Sunday, August 12, 2012
Sterling Silver Hearts Necklace, Pink Magenta Blush
"How It All Began: I started my artistic adventure after transferring from a US college to an American university in London as a history major. I was required to take an art class, and I chose photography. Photography has always been a passion of mine. After that one class, I realized that I preferred to have my hands doing something instead of dusting off old books in the library for research. I was very, very lucky in that my university professors chose to present art in a less traditional, less formal manner. We were given concepts or ideas and told to go do. We chose our mediums, chose our method of presentation, and chose how to perceive those concepts and ideas. I have always preferred to go my own way, and for me, this environment was perfect. By my senior year, I really began to view myself as an artist for the first time in my life. My professors really gave me the confidence to view myself in a different way. Without them, I truly do not know where my life would have led me, and I will always be so very grateful to them for helping me to truly see myself. The Jewelry Side of my Art: After graduating from Richmond, the American University in London in 2007, I returned home to the wilds of West Virginia to pursue my art and got a bit overwhelmed by the absolute freedom. I spent nine months sculpting an incredible clay sculpture. I tend to work in minute details, and this piece was perhaps the most detailed and complex piece I have ever done. But when I completed it, I ended up burning myself out and losing my passion for it. I have long had a love affair with jewelry, and I decided to pursue that passion. Jewelry to me has always been more than a pretty thing to wear around your neck. I like it to mean something, to evoke something. I have always used jewelry to change my mood or to change how I view myself. At times, jewelry has been like a shield for me, and at other times my beacon of confidence. I can pull any piece out of my jewelry box and tell you what it meant to me at that time in my life, and why. I wanted to create this same sort of emotion within my own jewelry line. Paper to me was always a natural choice. It has so many facets to it and is such an underestimated medium. I wanted my paper to be as strong as the metals it was incorporated with, and as beautiful as any gemstone. I wanted my jewelry to be as complex as my clay sculptures, but so much more delicate. And above all, I wanted my pieces to have meaning to people. My Paper Technique: I spent many months developing my paper sculpting process. It is not paper mache. It is not paper stretching. It is not decoupage. What is it? It's my own specialized process. It's my own specialized sealants. It's a piece of jewelry with an obsessive attention to detail and hours of hand sculpting. Working in intricate detail has a strangely calming effect on me. The backs of my work are just as neat and clean as the fronts. I never send out a piece that I am not proud of. I never cut corners. I will also at this point not do tutorials or share my technique. The art world is exceptionally competitive, and I was told in university by a brilliant artist to never give away whatever you can make unique about your work. I hope that you will understand that, and hopefully you will appreciate that. I am an entirely self taught jeweler, which is incredibly difficult at times, and has an incredibly steep learning curve. I spend a lot of time failing at things before I succeed. But I am so grateful to spend my days and nights sculpting jewelry that I feel has a purpose and a meaning. I hope that these pieces will mean something to you as well, and that they will be as relevant to you in twenty years as they are to you today. Inspirations and Other Things: I am inspired by everything around me, as broad as that might sound. Nature is a constant font of ever changing beauty and inspiration. Movies inspire me. The atmosphere described in a book. Textiles, particularly lace work and embroidery. Sunlight behind leaves on a windy day is my personal kryptonite. As are the stars, which I can never quite capture in my art and it endlessly frustrates me. I like to look at the jewelry people wear and wonder how I can get them into my jewelry. My cat Lucy and I also have long discussions about potential concepts...he's part Siamese, so he can be rather mouthy. My favorite piece is always my next piece. My newest pieces always represent some sort of growth to me. I never sketch primarily because I sketch very badly...although I do well with circles and lines. All of my designs are always floating around in my head, and I will work through a design in my head for months until I finally pick up my pliers and wire and make it happen...if the wire lets me. As Alexander Calder said, wire has a mind of its own. Wire is never quite as accommodating as you might think, and it generally likes to have the lead. My favorite color is blue. Particularly royal blue. I often get asked by bloggers in interviews where I hope to be in ten years. I hope to be better than I am today. I hope to have grown within my medium. I hope to have pursued my passion for writing. I hope to be sculpting in clay again. I hope that I can pursue photography again. I hope to still have passion. But, as with anything in life, I know that hard work is the only thing that makes hoping worthwhile. So I hope that I am still working hard, and I hope that the hard work pays off. As Robert Frost said, "The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep." If you have read this far, thank you so much, and I hope that you enjoy my work!"
bio written by Taylor via the etsy profile