A master silversmith, J. Fred Woell began working with found objects in the early 1960s. Informed by John Cage’s practices, Woell let chance dictate his jewelry making, embracing small mistakes and letting the work find a life of its own.  

Woell wrote, “My work is commentary on what is going on in my own personal growth and my reactions to the world around me. The ecosystem and how we fit into it has been more and more a part of my thinking each year....My found object constructions and cast-from-plastic-toy-parts-metalwork are motivated by these thoughts. Recycling materials, I find, is my way of using what we normally would throw away into commentary about the world and my life in it. It is my way of being part of the body politic.”