Hsinyu Candy Chu
Juror: emiko oye
What led you to study metalsmithing/jewelry making? Please mention your school and year of study.
After graduating from high school in Taiwan, my parents encouraged me to study abroad to keep exploring the world of art. I came to San Francisco to attend university and received my BFA at Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion Design. In the meanwhile I got a chance to take the Jewelry and Metal Arts class with David Casella as an elective. At that time, I made my first series, a necklace, bracelet and earrings. It was pretty clear to me that I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I find pleasure in taking ideas that exist in my mind and manifesting them with my own hands. Since that I changed my direction. In the Fall of 2013, I began to move from fashion design into jewelry and metal art.
What intrigues you most about this field/craft?
I found that, with jewelry, the wide variety of materials and techniques allowed room for me to explore an infinite number of designs and develop unique and novel looks. Mostly, I was drawn to the process of making jewelry. Soldering the joints together, filing the excess parts, sanding the edges down. Make me to think all the time when I was doing these things. I began to question myself and wondered if there was something else I could bring to people. Maybe I could make some changes in the materials, forms or composition. I like who I am when I am working on jewelry.
What are your plans after graduation—both realistically and ideally?
In order to continue with my project, I will set up my own studio after graduation. In one year, I want to work with galleries, art fairs and trunk shows, to have more opportunity to expose my jewelry to the public. In two years, I plan to go to GIA (Gemological Institute of America), to broaden my understanding of jewelry design by learning about gemstones, advanced stone setting and more on how to design with CAD. I hope to obtain the Graduate Gemologist diploma, the Graduate Jeweler diploma, and the Comprehensive CAD/CAM for Jewelry Certificate from GIA. My ultimate goal is get a job in jewelry design, bench jewelry, research, or wholesale in three years. Also, five years from now, I hope to gain some experience from the professional industry. At this point, I want to be a studio jewelry artist and working for myself.
What do you wish your school’s program would offer, or what did you enjoy about your program?
After three years of professional training in the Jewelry and Metal Art department, I have become a jewelry artist and designer. I feel that handmade jewelry can truly express my passion and creativity. In particular, I’ve learned a great deal about thinking conceptually and learned to be a non-linear, organized thinker. Also, the Academy provides great resources to students. We have workshops every week with particular instructors, which allow students have extra help. On the other hand, I enjoy that I have not only learned about many traditional jewelry techniques, but also about how to combine new technologies and materials. Whenever I take a new class, my passion for handmade jewelry is constantly increasing.
Are there any metal artists whose work inspires you—what it is about their work that is inspiring?
Arthur Hash is a jewelry artist and metalsmith. I was inspired by his choice of materials. Specifically, he created a series of enameled brooches. I appreciate how he uses cold connections to attach all the laser-etch enamels on his wearable objects. I like the sense of elegance and beauty found in his brooches. It is interesting to see how he dabbles from one area to the other while he explores what jewelry is and can be. He does not only work with jewelry in a traditional way, but also combines digital fabrication technologies.
Peter Hoogeboom is a Dutch ceramics jewelry artist. When I first saw his works, I was impressed by the clean quality and calm aesthetic in his white porcelain necklace, “Mother Dao.” He likes to make repetitive modules of colored ceramic, which have been mounted on silver or steel. Like him, I want to keep working on the repetitive elements, and I want to try to incorporate new techniques and ceramics materials in my work.
If you were given the time and means to create your ultimate work, what would it be?
My favorite piece of jewelry is the ring. I guess I would make a series of rings that are a combination of gold, platinum and silver and would use different techniques for each ring as a design element. The techniques cover from soldering, forming and cutting to pave and channel setting, plique-a-jour and enameled shards. Although I might use different techniques toward each ring, I would incorporate the same elements of circular shapes, contrast colors and repetitive patterns to the series, which resemble a Chinese theme: Yin-Yang.
What are you currently working on? Any upcoming shows or events to plug?
This past couple weeks I has set up my own studio in Mission. Now, I am preparing my graduation solo show at the AAU galleries. My MFA Thesis work LIGHT & SHADOW will be exhibited from 7/2/16-7/31/16 at the Cannery, Suite 115.
Any words of wisdom you would offer prospective metal arts students?
A lot of people helped me along the way throughout my education at AAU. I could not go further if I did not have any support from my parents, instructors, classmates and friends. So, I think it is really important when you go through a rough path to never be afraid to ask for help. Never give up until you have done your best. Try every possibility. Like what you make, like what you do and like what you are.
Do you have any art-related resources (websites, vendors, etc) that you would like to share with guild members?
Art-related website: Klimt 02, AJF, Talente, Niche Award, craftforms, WJA and Behance and style.com.
Art-related vendors: Otto Frei, Rio Grande, Arch, Flax, Blick, Britex and SH Frank.