Mia Maljojoki Susan Cummins: Can you tell me the story of how you became a jeweler, including where you lived and went to school? Mia Maljojoki: In 1996, after working in fashion for several years in Helsinki, Finland, I went to work at a summer camp in western North Carolina, USA. That summer, in the […]
For once, I had the great good fortune to see one of the shows featured on the blog in person. I wish this were possible for every interview. Mia Maljojoki presented her work with Galerie Spektrum during Schmuck week in Munich, guaranteeing a huge audience. It is important to see her work up close to become aware of the care with which she makes it. Also, there is a very tender feeling that photos do not capture. The necklaces are accompanied by videos of a close examination of skin—again, something that can’t be sensed via this blog. However, Mia’s answers give us an excellent opportunity to understand more.
Susan Cummins: Can you tell me the story of how you became a jeweler, including where you lived and went to school?
Mia Maljojoki: In 1996, after working in fashion for several years in Helsinki, Finland, I went to work at a summer camp in western North Carolina, USA. That summer, in the middle of the woods near Asheville, I started to make jewelry by braiding twigs and lining up stones. Wanting to continue transforming materials into ornament, I attended the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, studying under Professor Joe Wood. In 2001, I graduated with a bachelor of fine arts in small metals.
Though not widely known, Paul Mergen is an American metalsmith and educator who has been practicing with focus and purpose for 50 years. In fact, his work has existed outside the mainstream of the metal and jewelry fields, in semi-isolation, for the better part of his career. Mergen’s recent retrospective, So What 50, at the
Sally Marsland Susan Cummins: Can you tell me how you came to make jewelry? Sally Marsland: When I was 12 I obsessively drew house plans and elevations on 5-mm graph paper, carefully placing windows and doors and furniture etc. I decided the logical conclusion was to become an architect. I followed this through to university,
Jeweler’sWerk Galerie in Washington, DC is having a marvelous exhibition with Australian Sally Marsland this month. Sally’s show has the very long title Everything depends on what we would rather do than change. It is accompanied by a catalog that’s remarkable in its honesty and humor about making work and living life. I was delighted by it and by her answers to my questions.
Susan Cummins: Can you tell me how you came to make jewelry?
Sally Marsland: When I was 12 I obsessively drew house plans and elevations on 5-mm graph paper, carefully placing windows and doors and furniture etc. I decided the logical conclusion was to become an architect. I followed this through to university, and then fell in a huge heap part way through as it dawned on me that perhaps the obsessive drawing had been a symbol of something else. I was studying architecture at RMIT University in Melbourne, and after a year of depression, I started in the jewelry course there. I studied at RMIT for five years and worked with the late Melbourne sculptor Akio Makigawa (husband of jeweler Carlier Makigawa) while I set up my own practice. I studied for two years with Otto Künzli in Munich. Since 2000, I have been back in Melbourne where I work and live with my husband Stephen Bram, an abstract painter, and our two sons.
Jo Bloxham, ed. Transplantation: A Sense of Place and Culture. England: University of Lincoln, 2012. photo: Zoe Brand When I finally received the 80-page catalog, my first thoughts were of the fresh and inviting look created by the graphic designer—a mostly white cover with green text and an image of Bridie Lander’s sparse leafy neckpiece.
Lynn Kelly, Lichen, Pearl Brooch, 2012, pearl, silver, 60 x 40 x 30 mm, photo: courtesy of Fingers Susan Cummins: Can you give us the story of how you became a jeweler? Please include your geographical locations, schools, etc. Lynn Kelly: My parents emigrated from Northern Ireland. I found myself very interested in jewelry while
Jewelry has been filled with plant forms from the beginning of its history, and these forms continue to intrigue jewelers from all parts of the world. Fingers Contemporary New Zealand Jewellery was founded in 1974 by a group of jewelers in Auckland. This month, the gallery is featuring a jeweler intrigued with plant forms. In fact, she has a horticultural degree. Lynn Kelly is absorbed more deeply than most by the use of plant forms as inspiration for her work.
Susan Cummins: Can you give us the story of how you became a jeweler? Please include your geographical locations, schools, etc.
Lynn Kelly: My parents emigrated from Northern Ireland. I found myself very interested in jewelry while travelling to Britain in the early 1980s to meet my wider family. I cannot pin down any particular person or event that started my desire to make. Once I returned to New Zealand and attempted to get metal training, I realized that I was too old for an apprenticeship, and at that time there was no other formal method of training in New Zealand.
Jean-Michel Othoniel, The Secret Happy End, 2008, Murano glass, Saint Just’s mirror glass, metal, vintage carriage, 106.3 x 145.7 x 59.2 inches (270 x 370 x 150 cm), Brooklyn Museum, gift of Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris/Miami, and the artist, 2010.11, photo: artist Throughout his career, Othoniel has referenced the body, as a whole and in
Julie Blyfield, Fossil like (detail), 2013, brooch, sterling silver, 60 x 75 x 20 mm, photo: Grant Hancock Susan Cummins: Can you give us the story of how you became a jeweler? Julie Blyfield: My passion for jewelry and metal began in 1976. I was training to be a secondary school art teacher at Torrens
Julie Blyfield is intrigued with plant forms as many jewelers have been over the millennium. She is looking at Australian plants, and this gives her an edge on unusual shapes and patterns. Second Nature, her show at Gallery Funaki, is a very concise look at how plant patterns translate into silver.
Susan Cummins: Can you give us the story of how you became a jeweler?
Julie Blyfield: My passion for jewelry and metal began in 1976. I was training to be a secondary school art teacher at Torrens College of Advanced Education at Underdale, west of Adelaide, in South Australia. (Now it is the University of South Australia, City West.) Carole-Ann Fooks was my jewelry lecturer. She introduced me to working with metal combined with mixed materials, such as bone, shell, and casting.
For many years, I taught jewelry making in secondary schools while making my own pieces at home in my spare time. I lived in regional South Australia when I first started teaching, so I had plenty of spare time to pursue my interest and passion.
Next, I returned to live in Adelaide and went back to night classes at Adelaide College of the Arts and Education to learn a few more skills, including enameling, chasing, and repoussé. In 1985, I enrolled in an associate diploma in jewelry making and joined Gray Street Workshop, a jewelry collective in Adelaide. I began as an access tenant, and then became a partner in the workshop that lasted 23 years.
Platina, Sofia Bjorkman’s gallery in Stockholm, Sweden, has a fascinating program featuring mostly young and thoughtful artists. This month, Hanna Hedman is showing a collection of her work in a mournful exhibition called Black Bile.
Susan Cummins: Can you tell me about your background and how you decided to become a jeweler?
Hanna Hedman: I have always been creative. As a young child, I loved making objects and drawings. My family always encouraged my creativity, even though they were not artists themselves. I started to dabble in jewelry by breaking my mother’s necklaces and reassembling them into what I believed were better versions. I was also a professional skier at a very young age, and skiing was a major part of my life for a long time. But, I always felt the need to express myself more with my hands. I made my first piece of jewelry while attending the University of Colorado on a skiing scholarship from 1999 to 2001. My work wasn’t very artistic at the start. I was drawn to the many possibilities of shaping metal. This is something that still intrigues me very much. My art life eventually superseded my sports life, and I haven’t stopped making since then. I work with jewelry for many reasons, but one is to explore jewelry’s direct relationship with the body.