Profile picture of Katja Toporski

With the series titled Mortals and the Jug I seek to investigate the intersection of virtuality and spirituality. With water being a feature in many religious sites and practices I aimed to capture this ubiquitous but elusive element in my pieces. I did this by taking imprints of water surfaces obtained through casting processes as well as through imagery printed on gossamer silk organza. These surfaces are combined with optical gratings that limit or alter the light traveling through them in specific ways. They speak to the uncertainty of the reality we can see with our eyes, the fact that our attention dictates our perception of the objects around us, and the intrusion of digital imagery into our world.

A form closely related to water is the jug, a form that has been thoroughly addressed in Martin Heidegger’s 1971 essay “The Thing”. In this text he teased out the essence of this object with all its inherent associations and innuendos to arrive at a description of the jug that goes beyond form, function and the maker’s hand. The jug form I included in my pieces has its origins in the virtual world and had its shape heavily altered by Computer Aided Design techniques. These layering, slicing, and lamellating operations resulted in variations of a form, that shine a distorted light on the reality of each piece, leaving us to question which world they belong to.

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Katja Toporski is a jewelry maker, professor and writer living just outside of Washington DC with an MFA from Towson University in 2013. Her work is informed by philosophical thinking, and juxtaposes archetypal objects and elements to explore the limitations of our understanding of things. It has been shown in numerous exhibitions across the US as well as internationally and has been highlighted in a number of print and online publications, most recently in the 2016 edition of Exhibition in Print by Metalsmith Magazine. Reading (about everything) and writing (about jewelry) continually provide the topics she investigates in her work.

Katja Toporski


2013                MFA, Towson University, USA

1998                City& Guilds certificate- Fine Jewelry, Portsmouth, UK

1992                Medical Degree, Technical University, Munich, Germany

Selected Exhibitions

2018                Radierverein Gallery, Munich, Germany, In Touch, curated group show

2017                The Gray Gallery, East Carolina University, NC, Smitten Forum Show

Baltimore Jewelry Center, Baltimore, MD, Radical Jewelry Makover

Ombré Gallery, Cincinnati OH, Digital Analogue Tango, SOLO show

Wolpert Gallery, Arrowmont, Gatlinburg TN, Spacetime , SOLO Show

                        Google Arts and Culture,

                  Greenville Center for Creative Arts, Greenville, NC, Wearable Art

                  Alliages, Lille, FRANCE, The Permanent

2016                Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, Philadelphia, PA, emerging artist

AV17 Gallery, Vilnius, LITHUANIA, Metallophone:Bonds

Exhibition in Print, Metalsmith Magazine, USA, Shifting Sites

                        Popeye loves Olive, Athens, GREECE, After Joya Effect

                  Special Collections Library, University of Milwaukee, MI, Typeset

                  Baltimore Jewelry Center, Baltimore, MD, SOLO SHOW: Etudes

                  Autor Fair, Bucharest, ROMANIA, Autor award

American Craft Council (ACC) Show, Baltimore, MD, SNAG Nominee

Alliages, Lille, FRANCE, Dark Spark of Light

2015                Santa Monica Arts, Barcelona, SPAIN, Alliages Legacy Award

Joya, Barcelona, SPAIN

                        Santa Monica Arts, Barcelona, SPAIN, Enjoia’t

                  Adorned Spaces, Boston, MA, SOLO SHOW: Angelus Novus

                  Gallery B, Bethesda, MD, Coaxing the Elements

2014                True F. Luck Gallery, Richmond, VA, Radical Jewelry Makeover

                        Brooklyn Metal Works, Brooklyn, NY, F1

                  Soo Visual Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, OnOff

2013                Sieraad Art Fair, Amsterdam, HOLLAND

                        Heidi Lowe Gallery, Rehoboth Beach, DE, SOLO SHOW: Objects Recovered

                        Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD, Young Blood

Brooklyn Metal Works, Brooklyn, NY, Siamese Connection

Jewelerswerk Gallery, Washington DC, SOLO SHOW: Material

                  Holzman Gallery, Towson, MD, Material Continuum (MFA thesis solo show)

American Craft Council (ACC) Show, Baltimore, MD, SNAG Nominee

2012                Brooklyn Metal Works, Brooklyn, NY, Re-Fresh

The Westin Kierland, Scottsdale, AZ, Pomp and Swagger (Exhibition in Motion)

2011                Artisphere, Arlington, VA, Contain, Maintain, Sustain

2010                Heidi Lowe Gallery, Rehoboth Beach, DE, Earring Show

                        The Jung Center of Houston, Houston, TX, Extremities

2009                Facere Gallery, Seattle, WA, Metal Magic, Chasing and Repousse

Subocto Gallery, Philadelphia, DE, Stuff

Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE, Bendcutmoldjoin

Studio 4903, Washington, DC, WhimWham


Selected Print Publications

2016                Exhibition in Print, Metalsmith Magazine

2015                Top 10 Up and Coming Artists at SNAG Boston, Art Jewelry Forum, by Louise Perrone,

2014                Look, Metalsmith Magazine, by Michael Dale Barnard

2014                Exhibition Catalogue: F1, by Jennifer Navva-Milliken

2011                Contain, Maintain, Sustain, Exhibition Catalogue by curator Welmoed Laanstra

2009                Traditional and Non-traditional Chasing and Repousse, by Nancy Megan Corwin, Brynmorgan Press


Selected Awards

2016               Educational Endowment Scholarship, mid-career artist, SNAG

2015                Autor Award 2015, Barcelona Art Jewelry Week, SPAIN

                        Towson University travel award to attend the SNAG conference, Boston, MA

2014                Honorable mention for the Graduate Student Research Award at Towson University for thesis paper titled Material Continuum

2012                Towson University travel award for participation in Pomp and Swagger at the SNAG conference in Phoenix, AZ

Selected Related Experience

2018                Speaker at SNAG conference, Portland, OR

2013-2017       Adjunct Professor, Towson University: 3D Foundations, Introduction to CAD, Jewelry and Materials: Concepts and Process

2016-2017       Instructor: Baltimore Jewelry Center: Porcelain Casting, CAD Intro, Chasing and Repousse, Principles of Design

2013                Instructor: Workhouse Art Center, Lorton, VA: Introduction to Jewelry

Graduate Assistant, Studio Tech at Towson University

2012                Graduate Assistant, Digital Fabrication Technician in the Object Lab

2007-2010       Gallery Assistant, Jewelerswerk Gallery, Washington DC

Where to Buy

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