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Zink Metals at Artist Showcase Exhibition

collage of three views of Swell, a sterling silver pendant necklace featured in a artist showcase and jewelry exhibition

Inspired by finely curated metal work and artistry, we are excited to announce a uniquely exquisite exhibition where work from Rebecca Zink, owner of Zink Metals, will grace the gallery floor at Gordy Fine Art in Muncie, Indiana. 

This exhibition will honor the legacy of Pat Nelson and highlight the importance of the current Ball State University (BSU) metals program.

About the Artist Showcase Exhibition

Pat Nelson has been a major source for good in Muncie, at Ball State, and to the larger national arts community. Through her practice of creating wonderful works of art and teaching the next generation of metal artistry, Pat has established a long legacy of students who have gone on to launch successful careers as both artists and educators. 

This upcoming exhibition will demonstrate her importance as an individual artist as well as her impact as an educator. Pat is the founder of the Ball State metals program — which continues to thrive today and has helped many students launch thriving careers — where many nationally recognized metals and art faculty members now teach. 

In addition to honoring the legacy of Pat Nelson, this artist exhibition will also highlight the importance of the current BSU metals program under the guidance of Jessica Calderwood. 

The show itself will highlight sculptures, small-scale jewelry, and wall art from a variety of artists and educators. It will comprise work by Pat and Jessica and several of their students who have successful careers in the arts — including Rebecca Zink. All works in the show will be for sale and can also be purchased on the show’s online shop. 

Show Dates:

  • March 20, 2023 - Soft Opening
  • April 6, 2023 - First Thursday party with artist talk 
  • April 29, 2023 - Last day of the show

Zink Metals Jewelry Exhibition 

Rebecca’s piece in the exhibition is a pendant necklace, titled “Swell”. 

  • Title of the pendant necklace: Swell
  • Materials used: Sterling silver, steel
  • Size: 4.5 x 2 x 0.5"

Pendant necklace made by Rebecca Zink is made of sterling silver and steel.    

The Inspiration Behind Swell from Rebecca 

When asked about her inspiration behind the jewelry piece, Rebecca shared, “The techniques used to create Swell stemmed from my experiences in graduate school. I attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale, whose program not only incorporates metalsmithing but also blacksmithing. I had recently been pairing steel with my silver pieces and wanted to learn more about blacksmithing. My time in the blacksmithing studio started influencing my jewelry work.”

“I wanted to experiment with forging much heavier pieces of silver like I was forging steel,” she goes on to say. “Steel is generally worked hot at bright orange and red temperatures because the steel is very difficult to form without the heat. Silver is worked cold because the material is much more malleable than steel. However, I was experimenting with round rods of silver at ½ inch diameter, which is significantly heavier than silver that’s used due to the costs. I knew you could forge silver while it was hot but only up to a certain temperature because, otherwise, the material will fail.”  

“After one round of forging, I examined the material and found that I had indeed worked it while it was too hot, and the silver had broken apart. I felt that the texture that remained was very interesting and decided to intentionally create more pieces with that texture. Thus, my Broken Silver collection was born.

A close up photo of Rebecca Zink’s sterling silver and steel pendant necklace

More about Swell:

Swell is a rhythmic patchwork of that “broken” texture contrasted with a smooth swatch of silver and a stripe of blackened steel.

The idea of the broken silver matched this irreverence because “breaking” one’s expensive material hints of disrespect for the material and also the traditions of jewelry making that go back so many years. My work highlights the idea of value in materials by revealing the beauty in steel and, in this case, texture that is achieved by what is essentially a mistake in the metalsmithing world.  

“It is truly an honor to be invited to participate in this exhibition,” remarks Rebecca. “Pat Nelson was truly a gifted instructor, and I still implement ideas and concepts that I learned from her to this day. To be recognized as a notable alumni of the Ball State metals program is a great compliment that truly means the world to me.”

A sterling silver and steel pendant made by Rebecca Zink is featured without the chain

Learn More About Rebecca Zink of Zink Metals

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, Rebecca Zink earned her BFA in metalsmithing and visual communications from Ball State University where she was taught by Pat Nelson.  

She completed her MFA in metalsmithing from Southern Illinois University Carbondale where the program’s blacksmithing department strongly influenced her jewelry work through the application of industrial processes and materials alongside fine metals. 

Upon her completion of graduate school in 2017, Rebecca was awarded the 2017-2018 Stutz Artists Association Residency. In 2019 she was selected for 40 Under 40: The Next Generation of American Metal Artists at the Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. 

This upcoming exhibition will highlight the vision and creativity that Rebecca has honed while establishing Zink Metals and forging distinctive jewelry designs that have inspired the entire industry.

Learn more about the exhibition and view work from all the artists.