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Hello and welcome to ART Talk, a series of conversations with the artists and master craftsman that make our world a more beautiful place. What inspires them to create? What does it take to make it in the world of handmade? Today I'm joined by artist, mother, small business owner, master craftsman, jeweler and nature lover Dina Varano. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Dina has had a presence in the Connecticut River Valley for nearly thirty years. After spending several formative years living and studying in Italy, Dina settled into her studio, nestled deep in the woods surrounding her home and retail space in Chester, Connecticut. At her shop, that fittingly carries her name, Dina displays her stunning collection of jewelry and artwork as well as a mindfully curated collection of the works from other artists. She continues to draw inspiration from the natural beauty at her doorstep.
“I am inspired by nature. I study and explore through drawing in charcoal. My goal is to capture this essence and gesture in metal. I want to show the mark of my hand in each piece and achieve a rhythm of grace and movement. My parents are dancers, at an early age I learned the grace of rhythm and movement which has become a formative influence in my work. I want my jewelry to inspire and welcome play with the wearer.” ~Dina Varano
Our guest on Metalsmith Benchtalk on January 15th, 2015 at 3:00 PST/ 5:00 CST is artist and jeweler Jesse Bert.
Please join us for this live interview and participate by sending us your questions via social media (via Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook ) or by logging onto the chat room.
Originally from the U.S, Jesse relocated to Mexico in 2006. With eleven years of experience as a jeweler, Jesse has a BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from Rochester Institute of Technology, and an MFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from East Carolina University in North Carolina.
Jesse’s prefered work format is sculptural jewelry that incorporates recycled and found objects. Over the past five years Jesse has taught metalsmithing and jewelry techniques on a regular basis, to students of all skill levels, at his private studio in San Miguel de Allende, Gto. He also teaches annual workshops around Mexico as well as in other countries.
“When I am not teaching or working on new pieces, I love to be outside. I tend to my cactus collection or spend time exploring the Mexican countryside and hiking in the mountains.”
Visit his website and Facebook Page.
Our guest on Metalsmith Benchtalk on Thursday, January 8th, 2015 at 3:00 PDT/ 6:00 EDT is New Zealand jeweler and taxidermist Julia deVille.
We invite you to participate in this live interview by logging onto the char-room or sending a message to Whaley Studios via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
About Julia: Arriving in Australia from New Zealand on the cusp of adulthood, deVille trained as a jeweller and learned further crafting skills studying shoe design before her long hunt for a taxidermy mentorship was successful. Driven by a strong commitment to animal rights, deVille’s sculptural assemblages belie the heroic, trophy-hunting culture associated with mounting dead animals. In a form of gentle protest she combines precious gems and metals with antique ‘ready-mades’ to challenge our disregard for and consumption of both wild and domesticated fauna.
Commissioned by Hobart’s MONA to create a permanent installation in 2011, deVille also won the City of Hobart Art Prize in 2012. She has taken out the People’s Choice Award in the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize twice, and in 2006 her work was included in the MCA’s important Primavera survey exhibition. deVille’s work was acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria in 2012. She exhibits regularly in Australia and overseas.
My guest this Thursday, July 26th at 3 p.m. PDT on MetalSmith BenchTalk is David LaPlantz (aka D. D. Deco), an active, producing jeweler and metalsmith. He flirts back and forth between jewelry and social commentary sculpture.
About: David LaPlantz is included in Who’s Who in American Art and Who’s Who in the West and was named Humboldt State University’s “Outstanding Professor” in 1981. He received a Fulbright Grant in 1985 to travel throughout New Zealand to conduct master jewelry workshops, and received the Humboldt State University “Scholar of the Year” Award in 1994.
From 1967 through 2002, LaPlantz led an energetic dual life as both a full time jewelry and metalsmithing teacher and full time studio artist. Balancing his precious time between the two, he carved out a career comprised of imparting knowledge and creating art jewelry and sculpture, while trying to retain his sanity. LaPlantz is currently a full time studio artist living on the high desert of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
LaPlantz has always been an active, productive jeweler and metalsmith. His most recent jewelry involves the use of Vegetable Ivory (tagua nut) and /or industrially painted aluminum, which he engraves, stacks and cold connects together. LaPlantz’s sculptural pieces visually explore more political and philosophical topics such as blacklisting in the entertainment industry, payola scandals in the music industry and in radio, along with the “spoken word” as demonstrated in his ‘Art Microphones.’
For more information, visit http://laplantzstudios.com/.
My guest on Thursday, June 5th at 3 p.m. PDT on MetalSmith BenchTalk will be artist, craftsman, and jeweler Jim Grahl of J.Grahl Design.
About: My name is Jim Grahl. I'm nearing 65 years old, 48 of those years have been continuously devoted to jewelry and industrial design. My training initiated with a Los Angeles workshop that was the contract (or outsource) manufacturer for Van Cleef and Arpels, Gump's, Pierre Touraine and many others that were the foundation of the West Coast's fine Art~Jewelry establishment. I have formal apprenticeships in Pave' setting (Gerardo Terranova) and ancillary training in platinum-smithing, machining, and antique musical restoration.
My personal business (J.Grahl Design) was founded at the outset and has been in continuous operation for 47 years. (as of 2011). I'm a maker-builder at heart. All of the items shown in the photographs and illustrations here, on "Custom Made", are exactly that... Custom Made. You will see many cross over categories in metal, wood, glass and illustration-art. I am deeply involved with both vintage autos and surfing, so items relating to those topics are exposed here as well. There are generally a few of my projects available for live viewing at the Museum at the Gemological Institute of America as well as The San Diego Natural History Museum.
Our range of services is extensive. Our experience includes designing, photography, prototyping, project development, and jewelry fabrication. In addition, we also have experience with mechanical music mechanisms, illustration, computer engineering and design development (CAD), restoration of jeweled items and consulting.
For more information, visit: http://www.jgrahldesign.com/.
My Guest this Thursday, February 26th at 3 p.m. PDT/6EDT on MetalSmith BenchTalk is metalsmith, machinist, tool designer, jeweler, and teacher Brian Meek, the Production Manager at Knew Concepts.
About Brian: A metalsmith since the age of 15, Brian has spent his life mastering a number of techniques. Having studied at Syracuse University, as well as City of London Polytechnic, he rounded off his technical training at the Cranbrook Academy of Art with a Masters of Fine Art in Metalsmithing.
Brian has taught jewelry to a variety of audiences, from university students to fellow jewelers in workshops. He spent 12 years teaching at Santa Barbara City College's Adult-Ed program -- widely recognized as one of the best community based jewelry programs in the country -- where he brought out the best in non-traditional students. He is currently teaching a weekend workshop studio course at Mission College in Santa Clara, CA, as well as a selection of classes at the TechShop in Menlo Park, CA.
For more about Brian , visit http://www.alberic.net/page0/page0.html or http://ganoksin.com/blog/alberic/.
My guest on Thursday, May 15th at 3 p.m. PDT on MetalSmith BenchTalk will be Marc Choyt, the Director of Fair Jewelry Action, USA and President of Reflective Images.
About Marc: Marc is a social entrepreneur and President of Reflective Images Inc, a designer jewelry company located in Santa Fe, New Mexico which has won several awards for excellence and converted its entire production to recycled precious metal. In addition to producing designer Celtic jewelry, Reflective Images focuses on artisan sourcing/production and was the first company in the US to offer a broad range of fair trade gold wedding and engagement rings.
About Reflective Images: Helen Chantler and Marc Choyt, a husband and wife team, started our company in 1995. Previously, Marc was an English teacher at a school for Native Americans. Helen was a jeweler working for another company. The company grew tremendously and at one point, we were selling our jewelry in hundreds of stores and catalogs in North America. Since 2009, we have been focusing on our websites and our Santa Fe jewelry store.
To learn more, visit: http://www.celticjewelry.com/ or http://www.artisanweddingrings.com/.
Fair Jewelry Action (FJA) is a Human Rights and Environmental Justice Network within the jewellery sector. FJA promotes ethical and fair trade jewellery practices by advocating traceability and transparency in the jewellery supply chain. The CRED Foundation is providing developmental support for FJA as an autonomous organisation as it delivers activities in accordance with CRED’s charitable aims and objectives.
To learn more, visit: http://www.fairjewelry.org.
My guest on Thursday, April 17th at 3 p.m. PDT on MetalSmith BenchTalk will be jeweler, designer, and educator Jayne Redman.
About: “Nature provides an endless reference for imagination and invention. The linear quality of stems and the fullness of flower buds inspire my jewelry. I enjoy integrating mechanics with design, allowing each piece to function in a visually intriguing way. I work with multiples of the same shape, engineering them to fit precisely, giving an abstract interpretation of their botanical source. Many years of metalsmithing have taught me the power of simplicity. My forms begin as flat metal shapes and arrive as small sculptures. Their complexity is in their conception as curving planes of origami.”
Jayne Redman earned her B.F.A. in Jewelry and Silversmithing from Maine College of Art in 1977. She began her career in New York as a design and production assistant in the fashion jewelry industry. She started her company, Jayne Redman Jewelry, in 1982. Jayne began developing the Floraforms™ Collection in 1995. In 1998, the American Craft Council selected a piece from her collection as “representative of the quality of work found at all ACC events” to use in advertising their wholesale markets.
Jayne has been featured in articles for Crafts Report, AJM, Lapidary Journal, Professional Jeweler, Niche, and Ornament magazines as well as a number of books. Jayne is a former faculty member of the Maine College of Art Department of Jewelry and Metals and teaches workshops nationally. She maintains a studio in southern Maine and is represented by fine jewelry and craft stores across the country.
To learn more about Jayne, visit: http://www.jayneredmanjewelry.com.
My Guest this Thursday, February 29th at 3 p.m. PST on MetalSmith BenchTalk is David Geller, the owner of Jewelry Artisans, Inc. in Atlanta Georgia.
About: David’s training started as a 10-year-old during the summers in his father’s jewelry wholesale manufacturing company. At the age of 16, David received a car for the sole purpose of coming to work after school.
The family has traced their roots back 14 generations in the jewelry field, going back through New York, Odessa Russia, Spain, France and England. In 1972 David worked for Neiman Marcus when they opened up in Atlanta as a jeweler and then started Jewelry Artisans, as a trade shop in 1974. Within a few short years, the company dropped the trade accounts, dealing full time with the retail end of the business. In 1999 Jewelry Artisans performed over 8800 job envelopes doing over 1.8 million in sales, with half of that coming from the bench.
Over the years, David developed a system of paying his jewelers on a commission basis, giving them the ability to make a very good living and assuring the store profits of about four times on their labor. The 300 page price book that was developed for his store has quickly become the “repair bible” for over 2000 stores across the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and Guam.
David speaks to state jewelers organizations, at trade shows , and has three yearly all day seminars for the complete training of jewelers on how to price repairs and custom work.
For more about David, visit: http://www.jewelerprofit.com/Home.html.
My Guest this Thursday, March 13th at 3 p.m. PDT on MetalSmith BenchTalk is artist, jeweler, and fine jewelry specialist Deborah Boskin.
About: Deborah Boskin is a specialist of fine jewelry at Bonhams in San Francisco. She knows a lot about establishing value for jewelry on the secondary market. Since joining the company in 1998, Boskin has taken on such responsibilities from Head Cataloguer and Stylist to appraisals. She works with the US Department to create over ten jewelry auctions each year. She also travels the US for various auctions and events.
Her educational background includes a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from the California College of Arts & Crafts, where her focus was Jewelry/Metal Arts, and a Bachelor's in Art History from Boston University. She has been creating wearable jewelry and small sculpture in the Bay Area, and has been very involved in the SF jewelry community, having served as active and adjunct board member of the Metals Arts Guild for over a decade.
Bonhams International Jewelry department is a highly regarded and respected force in the global market place achieving top selling results for pieces of fine and rare jewelry from estates and collections. The department sells all types of antique, period and modern jewelry specializing in diamond Art Deco items, large single diamond solitaires and famous luxury designed and signed pieces by Cartier, Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels and Andrew Grima as well as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, precious stones and natural pearls. Our dynamic and well-established team of highly regarded specialists will offer you confidential and professional advice on all aspects of buying and selling at auction.
My guest on Thursday, May 1st at 3 p.m. PDT on MetalSmith BenchTalk will be jeweler, enamelist, metalsmith, artist, and naturalist David C. Freda.
Abou David: “Among the first images created by man were those of animals. One cannot trace the history of art without reference to the animal image. Since prehistoric times, the animal world has provided man the imagery by which to visually illuminate important aspects of himself and his life. The animal image provides a universal language that all cultures can share. Until the extinction of the last species, man will draw upon the animal world for inspiration.
I also probe the world of animals for my imagery. Bird watching, taxidermy, falconry, scuba diving, rock climbing, mountain biking, and numerous other adventuresome activities have educated me enabling me to express the natural world in an artistic sense. My forms are a distillation of these experiences. Some compositions feature realistic “renderings” of animal forms while others are abstractions suggesting a particular theme and create from it an unexpected or surprising result.
To obtain this, I often juxtapose the animal image or abstraction using ancient processes with twentieth century materials such as fine metals, vitreous enamels, aluminum, acrylic, niobium, and so on, while maintaining the sense of a natural habitat via color, texture, and movement. I feel I share a kinship with artists of the past whose intimate knowledge of the natural world also provided them with their concepts..
To learn more about David, visit: http://www.davidcfreda.com.
Adrianna is honored to have guests Michael and Arlene Candelaresi as her January guests .
Michael is a hands on healer - 3rd Degree Reiki - Arlene is 2nd degree. They study and are involved in many forms of new age thinking especially affirmations and music. They have been followers of Reverend Sun Myung Moon for 40 years. They were matched and blessed By Rev Moon in 1982 at Madison Square Garden along with 2400 other couples. They have been on a 40 year spiritual quest to understand and accomplish the Three Blessings given to mankind by God at the beginning: be fruitful, multiply, and have dominion. Arlene is also a jeweler/artist, hoping to help heal through beauty.
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