Featured Member

Each month a new Featured Member is chosen from the completed member profiles on our website. Their interview and work is highlighted on our blog and social media. Visit our archive of past Featured Members.

March 2020

 

  • Nyya Lark
  • Nyya Lark
  • Nyya Lark
  • Nyya Lark
  • Nyya Lark

Nyya Lark

Website: Nyyalarkjewelrydesigns.com
Instagram: nyyalarkjewelry

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a self-taught metalsmith artist who has been creating (and growing) in the medium of wearable art for the past 30 years. Imagination and creation has always been at the forefront of my life from early youth. I consider myself to be a research hound and lover of puzzles and details. Skill sets of which definitely offer great assistance in creating designs and reflecting on how what has been imagined can become reality.

What is your favorite tool and why?

I believe that you can never have too many tools, but if I must…My favorite tool is the jewelers saw. More specifically the Green Lion jewelers saw. The shape and design lends itself to a much more enjoyable experience in metal piercing. I’ve discovered that the different steps of the metalsmithing process may not appeal to everyone. Some may not be a fan of the metal sawing portion but enjoy the filing, but I find it rhythmically relaxing and allows for me to connect with the piece that I am working on with each stroke. It’s almost zen-like if you will.

Which materials do you create with most and what is your attraction to using them?

I have adopted citrine as my signature stone for its color and connection to my logo (the sun) which represents creation. The materials that I primarily use are sterling/fine silver and semi-precious stones and occasionally other natural materials. I prefer sterling over gold because sterling provides such pure simplicity to my designs while allowing me to use and experiment various metalsmithing techniques. I am always seeking ways to take metal sheet and wire to different places and I’m usually on the hunt for unique cabochons and have had a few favorite go-to lapidary artists that I have used in my creations over the years. In the past few years I have moved more to confirming that all stones used in my work have been ethically resourced. It is also important that I learn about the area where the stones have been mined, and this information I pass on to my collectors and interested parties. I have found that the public has become more eco conscious and I am glad to be able to share the information.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Inspiration comes from various places, unexpected places at times. If I were to whittle it down to specifics – I would say that nature, as found in the types of stones that I discover provide great inspiration. At times they merely need a setting, a background to bring forth their unique beauty. The other is shape and form. A simple line, or curve can spark my imagination.

How long have you been working in metals and what brought you into this field?

I’ve been working in metals for the past 20 years. I started out creating production pieces involving beading. But I was creating designs with metal parts from the outside, belonging to someone else’s idea. It became too limiting. The production designs were well received but I sought more freedom of expression and the inherent knowledge that research, experimentation and practice would provide.

What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in metals?

I have given the following advice to my students over the years:

  • Don’t be afraid. It may feel foreign at first but ultimately you are in control. The tool is only as good as the one who holds it. And in time it should feel to be an extension of your hand.
  • It’s not a race, it’s a process, take your time and forgive your mistakes. The beauty is once you’ve erred you now know what doesn’t work

What has been the biggest challenge for you as a metal artist and have you overcome it, or how are you working to overcome it?

I am (as a good number of creative souls are) an introvert and tend to work in a vacuum. And periodically stepping outside of my cocoon is a work in progress in and of itself! I know the value of and importance of being in community with other artists. Being a part of MAG and taking occasional metalsmithing workshops on different techniques has gotten me away from the jeweler’s bench and out of the studio.

Favorite resource/vendor or website

Ganoksin.com

Riogrande.com