Jim Cotter in Counterculture Jewelry Retrospective Book

Telling the story of how jewelry-making became a part of the anti-establishment in the 60s and 70s is the subject of a new book, “In flux: American Jewelry and the Counterculture” by Susan Cummins, Damian Skinner & Cindi Strauss. The book features jewelry artist, Jim Cotter of Vail, Colorado.

“Many creative forms have gone through counterculture movements,” explains Cotter, who moved to Vail, a budding ski-town, in 1969. “The impressionist, the dada, the cubist in painting and sculpture – as well as beatniks in literature, movies and music impacted the work.”

“In flux” explores the influence of the political climate of the 60s paired with pop culture like Pepsi-Cola, comics and other commercial logos - on the emerging artists who created ironic, surreal forms of expressive jewelry.

Cotter, a pioneer of this movement, began exploring the use of concrete and raw materials in his jewelry and sculpture. He used satire and irony in his creations: a diamond ring encrusted in cement, a Goofy belt buckle for Nixon’s impeachment, pieces of river stone mixed with gold.

“In flux: American Jewelry and the Counterculture” reveals how some artists with an untraditional vision cared for their unique niche into art forms that date back to the dawn of civilization.

You can purchase the book on Amazon.


Q&A with Vail Daily

Jim was talking to Casey Russell from Vail Daily Newspaper about creating counterculture jewelry and inclusion in a retrospective book.
Read here.