Juror: Elizabeth Shypertt
What led you to study metalsmithing/jewelry making? Please mention your school and year of study.
One reason is that I have always liked to make things with my hands, ever since I was a child. From rebuilding toys to creating child sculptures, using my hands to create is my most beautiful memory. Another reason that brought me into the metalsmithing/jewelry field is because I was impressed by the master craftsmanship and beauty of the jewelry pieces I saw from a German magazine, GZ, Goldschmiede Zeitung in my college’s library while I was at Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology in China studying for my undergraduate degree. After some thought and discussion with the director of the jewelry and metalsmithing department about the major, I decided to enter into the program in 2005. I am currently a MFA candidate at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
What intrigues you most about this field/craft?
The thing that intrigues me most is the process of making. Working with my favorite tools is also very exciting and intriguing for me.
What are your plans after graduation—both realistically and ideally?
Realistically, I want to develop a jewelry brand. Ideally, I want to be full-time and successful metal artist.
What do you wish your school’s program would offer, or what did you enjoy about your program?
I wish my school’s program would offer a wider range of tools and equipment. I enjoy is the communication with classmates and instructors because I always get a lot of good feedback and ideas.
Are there any metal artists whose work inspires you—what it is about their work that is inspiring?
I admire many metal artists, but the first one come to my mind is Hiroshi Suzuki, who is an artist focused on making contemporary silver vessels. We have something in common since I mainly focused on silversmithing in my undergraduate school. His works were done directly by hammering on the metal without development stages such as drawing and design. I like the free-hand process, and I think that it gives the true aesthetic and feeling to the material.
If you were given the time and means to create your ultimate work, what would it be?
I think my ultimate work would be a live installation in which I design and build a house where I can make jewelry and metal art. Then fill up the house with the pieces I create and I would be a part of the installation.
What are you currently working on? Any upcoming shows or events to plug?
I am currently doing research and experimenting with mokume gane, because I want to use this technique on some of my art pieces. At the same time, I am working on some new designs and some commission pieces in the studio with my girlfriend.
Any words of wisdom you would offer prospective metal arts students?
I would like to say, “to be in love with metalsmithing and the tools” because “love” is the most important theme pushing us forward.
Do you have any art-related resources (websites, vendors, etc) that you would like to share with guild members?
An art blog I often go to is www.dezeen.com, it is a blog mainly about architecture but also a lot of great art and design articles.