellery is an object that carries more than just an intrinsic significance–it is not merely an ornament but also a medium for expressing one’s individuality.
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