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.

June 2019

 

  • Deborah Lozier
  • Deborah Lozier
  • Deborah Lozier
  • Deborah Lozier
  • Deborah Lozier

Deborah Lozier

Website: DeborahLozier.com

Tell us a little about yourself.

I moved to the Bay Area in 1988. I joined MAG in 1989 – the year of the Loma Prieta earth quake. The first true opportunity I received as a jeweler was through this organization – the Metal Smiths Fair at Fort Mason. I was working in isolation in my garage studio and didn’t know anyone but my husband. I entered the fair from an ad I saw in Artweek magazine. I was accepted! And then got busy making my first body of work. I set up my booth and panicked. I felt so out of place. Kim Keyworth was my first customer. Elizabeth Shypertt and Mike Holmes were just starting Velvet da Vinci. I met so many people at that event it changed my life. Most things in my career have been accidental or indirect. I work hard and push myself but live by a leap of faith. Early on I entered everything and learned to take rejection as part of the process.  But most of my professional opportunities have come to me out of the blue and not from a direct pursuit. I learned to say yes and then got busy figuring out how I was going to follow through. I seem to have two personas. The eager confident one who thinks she can do anything and the other one, which is who I spend the most time with. She ponders and worries on how to make it happen with a little more anxiety and self doubt then I like to admit. But it has worked out and I am grateful for each opportunity and feel fortunate to have been allowed to follow this path.

What is your favorite tool and why?

The humble ball peen hammer. I have a lovely, perfectly weighted #1 Maruki I bought at a flea market in Tempe, Arizona the summer after I graduated from Arizona State University. That would be 1984, so awhile ago. Probably everything I have ever made out of metal has felt its blow at some point. When I am lost in the studio I find myself picking it up and hammering something, anything and it always calmly leads the way to something better.

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

Copper and enamel are my main materials. Together they make more then the sum of their parts. Enamel needs the support of the copper to survive yet somehow she has convinced the copper the he needs her more. Its a lovely balance to explore.  I also have a fear of commitment so I really appreciate that the materials themselves are forgiving and without a huge perceived value. Especially when I first began, they were super cheap. I like that it is our time together that generates value, and the missed opportunities are not as hard to take since it is mostly my time that is lost.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

From life as it quietly yet often abruptly unfolds throughout the days, weeks, months and years. And nature, the most gifted artist of all time. I know I can never measure up but it is a worthy guide to follow and observe.

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

I took my first jewelry class in high school when I was 15 years old. I of course did not realize at the time that it would be something I would pursue but things did seem to flow quite naturally. I took a metals class in college because I needed more credits and the class was open. I thought it would be an easy A, yet here I am so many years later still trying to figure things out.

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

It is a broad material. Don’t be too tight with it, in the beginning at least. Let it show you what it has to offer before you make too many preconceived judgments. Let the process speak to you and lead the way. Finding results that you don’t like is as important as finding those that you do. They define each other and help you to find your own path and voice. The beautiful objects will develop over time as your skills improve. But if you need the end result too much you risk making timid decisions, thus timid pieces.

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?

Financial Sustainability!! There are countless opportunities for making, teaching and showing out there. But making a living wage has always been a challenge. There are always new, young artists ready to find their way – I was one of them. We say yes to everything, will work for next to nothing thinking that the money will come later when we are more well known. But its a perpetual cycle and one I think deserves a real discussion. I have been lucky having a partner who makes a living wage and is also so supportive of what I do. But that was just luck and something not everyone with promising talent receives.

Favorite resource/vendor or website

My favorite vendor used to be Small Parts, but Amazon ate it whole! I miss their catalog. But any Ace Hardware store is my friend. The perfect solution is hiding there somewhere. I just need to wander around until it finds me.