Artist merges jewelry and sculpture

Artist merges jewelry and sculpture

- in Jewelry
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“Some people like to see some roughness,” says the North Vancouver metal artist and jeweller. Standing before a display case featuring his work in the District of North Vancouver foyer, he gestures to a sculpture called “Confuse” which, despite being made entirely of silver, has a dull finish. It’s one of several pieces Eshraghi has on exhibit, all of them silver sculptures based on the familiar form of the commonplace zipper with its two rows of interlocking teeth and moving slider.

“When Miaad designs his artwork, it is the representation of his feelings and emotions toward that piece. These zippers are a symbol of the connection between Miaad and the surrounding world,” reads the artist’s statement.

Miaad Eshraghi likens art to wine.

Some people have a taste for dry wine, others prefer it sweet; some like Cab Sauv, others Cab Franc. People’s tastes in art are no less varied.

At the front of one display case is “Tendril,” a coiled zipper reminiscent of a tightly curled lock of hair. Behind it sits “Lucky,” a polished piece where the two sides of the zipper overlap, suggesting a pair of crossed fingers. Another display case features a zipper called “Vancouver” with an obvious break in the metal on one side.

“For a zipper to work, both sides of the zipper must be in good condition,” Eshraghi explains.

Much of his sculptural work is influenced by religion and politics. “Election” is a collection of silver fragments which, upon closer inspection, reveal themselves to be broken pieces of a zipper; “Pray” is made from silver and copper to illustrate the light and dark sides of religion.

Eshraghi was born in Iran and began designing and making jewelry after high school. He moved to Canada in 2002 and studied jewelry art and design at Vancouver Community College. After graduating, he opened his studio space, Hands of Art, in Central Lonsdale. Business was slow to start, but Eshraghi gradually made industry connections, developed a loyal customer base, and now enjoys the freedom to be more expressive with his work.

In addition to sculptures, he also creates metal bow ties and custom jewelry pieces, all marked by his unique style. When commissioned to design a piece, a wedding band for example, Eshraghi deviates from tradition in favour of more sculptural forms that convey a message.

“Even that small piece must have a philosophy, something connected to the person that is going to wear it. I try to make it one-of-a-kind,” he says.

Eshraghi’s experience with both Eastern and Western art is evident in his work. One of his pendants features writing in both the English and Persian alphabets, depending on which side is facing outwards.

Eshraghi wears a silver pendant of his own design that expresses his philosophy. It’s a circular piece that features a small ruby at the centre, encased by the letters L-O-V-E. Surrounding the letters are the familiar symbols of the world’s major religions.

Eshraghi’s zipper series is on display at the District Foyer Gallery until Nov. 27. He also has a larger sculpture entitled “Money” on display at North Vancouver City Hall. Visit to learn more about the artist.