Interviews

United States

The Birthday Boys- Part 2 Peter Skubic


Peter Skubic
Peter Skubic, 2001, brooch, stainless steel, lacquer, niello, 75 x 35 mm, photo: Petra Zimmerman

Susan Cummins: Although you were born in Yugoslavia, you have spent most of your life in Austria. Someone once told me that Austrian jewelers believe in fairytales. Do you think that is true?

Peter Skubic: No, only when they go to Hanau where the brothers Grimm were born . . . said Helen Drutt.

You have taught at a number of schools. Can you give me an example of an assignment that really challenged your students?

I always challenge my students. It is central to my teaching.

Were you trained as a goldsmith?

I was never trained as a goldsmith. I learned it by myself. I was trained as an engraver in FACHSCHULE IN STEYR.

Peter Skubic, 2001, brooch, stainless steel, lacquer, niello, 75 x 35 mm, photo: Petra Zimmerman

Susan Cummins: Although you were born in Yugoslavia, you have spent most of your life in Austria. Someone once told me that Austrian jewelers believe in fairytales. Do you think that is true?

Peter Skubic: No, only when they go to Hanau where the brothers Grimm were born . . . said Helen Drutt.

You have taught at a number of schools. Can you give me an example of an assignment that really challenged your students?

I always challenge my students. It is central to my teaching.

Were you trained as a goldsmith?

I was never trained as a goldsmith. I learned it by myself. I was trained as an engraver in FACHSCHULE IN STEYR.

Peter Skubic, 2001, brooch, stainless steel, 75 x 45 mm, photo: Petra Zimmerman

These are materials and mechanisms of a craftsman, not only the tools of an architect. But I have contact with architecture because I live in a house. Today the tool of an architect is the computer and his material is concrete, steel, glass and sometimes a little bit of brick.

Do you do drawings in planning your pieces? Do they also express architectural concerns of proportion and building requirements?

Yes I do. Architects and jewelers work always for the human being. Architecture protects the human body and jewelry enhances it.

You often use mirrored surfaces in your brooches. Why mirrors?

Because mirrors are reflecting.

With all the wires and straight edges, your brooches don’t look very comfortable to wear. Are you concerned with wearability?

One of my major concerns is wearability and comfort.

You have been active in the contemporary jewelry field for a long time. Many people are discouraged by the current market place and the lack of support for this kind of jewelry. What are your thoughts?

My hope is that the value for my work is consistent with the value and recognition that comes to painters and sculptures. I am the same generation as Gerhard Richter; there is a world of difference between our values. This must change.

Thank you, Peter.

Peter Skubic, 2006, brooch, stainless steel, lacquer, 100 x 40 mm, photo: Petra Zimmerman

For a more complete interview with Peter Skubic, take a look at Contemporary Jewellers: Interviews with European Artists. The author, Roberta Bernabei, was able to get much more complete answers from Peter than I was. SC

Author

  • Susan Cummins has been involved in numerous ways in the visual arts world over the last 35 years, from working in a pottery studio, doing street fairs, running a retail shop called the Firework in Mill Valley and developing the Susan Cummins Gallery into a nationally recognized venue for regional art and contemporary art jewelry. Now she spends most of her time working with a private family foundation called Rotasa and as a board member of AJF and California College of the Arts.

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