Carina Chitsaz-Shoshtary

Galerie Ra, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Missy Graff

Carina Chitsaz-ShoshtaryCarina Chitsaz-Shoshtary’s work was recently on display at Galerie Ra in Amsterdam, Netherlands, from February 1 to March 22. In this interview, Carina provides us with insight about her use of graffiti as a material and the concepts behind her pieces. 

Missy Graff: Please tell me about your background. How did you come to be a jeweler?

Carina Chitsaz-Shoshtary: It is quite probable that I would have become a musician if I did not have terrible stage fright. My father is an Iranian guitarist for classical and Spanish guitar. We had lots of weekends of music making, dancing, and singing together with friends and family when I was young. On the weekdays, I was with my mother and mainly occupied myself by drawing, painting, and building all kinds of small objects from different materials. My passions for music and creating things developed simultaneously.

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Carina Chitsaz-Shoshtary
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Carina Chitsaz-Shoshtary
Carina Chitsaz-Shoshtary
Carina Chitsaz-Shoshtary
Carina Chitsaz-Shoshtary
Carina Chitsaz-Shoshtary
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Polly Wales and Jo Hayes Ward

Shibumi Gallery, Berkeley, California, USA
Missy Graff

Polly WalesOpulence was on display from February 4–24 at Shibumi Gallery, located in Berkeley, California, USA. This exhibition featured works by two British jewelry artists—Polly Wales and Jo Hayes Ward. In this interview, Polly and Jo provide us with insight about their process and the concept behind their pieces. 

Missy Graff: Please tell me about your background. How did you become interested in making jewelry? 

Polly Wales: I initially studied sculpture, but I couldn't really come to grips with the convoluted language of fine art. It felt so removed. After a few years, I wasn’t sure why I was trying to communicate in what felt like such an indirect form. A few years later, my passion for making drove me back to the university, where I studied jewelry. I loved making for making's sake and making decisions from an aesthetic viewpoint rather than a totally intellectualized one. That said, for the first few years of my jewelry career I was still in pursuit of marrying the two, and it was while I was studying at the Royal College of Art (alongside Jo Hayes Ward) that I began my investigation into casting materials together. I was making jewelry that never had a perfect moment; a moment of shiny newness that heralded, somehow, the beginning of the end; or jewelry that demanded to be kept pristine, polished, and safeguarded. So, I started casting stones inside the metal, creating pieces that always had unique outcomes, and if worn forever and a day, would always be changing and revealing something new, the gold wearing away to reveal the stones buried within. This process became the backbone of my work.

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Polly Wales
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Polly Wales
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Jo Hayes Ward
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Polly Wales
Jo Hayes Ward
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Donald Friedlich: Organic Matter

Jewelers’werk Galerie, Washington, DC, USA
Missy Graff

Donald FriedlichDonald Friedlich’s exhibition Organic Matter is on display at Jewelers’werk Galerie in Washington, DC, from November 23 through December 13, 2013. In this interview, Donald discusses his process and how the concept for this exhibition developed. 

Missy Graff: Please tell me about your background. How did you become interested in making jewelry?

Donald Friedlich: In my early 20s, I met a jeweler while ski bumming in Stowe, Vermont. Up until then, I had no interest in art whatsoever. I did like working with my hands, figuring out how things worked, and repairing them if needed, but I was more interested in math and science. Thomas Edison was my childhood hero. 

My ski friend started to teach me to make jewelry, and eventually I took classes at the University of Vermont with Laurie Peters. At UVM, I discovered a creative side that had been completely dormant. I took a lot of other art classes at UVM, but eventually I decided it was best to transfer to a school with more resources. I was accepted into Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and State University of New York (SUNY) New Paltz and decided to go to RISD. It was a very difficult decision, but in the end, I came up with the idea of what my wife and I would call a “cake plan.” That’s our short version of “have your cake and eat it too.” The cake plan was to go to RISD and also to take a workshop with New Paltz faculty member Bob Ebendorf. I took a two-week workshop with Bob at Penland School of Crafts the next summer. 

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Donald Friedlich
Donald Friedlich
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Laura Deakin: My Press

Gallery Loupe, Montclair, New Jersey, USA
Missy Graff

Laura DeakinLaura Deakin’s series My Press is on display at Gallery Loupe in Montclair, New Jersey, through December 8, 2013. In this interview, Laura Deakin discusses her process and describes how her concept developed for this exhibition. 

Missy Graff: Please tell me about your background. How did you become a jeweler? 

Laura Deakin: My parents have always been a huge influence in my life. My dad is an illustrator and retired graphic designer. He never owned a TV, so weekends at his place were filled with other things. “I’m bored!” I would whine. “Do a drawing,” he would say, and with persuasion, I would. I am really grateful for that, as I draw all the time now, and it has helped my development as an artist immensely.

My mum trained as a seamstress but had many jobs. A couple of these dealt with art supplies, so our house always had a healthy supply of good scissors (only to be used on fabric) and colored paper. She has always dressed in fabulous color (this was horribly embarrassing as a teenager), and she wore the first and only pair of ceramic avocado earrings with a matching necklace I’ve ever known. Her fashion and creativity gave me a lasting introduction to color, form, and composition.

After high school, I studied photography, but after two years, I found myself wandering. I applied to do a jewelry degree because I enjoyed soldering in my metal-tech class in high school. I never wanted to be an artist and never thought I was training to be one, but after learning about the world of contemporary jewelry in my first year with Marian Hosking at Monash University, I was in. I worked part time with the late Mari Funaki at Gallery Funaki, a contemporary jewelry gallery in Melbourne, Australia. There, I began to wear art jewelry and to understand what was possible within the realm of contemporary jewelry. 

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Agathe Saint-Girons: 20 Years in TRANS

Galerie Elsa Vanier, Paris, France
Missy Graff

Agathe Saint-Girons20 Years in TRANS is now on display at Galerie Elsa Vanier in Paris, France, until November 27, 2013. This exhibition showcases jewelry selections from Agathe Saint-Girons’s 20 years of making. In this interview, gallery owner Elsa Vanier and artist Agathe Saint-Girons discuss how this exhibition developed and about the current jewelry extravaganza in Paris called the Circuits Bijoux.

Missy Graff: What is the Circuits Bijoux, and who organized it? 

Elsa Vanier: Circuits Bijoux is presented by Ateliers d’Art de France in partnership with Les Arts Decoratifs Museum and the Un Bijou à l’Autre Association. Circuits Bijoux will be presenting around 70 exhibitions and proposing conferences and encounters aimed at highlighting the great diversity of contemporary jewelry from September 2013 to March 2014. 

France’s capital city has never before held an event that includes designers, museums, schools, galleries, cultural and institutional players, historians, and experts. 

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Gabrielle Desmarais and Anne-Marie Rébillard: Ce qui n’est pas là

Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h, Montreal, Québec, Canada
Missy Graff

Anne-Marie RébillardCe qui n’est pas là was on display at Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h, located in Montreal, Canada, from October 4 to October 20, 2013. The artists included in this exhibition were Gabrielle Desmarais and Anne-Marie Rébillard. In this interview, Gabrielle and Anne-Marie both discuss their process and how their work developed for this exhibition.

Missy Graff: Please tell me about your background. How did you become interested in making jewelry? 

Gabrielle Desmarais: When I first began college, I studied administration while making fashion jewelry for small shops in town. It took some time to realize that jewelry making was an option for me. After giving birth to my first child, I decided to go back to school to complete the jewelry program at the Montreal Jewellery School.

Anne-Marie Rébillard: I felt the need to learn how to work with my hands after I tried a different program of study where I was unsatisfied. I applied to the École de joaillerie de Québec, and I knew quickly after I started that I had found the training I was looking for. I realized that I could express myself through jewelry. For me, jewelery was slowly becoming an artistic medium, just as painting or sculpture can be.

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Gabrielle Desmarais
Gabrielle Desmarais
Gabrielle Desmarais
Gabrielle Desmarais
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FANTASTICI! Contemporary Italian Jewelry

Art Gallery Putti, Riga, Latvia
Missy Graff

Adrean BloomardFANTASTICI! Contemporary Italian Jewelry is on display from September 26 to October 13, 2013 at Art Gallery Putti in Riga, Latvia. This exhibition features jewelry by 22 Italian artists: Catalina Brenes, Luisa Bruni, Maria Cristina Bellucci, Elisabetta Dupre, Anna Fornari, Emma Francesconi, Maria Rosa Franzin, Manuela Gandini, Heidemarie Herb, Giancarlo Montebello, Gigi Mariani, Paola Mirai, Rita Marcangelo, Margherita de Martino Norante, Alessandro Petrolati, Kellie Riggs, Barbara Uderzo, Ute Kolar, Eugenia Ingegno, Patrizia Bonati, Maura Biamonti, and Adrean Bloomard. In this interview Agita Putane, the owner of Art Gallery Putti, describes how the exhibition developed. 

Missy Graff: How did you come up with the concept for this exhibition? What do you feel is the most compelling aspect of the show?

Agita Putane: Everyone seeks after feelings that contribute to their happiness. For me, working in the field of contemporary jewelry creates these feelings. It has been clear for a while that the gallery would expand to include artists from other countries. Early on, we organized group and solo exhibitions exclusively for Latvian jewelry artists. However, we have been cooperating with foreign contemporary jewelry artists for almost six years.

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Adrean Bloomard
Gigi Mariani
Art Gallery Putti
Art Gallery Putti
Art Gallery Putti
Luisa Bruni
Maria Cristina Bellucci
Maura Biamonti
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Raissa Bump and Amy Tavern: Parallel Constellations

Gallery Lulo, Healdsburg, California, USA
Missy Graff

Raïssa Bump and Amy TavernParallel Constellations is on display through October 5, 2013, at Gallery Lulo in Healdsburg, California, USA. This exhibition features collaborations between artists Raïssa Bump and Amy Tavern. In this interview, both Amy and Raïssa describe the concept and process of the exhibition from their perspective. 

Missy Graff: Please tell me about your background. Have you always had an interest in making jewelry? 

Amy Tavern: I began metalsmithing in 1998. Before that, I was interested in music and went to college to study opera. I switched majors early on and got a degree in arts administration instead. In my senior year, I took a series of visual art classes and began to discover a different kind of creativity, especially through my ceramics and sculpture classes. I had been curious about jewelry for a long time, and I had been making beaded jewelry in my free time since high school.

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Raïssa Bump and Amy Tavern
Raïssa Bump and Amy Tavern
Raïssa Bump and Amy Tavern
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Amy Tavern
Amy Tavern
Amy Tavern
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Raïssa Bump
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