The stories of the Three Wanderers

       'The Stories of the Three Wanderers' was an open-ended project meant to unveil various perspectives of relationships we build with each-other, through or with objects that surround us. It was constructed to be a travel log of three jewelry pieces, that wandered the world for 1 year, from host to host, and collected experiences, stories and adventures. Regardless of our awareness, all things we interact with come with a previously embedded emotion or story, that affects our relationship with it. This log explored all of these connections: maker – wearer, past wearer – present wearer, object – person. The work itself was the journey of the pieces, changing context and environments, reflecting on host's personality, behaviors, routines. All of the experiences (documented with writings, photographs or videos that hosts will share) from each 'visit' were collected and regularly published online as a digital diary, presenting how each host adds value and meaning to these little works of art. 

photo by Biljana Koseva

1- the designer's piece

A unique piece of jewelry, a brooch from stainless steel crochet, brass and bronze.

It was made in 2013 for my final MFA thesis collection The Sensibles. The brooch is part of a larger collection of works, all made with the same intention of triggering and inviting our touch in order to stimulate our imagination of feeling beauty on a different level.The concept behind this was to accent the plurality of tactile sensations, while presenting this (tactile) sense as a potent source of beauty. 

photo by Mima Pejoska

2- the store-bought piece

Three colored necklaces tangled into one. It is a very simple type of chain, but also an elegant look due to its minimal design. The colors are brown, pink and orange.

Most probably the material they're made out of is plastic, but cannot be sure because they came without a box or a label... each for the price of $1.45 in a local store. This one is a factory made piece, most likely made in very large quantity.

It can be worn as a necklace or a bracelet if wrapped around the wrist a couple of times.

photo by Mark Thone

3- the antique piece

A beautiful antique piece of jewelry, made in filigree technique, in a form famous under the name - The Galichnik button (after a Macedonian village it comes from). This particular piece is an heirloom and was given to me by my grandmother before she passed away. It dates back to around the 1800 when it was used as a button on traditional wedding clothes at that time. Still it is one of the most recognizable forms for the filigree technique here in the Balkan, famous for its complexity and beauty. When this technique was still traditionally passed on from generation to another, the apprentice was considered to have mastered the craft when he was able to do the Galichnik button.

Today filigree is still practiced in the Balkans and Macedonia, even though until recently it was considered to be a dying craft. 

This project came to birth from my fascination from the contemporary jewelry scene and its amazing variety of exploring all possible faces of jewelry. From object of adornment, craft, status symbol... all the way to performance, ephemeral work or even as means of communication, this field can be limitless if we disregard the standard boundaries and definitions. It goes far beyond the technical aspects such as technique and form, and accents the concept that the piece communicates... whether with the audience or simply and intimately with the wearer. During my graduate studies in the US in the field of contemporary jewelry, I started practicing this new dimension, treating crafts more as messages and meanings. It is from that art scene (the contemporary jewelry and art scene in the US) that I absorbed the most of what I do today, and it is that 'open image' or view that I hopefully will present with this journal.

Macedonia and the Balkan region are famous for their traditions and crafts with many different mediums. Unfortunately for most creators, the modern trends and exhibitions of contemporary authors rarely cross these borders. With this project, and its traveling nature of connecting stories and wearers, I hope to present the conceptual value of jewelry and objects as part of the contemporary art scene and share the new relationships born between the participants and objects. The aim is to present how each participant/host adds another story to the work, another experience... building up its value and creating a new connection. The Wanderers will serve as an open-ended artwork that will grow on its own, building on different contexts, cultures and hosts/wearers, and will serve as a vessel for storing various memories. Random strangers, from across the globe, that shared these objects will be linked with the journey, taking part of this unique group adventure.

The Hidden Story

Being in certain context shapes and influences what we are and how we feel. Likewise, art in context of corresponding dynamics shapes its meaning. As such, context is an inescapable dimension of art in both production and its reception and interpretation. Following this notion, the value and meaning we give artworks can shift drastically depending on where it is, was, who owned it, made it, its age, etc. 

Jewelry with its functional side is one of the rare art forms that is designed for and around the human body and touch. It is meant to compliment and add to an already existing aesthetic value. The body is its context, presentation and natural setting. When finished and placed in a gallery, these artworks tell a certain story... one that the maker embedded in the form and one that he/she wanted to present. But, when the context of the piece shifts and the piece is placed on a human body, it has the power to present itself in another light and blend with its new host. Following the person who wears it, their aesthetics, appearance and most of all connection with the piece, the jewelry becomes a chameleon presenting a new story as part of a new world. The main goal of this artistic work, is to break the boundaries on how we treat and perceive craft works, start to see the other dimension of objects that we use but also it is about how relationships (direct or indirect) are built with and by them. 

The Plan

The project will start with an open call for registration in September 2015. All interested individuals for 'hosting' the pieces will be able to submit a request with a simple questioner, and willingness to send updates on the diary and pay for the transport from their place to the next destination. This open call for participation will not be closed for the entire duration (1 year), and it is expected for more and more applicants to register as the online diary shows its travel.

There will be three different jewelry pieces traveling the world: 

#1 one that is a unique crafted piece that will be made by myself; 

#2 second that it is a simple everyday object that was bought from a chain store; and 

#3 third that will be an antique jewelry piece with a history behind it. 

Each of them with a different background and story to tell, creating different relationships with the wearers. 

Once registered online, the interested hosts will be chosen randomly (but still making sure that the trip from the present to the next host will not be a long duration/trip) for the schedule of wearing by the organizer of the trip – myself. Each host will have the chance to keep the piece (every piece will have a different path), for at least 5 days before sending it to the next destination. Every following destination will again be chosen by myself, directly contacting the present host with the next on how the piece will be sent. 


The Stories of the three Wanderers as an art project is expected to tackle our imagination, perception and ways we value craft. It is meant to open up new discussions on the subject, and widen the field of practice/enjoyment in this particular region in relation to the world. It is expected to also create new connections among artists and craft-lovers around the world, strengthening the dialogue regardless of borders. 

Hopefully the travels of the three pieces will inspire the participants and the audience to create and think about pieces that bring us closer together rather  than solely existing as objects of our daily lives.

           This project was funded in part through a U.S. Embassy grant. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein are those of the implementers/authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Government. / Овој проект е делумно поддржан од Амбасадата на САД. Мислењата, отритијата и заклучоците или препораките изнесени овде се на имплементаторот (ите) / авторот (ите) и не ги одразуваат оние на Владата на САД.  / Ky projekt është pjesërisht i mbështetur me grant nga Ambasada e SHBA-ve. Mendimet, zbulimet dhe konkluzionet ose rekomandimet e paraqitura këtu janë të implementuesit/autorëve dhe nuk i reflektojnë domosdoshmërisht ato të Qeverisë së SHBA-ve.