Graphite Pendulum-Pendant

Copied Joan Parcher, Graphite Pendulum-Pendant, 1994, graphite, sterling silver, and stainless steel, 13 128 121 12 in. (34.321.63.8 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Renwick Acquisitions Fund, 1995.12

Artwork Details

Graphite Pendulum-Pendant
Not on view
13 128 121 12 in. (34.321.63.8 cm.)
Credit Line
Museum purchase through the Renwick Acquisitions Fund
Mediums Description
graphite, sterling silver, and stainless steel
  • Dress — accessory — jewelry
Object Number

Artwork Description

Parcher's neckpiece invites us to reconsider the relationship between jewelry and the body we often take for granted. The minimalist pendant features a single piece of lathe-turned graphite, rather than precious stones. Its understated elegance masks the artist's subversive intent. When worn, the wearer's movements cause the graphite to swing gently, leaving its mark.

Connections: Contemporary Craft at the Renwick Gallery, 2019

Luce Center Label

In Graphite Pendulum-Pendant, Joan Parcher reminds the viewer that one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Instead of traditional gemstones or precious metals, the artist uses materials gathered from a dump. Her works challenge the notion of preciousness and the tradition of jewelry as ornament. The pendant sways on the wearer’s body, smearing a dark stain across the chest and making the wearer a part of the artwork. The piece continually disintegrates as the material scrapes the surface of the clothing, shattering our idea of jewelry as a precious heirloom.


Media - 2016.11 - SAAM-2016.11_6 - 124929
Connections: Contemporary Craft at the Renwick Gallery
November 13, 2015March 6, 2022
Connections is the Renwick Gallery’s dynamic ongoing permanent collection presentation, featuring more than 80 objects celebrating craft as a discipline and an approach to living differently in the modern world.