Enamel, an ancient tradition, is treated with irreverence and freedom in the works of Aaron Decker. Characterized by the contrast of militant edges, cut stars, colored stripes - the jewelry is a statement to say the least.
Bright colors, class rings, keychain clips, and glittery gestures come together in contemporary necklaces, rings, and bracelets. Having grown up on military bases, Decker creates jewelry that expresses an idyllic take on our inner rebel kid stuck drawing in his room during the dog days of summer. Hurried gestures in colored pencil draw flowers, tanks, badges - shapes from the world drawn like stickers, all while a band of men pass by his window ‘left, left, left, right left…..’
Decker remembers the summers with his Grandfather, horologist Murray Decker. His grandfather’s shop was in a place the family often went back during his youth, Maine. These were formative times for a young jeweler, poking around in a clock-shop for hours, circling his grandfather and falling in love with the craft and scale of the work. When his grandfather passed in 2010, Decker decided he needed to pursue something in life he loved.
Aaron Decker studied at Maine College of Art, graduating in 2012 with his first degree in Jewelry and thereafter training in a local goldsmith shop, Daunis Jewelry. Decker soon found himself in Europe with the help of a Windgate Fellowship Grant. Awarded to 10 applicants per year - Decker used the Grant to collect and publish interviews with prominent jewelers in Portugal and Estonia. These were later published with the help of Art Jewelry Forum. After a year out of school and with so much exposure to the jewelry world in Europe, Decker hungered for more.
In 2015 Aaron Decker received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy under the leadership of Iris Eichenberg, Artist-in-Residence for Metalsmithing and Jewelry. While attending Decker gained recognition for a Grey, militaristic voice seen in his work during that time titled ‘My death bomb.’
For his graduation body of work Decker was awarded two esteemed prizes, The Mercedes Benz Emerging Artist Award 2015, and the MARZEE graduate Prize. Aaron Spent his time the following summer in Berlin as Artist in Residence at the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany.
Aaron Decker is an Artist based in the midwest, but having grown up all over the United States, he calls Alaska and Maine both home. Decker works in product development for SHINOLA Detroit while maintaining a thriving studio practice including new collections of jewelry, custom pieces, and regular exhibitions. A collection of Enameled objects can be found at the SHINOLA hotel ‘Living Room,’ and a selection of jewelry can be seen at the Woodward Avenue store in Downtown Detroit.
Aaron Decker’s Jewelry can be seen both nationally and internationally, recent exhibitions include BODY AlCHEMY, 21 Grams, and Design Miami showing with Ornamentum Gallery.