Chih Jou “Yolanda” Chiu


Juror: Aimee Golant

Chih Jou Chiu

What led you to study metalsmithing/jewelry making? Please mention your school and year of study.

I loved to buy jewelry before I started to make my own. I was at a cross road of a life decision when I was 27. I quit my job and went to New York for visiting. I went to a jewelry studio (Alex Streeter). I like the atmosphere and the vibe there. So I decided to dive into this field.

Chih Jou Chiu
What intrigues you most about this field/craft?

I don’t have to talk too much and concentrate on dealing with metal. Dealing with metal and gemstone requires a lot of energy, so concentration is a must. I love this feeling.

Chih Jou Chiu
What are your plans after graduation—both realistically and ideally?

Ideally, I would like to build my own studio with everything I need inside and make whatever I want. But realistically, I need money to support myself. So I might find a stable job and try to make connections before I achieve my ideal goal.

Chih Jou Chiu

Are there any metal artists whose work inspires you—what it is about their work that is inspiring?

When talking about the inspiration, it’s really hard for me to choose as I appreciate all kinds of arts. Of course there are some metal artists I really admire, such as Otto Kuzli and Bruce Metcalf, as their works are very narrative, which inspire me to look for inspiration from the most mundane stuff in my life . However, I’ve got a lot of inspiration from illustration as well, such as illustration from Aya Takano, Kukula, and Makiko Sugawa. Their illustrations are very inspired as they have special point of view of human body.

If you were given the time and means to create your ultimate work, what would it be?

I would like to make a life size doll(or you can call robot) with all kinds of kinetic structures inside. Of course I would decorate her very well.

Chih Jou Chiu
What are you currently working on? Any upcoming shows or events to plug?

I am planning on a new series of jewelry inspired from dolls. There will be some enamel designs. My solo show will be on October at 435 Jefferson St., San Francisco. My jewelry pieces will be in the show as well.

Any words of wisdom you would offer prospective metal arts students?

Enjoy you life and treasure the people around you, and get inspired from them.

Do you have any art-related resources (websites, vendors, etc) that you would like to share with guild members?
This is a online/physical magazine. I have gotton a lot of inspiration from here. They also have Facebook page and Instagram. They post a lot of beautiful arts and I am sure you will get a lot of inspiration from it.