Night's Envelope

Brooch

Pardon, Tod
The son of two artists – the eminent studio jeweler Earl Pardon and the silk screen / fiber artist Eunice Pardon – Tod Pardon was exposed to art early in life.  The home where he grew up in upstate New York had been outfitted by his parents in a Modernist style and was frequently the site of artistic gatherings, musical evenings, and salons.  As he shared in 2011 with the art historian Toni Greenbaum, “I learned early on that art was a way of life and that it was all encompassing, serious and very real.”

Wanting to establish his own identity as an artist, Pardon attended Alfred University where in 1974 he earned a BFA in Painting and Drawing. He later pursued graduate studies at Syracuse University where he was awarded an MFA in Painting in 1977.  Although he started his career as a painter, Tod assisted his father with his jewelry from 1986 to 1991, the last five years of Earl’s life.  Through this experience, Tod developed masterful skills in metalwork and enameling.  As he described, “I went through a sort of apprenticeship program with him making all his parts, enamel chips, textured metals, cufflinks, earrings and basically anything that involved modular units….I found making objects fascinating and ended up working nights and weekends on my own work.”  This led to his lifelong commitment to jewelry as a form of wearable art and to a truly distinguished body of work.

Although he used enamel color in many of his earliest pieces, over time Tod began to explore a wider variety of materials including exotic woods, bone, powdered pigments, simulated ivory, raw enamel and wood putty all held together using cyanoacrylate as a mortar for the inlay.  He is best known for his brilliantly colored jewelry often depicting highly abstracted figurative forms.  These forms reflect his acute sense of whimsy and his love of tribal art, particularly the art of Africa and Southeast Asia.

His work has frequently been exhibited at museums throughout the country and is in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Museum of Arts and Design, the Newark Museum of Art, and the Racine Art Museum.