Metalsmithing with the Gold Dust Twins is an elaborately decorated container paying tribute to a Gold Dust Twins letterpress-printing block. While shopping at an antique store in Chicago, I came across a large collection of letterpress blocks. I was instantly attracted to this copper plate etched with the words “GOLD DUST”.  Gold Dust was an all-purpose washing powder from the late 1880s to the early 1930s. The product came in a black and orange cardboard box with two African-American twin boys, Goldie and Dusty, on the front. This was a New York based company that had main facilities in Chicago, Illinois. E.W. Kemble, a graphic artist from the Chicago Daily Graphic, illustrated the Gold Dust Twins. The original advertisement from 1900 includes the instructions on how to clean silverware and silver with this washing powder.  A section of the original ad is set under resin and has also been etched on top of the piece. In addition, a portion of the product’s box is set under resin on the inside of the piece.  Gold Dust Twins is also a nickname used to describe two individuals who function in sync to achieve one common goal. In Metalsmithing with the Gold Dust Twins, each twin is working together to make the letterpress block swing back and forth. This kinetic piece was inspired by my interest in metals and the city of Chicago.

  • Dimensions: 3.5"L x 4.75"W x 5"H
  • Year: 2014
  • Materials: Copper, Nickel, Brass, Sterling & Fine Silver, CZs, Resin, Found Objects (Newspaper Printing Block, 1900 Newspaper Ad & Original Washing Powder Box)
  • Photo Credit: Guy Nicol