Profile picture of Emily Culver

Self Pleasuring as a Sustainable Practice

Through an intimate interaction with objects, I am considering how one may establish a viable practice of finding pleasure, satisfaction and contentment to eventually know oneself better.

Meaningful interactions can be difficult to create at times and quite often in the absence of these relations feelings of isolation and detachment can result. For this reason, certain places like a warm bed or comfortable chair, repetitive acts such as brushing hair and the massaging of extremities, can supplement some aspects of humanity that one longs for.

Through exploring the relationship of object and body, these supplemental implements become a deliverer of intimacy. By utilizing materials that reference skin, in their color and responsiveness to touch, my aim is to engage by simulation.

With this work I question if by making the body ever more present in objects with these qualities, one may begin to feel free to exercise, explore and ultimately create a vehicle for their own sustained companionship in the absence of other alternatives.

The desire to touch, be touched and experience human connections may be ultimately vital to our happiness but I might suggest that it is first and foremost our comfortability with ourselves that allows the former to be possible. In domesticating the fetish object, I aim to suggest that there is an innate commonality to be found in the indulgence of physical sensation and that a sustainable lifestyle can be formed through fulfilling our own needs by these means.

In reestablishing ways in which one may find intimacy, I question if in this process one may learn to better understand oneself by fulfilling immediate needs while subsequently becoming more adept for future relations with others.

Emily Culver attended Tyler School of Art, Temple University, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM in 2012. Currently she lives and works in Bloomfield Hills, MI where she is pursuing her Masters of Fine Art in Metalsmithing at Cranbrook Academy of Art.



2017 Masters of Fine Art in Metalsmithing, Candidate
Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI
2012 Bachelors of Fine Art in Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM, Cum Laude
Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

2016 Merit Scholarship
Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI
2016 Woodworking Machinery Industry Association Scholarship
WMIA, Alexandria, VA
2016 Stuart Thompson Haystack Fellowship
Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI
2016 SNAG Student Conference Scholarship
Society of North American Goldsmiths, Eugene, OR
2015 MJSA Education Foundation Scholarship
Rhode Island Foundation, Providence, RI
2015 Ernst Toth Scholarship
Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI
2015 WJA Student Scholarship
Women’s Jewelry Association, Poughkeepsie, NY

2016 Shifting Sites, Metalsmith Magazine Exhibition in Print
Published by Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG)
2016 Trans Form, By Invitation
Galerie Marzee, Amsterdam, NL
2016 CAST, Jen Townsend and Renee Zettle-Sterling
Published by Schiffer Publishing
2016 New Rings 2, Nicolas Estrada, By Invitation
Published by Thames & Hudson

2014 Biophilia
Bruce Gallery, Edinboro University, Edinboro, PA

2016 Into View SNAG Student Exhibition
Masonic Temple, Asheville, NC
2016 Juried First Year Show
Forum Gallery, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI
2015 Emergence: Craft + Technology, By Invitation
Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
2015 Play With Me
Forum Gallery, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI
2015 Out with Fury
Forum Gallery, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI
2014 Confabulation, By Invitation
Marlboro Gallery, Prince George’s Community College, Largo, MD
2014 Unravel & Sophisticate, By Invitation
University of Georgia, Athens, GA
2014 I Do This Weird Thing…, Sarah Archer as Instructor
Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
2013 Transcend: New Jewelry Forms and Fabrication, By Invitation
Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts Museum, Wilmington, DE
2013 InLiquid Benefit Auction
ICE BOX, Crane Arts Building, Philadelphia, PA
2012 Pre/Post, By Invitation
Home of Collector Mari Shaw, Philadelphia, PA
2012 Juried Student Exhibition for NASDA Accreditation, Honored Selection
Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
2012 Juried Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM Student Exhibition
Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
2012 Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM Senior Exhibition
Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

2015 MAAKE MAGAZINE, 2nd Issue
Published by Emily Burns
2014 Young Space Blog,, By Invitation
Published by Kate Mothes
2013 Showcase 500 Necklaces
Published by Lark Crafts

2016 Juvana Soliven
2015 Lis Kalogris
2011 Rea Rossi

2016 Student Council, Representative for Metals Department at Cranbrook
2016 SNAG, Society of North American Goldsmiths
2015-2016 AJF, Art Jewelry Forum

2016 Workshop Assistant for Iris Eichenberg
Ritual, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2016-2017 Department Assistant for Iris Eichenberg, Artist in Residence
Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI
-Schedule and coordinate visiting artists and department activities
-Work directly with AIR on a variety of tasks
-Represent and promote department
2015-2016 Student Internship with Rebekah Frank, Executive Director
AJF, Freelance
-Assist with organization representation at Schmuck, Munich Jewelry Week
-Research and compile information based on direction
-Maintain and manage various spreadsheets and documents
2015-2016 Work Study, Laser Cutter and Central Media Lab
Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI
-Run and maintain large laser cutters, printers, scanners
-Assist students with check out and return of equipment
-Assist students with various computer related needs
2013-2015 Studio Assistant
Printfresh LLC, Philadelphia, PA
-Oversee all department tasks and employees as production lead
-Run and maintain large format printers and scanners
-Complete custom repeats as per customer specifications using Photoshop
2013 Freelance CAD Designer
Alexis Bittar, New York, NY
-Follow specifications and drawings provided
-Use Rhino to create company’s jewelry designs
-Complete assignments by deadlines
2012 Curatorial Intern for Ursula IIse-Neuman, Curator of Jewelry
Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), New York, NY
-Assist in creating loan agreements for major exhibitions
-Research and compile information based on curatorial direction
-Maintain and manage contact with exhibiting artists
2011-2012 Student Internship for Sarah Lewis
Adorn Boutique, Philadelphia, PA
-Complete large bulk orders of jewelry
-Aid customers and perform daily shop tasks

Bench: Metal fabrication, casting, mold-making, wax-working, polishing, stone setting, plastic fabrication and manipulation, electroforming, carving, wood-working
Computer: Rhinoceros, Flamingo 4.0, Bunkspeed, Magics, Z-Edit

Fine Art: Painting, drawing, photography
Computer: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Lightroom

Where to Buy

Work is not available for sale through the SNAG website. Please contact the artist directly to inquire about making a purchase.