Shelby Goldsmith


BFA Alumni

Major: Ceramics

Graduation Year: 2014

Artist Statement:

My appreciation and understanding of objects is rooted in my childhood. My family is in the business of antiques and collecting, so their home was always filled with wondrous objects that emanated a sense of history through their dust. I was too young at the time to articulate this thought, but I did have an understanding that the antiques were compelling because of their history, which was visible in every crack, stain, and sign of wear. The antiques cultivated my appreciation for objects as a whole, as well as my fondness for the worn aesthetic they bear.

I collect and draw inspiration from my own personal mementos, translating them into jewelry pieces with the intention of commemorating them and memorializing what they represent to me. I consider my pieces to be like reliquaries for objects or people I’ve lost. I use my objects of sentiment as a material in my pieces, as well as draw upon them for inspiration: the wings of fallen butterflies, flowers from dried corsages, my grandmother’s floral couch, my grandfather’s stained handkerchief, my father’s ashes and the dust collected from his workspace. Through my making process I am creating my own mementos, which I can then carry with me, allowing the associated memory to linger in the present. These objects do not physically retain memory in any way, but I keep them so as to secure the memory, which is transient by nature. Objects remain after the people and things related to them, and the times associated with them cease to exist.


Shelby Goldsmith earned her BFA in Metalsmithing & Jewelry ('14) from Maine College of Art, where she went on to work as a Continuing Studies studio technician & instructor. She is an active core member of the Metals Collective*, for which she serves as the secretary. She resides in Maine, where she is working on building her own studio practice. Having recently received a Belvedere Fund to outfit her home studio, she is working on converting her antique hayloft into a workspace.

*The Metals Collective is a Portland, ME based group of metalsmiths & jewelers, who regularly organize local exhibitions. The collective's mission is "to promote the craft of metalsmithing & jewelry through collaboration, growth, and public engagement."