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Torque

1972 Stanley Lechtzin Born: Detroit, Michigan 1936 polyester resin, silver plate, and 24k gold 14 x 7 1/4 x 6 1/2 in. (35.6 x 18.4 x 16.5 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the James Renwick Alliance and the Smithsonian Women's Committee © 1972, Stanley Lechtzin 1993.10 Not currently on view


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A torque was a metal collar or neck chain worn by the Gauls, Germans, and Britons. The name comes from the Latin for “twist,” which is what must be done to the piece to wear it. This collar was created using a process called electroforming, in which metal is electronically manipulated into thin, lightweight sheets. Stanley Lechtzin compares the process to those found in nature, saying, “It brings to mind crystal growth, the growth of coral under the sea, and the multiplication of simple organisms as observed under a microscope. In this, I experience a relationship between technology and nature.” Lechtzin was attracted to the technique because he could make large-scale pieces that were still very light, compared to the torques worn in ancient cultures.

Keywords

decorative arts - jewelry

Crafts - Metal

fabric

metal - gold

metal - silver

About Stanley Lechtzin

Born: Detroit, Michigan 1936