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It’s not easy to advice jewelry maker Carla Movia. Not easy because she mostly knows and plans everything before you were even asked. She does research, she studies possibilities. She knows what has preceded her and has very strong esthetic opinions on contemporary jewelry and its different threads. She reads, she sees a lot, and is very well informed. She is hungry of a particular type of knowledge, and she perfectly knows what she is looking for. Nomen Nescio, the exhibition coming out of her 2 years research during the MFA program at Alchimia, and essentially an installation of 300 brooches, shows exactly all of that.

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The pieces highlight a uniqueness amongst the mass, hence the decision to show them in grids was a very smart one. Instead of creating chaotic crowds of pieces shown throughout the space, this type of display setting gives the visitor the chance to really care and look for the details and the differences between them.

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Each piece came with its own “passport”: literally a sort of identity document for the pieces, giving information about them, such as their names, materials, leaving space to document their journeys and speak of their future owners. This gives the pieces a political tone, one that speaks of citizenship and sense of identity.

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As we always suggest at Alchimia: do make good edition pieces. Here you can see how several in fact were sold. Please note that this can be your little contribution to society: Carla decided to donate a percentage of the sales to Oxfam, a confederation of NGO’s working on the alleviation of global poverty.

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The exhibition was held in a very beautiful private space not far from the school. This is not the best choice in terms of audiences as of course this means the space itself won’t bring in a crowd. On the other hand the esthetic result has been just what Carla was looking for. In one way or the other we find ourselves almost always having to make some compromises.

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As always, and again and again, friends play a major role in setting up an exhibition. Be always sure to check their schedule, not only yours, when planning a date.

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The ornament is a very rich and complex cultural phenomenon. The need for decoration and ornamentation has always been an essential part of mankind, from the earliest civilizations until the present day. The ornament is present in every discipline of the Arts, and closely related to the world of jewellery, in which the need to decorate the body forms the main reason for its existence. A piece of jewellery is always an ornament, but an ornament is not always a piece of jewellery.

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The ornament can have a symbolic, aesthetic or social function since there is an intimate relation between ornaments and the way people express their life. Feelings of joy, lust and grieve are all materialized in ornaments. Although being attacked for the first time in history in the early 20th century by the architect Adolf Loos and by the philosophy of the modernists, the ornament clearly survived and has now proven to be a subject for contemporary developments in both Fine Art and Design.

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During the course the students will investigate the origin of the ornament, its meaning and full potency. The students will be encouraged to connect the world of jewellery with other disciplines, and to search for a relation between the past and the present. Through short exercises and assignments, both individual talks and group discussions the students will develop a personal and contemporary vision on the ornament which will have to result in finished pieces.

I strongly believe every student has to become aware of the relation between the mind, the heart and the belly during the creative process. To form a strong and personal vision, concentration and deepening is necessary. During the workshop the students will be challenged to go the whole way with an idea, to stretch it as far as it can go.

The workshop will take place from July 11 to 15, 2017.

For more information write to: info@alchimia.it

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Evert Nijland is a Dutch jewelry maker. His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions world-wide, including in the Galerie Rob Koudijs, Galerie Louise Smit, Coda museum, Gorkums Museum, Textielmuseum and Stedelijk Museum (NL), Galerie Spektrum and Cranach Haus, Museum fur Kunst und Gew,  Internationale Handwerksmesse ‘Schmuck’(DE), Oratorio di San Rocco (IT), Cheongju International Craft Biennale (KR), Fondation Bernardaud (FR), MAD Museum (USA), Victoria & Albert Museum (UK) among many more. He is the recipient of several awards among the many the Dutch Design Prizes and The Sotheby’s Award and his work has been acquired by public collections such as the Nationaal Zilvermuseum, Nederlands Textielmuseum, MMK Museum, Coda Museum and Stedelijk Museum (NL), Mima, Middlesbrough Intitute of Modern Art and Victoria & Albert Museum (UK), Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum of Arts and Design, New York and the Mint Museum of Crafts & Design, Charlotte NC (USA).

 

 

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  1. ALWAYS LOOK FOR A NEW CHALLENGE IN ORDER TO KEEP IMPROVING

I think that challenging yourself continuously is very important. You can only move forward, if you force yourself to learn new things. If you keep acting only in your comfort zone, you will stay at the same point constantly.

Wether it is on a general professional or personal level, or just a single object I am working on – I always try to find new techniques or materials to explore. Some people want to focus on one same material or technique, which is also fine. The most important thing for me however is not to stop at the same point each time. Try to continue to surprise yourself, to go further than what you have imagined and find new, and different ways to do and to think.

In my latest series Diplopia I have used various techniques including 3D printing for the first time. It offered a complete new way of working to me. I think it is important to be open to a broad spectrum of techniques and materials, from traditional ones to new technologies. Be open to adapt to new opportunities in order to seize all the possibilities you are offered.

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2. HAVE A DREAM/A GOAL/A PLAN

 

 I believe that if you have a goal and you really want to achieve something, it is important that you frame it for yourself. If you keep seeing it clear in front of you, your whole body and mind will move towards it. Every decision and every move, leads you closer to your goal.

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3. BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING!

Don´t hesitate to participate or apply because you think you are not experienced enough, or are too anxious about the possibility of failing. It is very tough to be self-confident in the art field. Especially as art jewelers, when we sometimes seem to float in an area between design, arts and crafts. Thus, it is such a satisfaction to achieve something that you did not think you could do. Those moments keep you going and help you to move on, so strive for them.

This year I won the “Eligius-Schmuckpreis 2016”. When I decided to apply I really did not have high hopes to get chosen, since I had just finished my studies and moved to Vienna a few months earlier. I decided to give it a shot anyway since it can´t hurt. Eventually I won the prize, which was an amazing opportunity and honor. I realized that I was wrong in not believing in my chances. We can always find reasons not to do things, but those will keep us from engaging in great possibilities and if we just try, we might be proven wrong. And also: failing is a learning experience too!

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4. HAVE HIGH AIMS

 

Don´t limit yourself and your ideas. At first, for every idea and every plan you should aim as high as you can. Let your ideas and thoughts develop free from limitations. Step by step you can try to find solutions for realizing them or for solving the problems or for finding other, easier ways to get where you want to.

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5. BE OPEN AND COURAGEOUS FOR NEW POSSIBILITIES

 

Have a plan, a dream, but don´t stick to it irrevocably. Often you need to change, adjust or adapt your plans a little. Maybe this will lead to steps that you did not plan in advance, but they might just lead you to another route on the way to your goal. If there are chances, you have to catch them.

At the beginning of my educational path as a jeweler I could not have imagined where my way would lead. I had not planned on doing my bachelors in Florence and I never thought I would complete my masters degree in the US. I am incredibly happy that I took the chances as they came, as those where the most valuable experiences of my whole life.

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6. DISAPPOINTMENTS ARE PART OF THE GAME

In my second year of grad school one of my art professors told me about his “folder of rejections”. It was a huge, stuffed folder that he kept. Over the years he collected every letter of refusal he received and put it in this folder. He is a successful artist today, but he assured me that for each time he got accepted for an exhibition or a job, he probably got rejected 10 times or more. Sometimes it can be very hard to take a rejection or a failure. You start questioning everything, asking yourself why you didn’t choose another career and worry that all your hard work ends in despair. Don´t be afraid to fail, don´t let it bring you down, there will be a next time and it will be worth it!

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7. HAVE FUN!

The best way to produce good work is to enjoy doing it. It will be easy for you to work hard and a lot if it doesn´t just feel like work. This works best if you can create a surrounding that comforts you. Make yourself a home in your studio and work close to people you like! I have always shared my studio with other artists. It was the best way to stay motivated when I got lost in my process, or when I was tired. I can ask my mates for suggestions and I even learn while trying to help them. If you talk, discuss, dream and phantasize together, your ideas will float and flourish in a way you can never achieve if you just sit by yourself. It is fun to work until late if you can have little breaks together and encourage each other to go on for one more hour.

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8. JOIN FORCES

Since April 2016 I am a Member of Atelier Stoss im Himmel. We are 8 artists that share a workspace and have a common exhibition space, where we have a showroom and organize shows. It is a beautiful space, equipped with all the tools we need to work and the possibility to split duties and responsibilities. None of us could afford anything close to this by themselves and of course, it is much more fun together.

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Lena Grabher is a Vienna-based contemporary jeweler. She started her education in Vienna where she accomplished her apprenticeship examination as a goldsmith. She completed her BFA degree in Florence at ALCHIMIA contemporary jewelry school in 2013, to continue her studies in Metals at the State University of New York at New Paltz, where she received her MFA in May 2015. Since 2016 she is a Member of Atelier STOSSimHIMMEL and teaches gold and silversmithing techniques at the Wiener Goldschmiedelehrgang. Lena has developed an experimental way of working that is driven by an urge to discover and explore the subject of jewelry on many levels. Her latest work is entitled DIPLOPIA and was currently awarded with the prestigious Eligius – Schmuckpreis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Polene, 2015, wood.

Weapons of Perfection, Lilian Mattuschka’s show in Florence and her graduate project for her MFA with Alchimia, was finely curated. It took place at Chiasso Perduto, an exhibition space in Florence open to different disciplines.

Here are a few things we have learned from her exhibition.

If you have a very characterized space, clean it as much as possible of any unnecessary element and play and relate to its architecture. Using a minimum amount of outsourced material (pedestals or anything of the like) will create a more organic relation between your pieces and the architecture.

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Exhibithion view.

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Exhibition view.

When your collection has a rhythm, one of those rhythms that contribute to creating a narrative, do try to emphasize it and give it a form. The legibility of your artistic intentions will be enriched by it.

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Exhibition view.

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Handle, 2016, wood.

Play with your business card or any other additional element of the show. Thinking artistically or curatorially about every aspect of the exhibition is paramount if you want to seduce your audience (and above all potential client).

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Business-cards as smile-mask.

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Exhibithion view.

If your work has a certain variety, do support that with different display methods. Here, video alternates with jewelry, the latter presented in many ways that followed form. “Some were shown in nicchie, others just on the wall, hanging from the ceiling with transparent fill, some were flying, some others were shown in boxes similar to those you would use to store weapons. Also the videos were all shown in different ways: on a computer screen, projected on a mapped wall, or in a little framed iPad. The exhibition was really playing with opposites, the pieces that were speaking of impositions or encourage physical corrections were the ones flying; they seemed like birds, or angels”.

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Silenziatore, 2016, video coming along a jewelry piece by the same title. Made in collaboration with Piero Aricó.

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Weapons of Perfection, 2016, realized in collabiration with Luca Maoceri. Performers: Giulietta Evans, Andrea Bertocci, Flavia Bardelloni, Benedetta Rustici, Piero Aricó and Viola Mattuschka.

Give a lot of thought to the way you use light. Lilian here decided to work with very low lights, to emphasize the material qualities of the wood and dramatize the space by playing with their shadows.

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Die Armee, 2016, installation, wood.

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Die Armee, 2016, installation, wood.

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Polene, 2015, wood.

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Smile, 2016, plexiglass-wood-iron.

Remember to create a space for reading, drinking and talking outside of the exhibition (or at least so in winter) if you want the exhibition to be a more silent space of contemplation.

And do mind: openings are for quick chats, while it is the following days that more engaged conversations can happen. So be there for the duration of the show if you can!

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Exhibition view.

Article originally posted at Alchimia – How to Make an Exhibition (in Florence) #2 Lillian Mattuschka

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  1. NEVER STOP MOVING

Life has a movement and a rhythm. Never stop moving. Keep on track, and continue doing the things you do with or around your art. Even when you are not in a creative period of your life, do things that will keep your mind and hands trained and fed. Go to museums, see a movie, read a book, have a nice conversation with a friend, pause on your thoughts and your surroundings. Dance!

  1. THE HOLY TRINITY FOR ME IS: PERSISTENCE, PATIENCE & TRUST

Trust yourself, your capacities and your knowledge. Be patient because things need time. Be persistent and faithful to your art. Do not give up easily, otherwise you will never complete anything.

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  1. TAKE RISKS

If you really want something but it doesn’t exist yet, just create it by yourself. Take the risk and develop something from zero. Nobody is an expert in everything so if you need help try to find the right people to help you, learn from them, collaborate with them. You can make happen any idea that passes through your mind. Do not forget that we are creators and communicators.

 

  1. BE CURIOUS, BE HONEST…AND DREAM

Dreaming is about respecting your curiosity and your ideas. Honesty is about following your instinct. Being curious is about learning and discovering new things and possibilities. Without dreaming and without being curious it is difficult to go ahead. Art is like our bodies that never lie, so don’t forget to be honest with yourself and with your art.

5. ART NEEDS SACRIFICES, BUT BE AWARE OF WHAT KIND OF SACRIFICES YOU DO NOT TO GET TOO FAR FROM YOUR ART

In 2011, when I opened Anamma studio, I hadn’t realized the sacrifices that I had to do for my art. The studio is like a baby that needs all of my attention. The result was that for some years I didn’t have the time and the energy to create my jewellery. Now that the baby is already a child of 5 years old, I have realized that during its childhood I learned immensely through teaching, organizing workshops and curating student exhibitions. Learning never stops and goes in multiple directions. All of this brought me closer to my art. Only now I understand better my way of doing things, and what is surprising is that after this some things are coming out more naturally.

When I graduated from Alchimia in 2010, I moved to my home city, Athens. I was feeling alone and lost. The only thing that I was thinking about was how to share my art that I was so in love with. There are a lot of ways to do that. For me, the dream started to take form in 2011. I created a studio, Anamma, where people could basically come and follow classes about contemporary jewellery. This came out of my need to share and exchange my precious knowledge and experience in jewellery. But Anamma is not only about that. Students can develop individual and collective projects, present their work in annual exhibitions, visit together important exhibitions and discover the work of other artists…this list is fortunately long and always open to changes. That is what Anamma is all about.

Since 2011, I create, teach, invite artists from around the world, participate in exhibitions and curate exhibitions. In July of 2016, together with Greek jewellery artists Erato Kouloumpi, Ioanna Natsikou & Niki Stylianou, we formed the Anclastics group. With it we organized the first Athens Jewelry Week in order to inform and sensibilize the public on issues related to contemporary jewellery. And the story goes on…

For more information:

Facebook: Anastasia Kandaraki

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Is This Jewelry?

Athens Jewelry Week

 

On November 26th, 2016 MFA graduating student Chumeng Weng presented her solo-show WYSIWYG at the Spazio Culturale Mentana, a project space in Florence that promotes and presents the work of young artists, from diverse disciplines.

We take this chance, and others to come, to write about what it takes (practically, financially and psychologically) to make a show, in Florence and elsewhere.

First issue you will have to deal with is that many organizations in Florence will not offer you their spaces for free (in fact some actually really speculate on the need for presentation spaces young artists have). You have to take into account some budget for that, and especially be good and smart when negotiating a price. As stereotypes often hold a degree of truth, Italians are great (read: not fair) merchants.

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Last-minute problem solving characterizes basically every single exhibition, be it a biennial or a tiny solo-show in a shoebox. While you get tired, frustrated, anxious, and sleep-less remember that this is something everyone experiences, so don’t feel guilty or overtly desperate about it. Just keep focused and make use of every little bit of time you have left, even just the last minutes can do magic.

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And HEY despite everything you made it, and even look particularly good for your own exhibition.

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Friends, particularly when dealing with the same discipline, are always essential, do ask for help, and do distribute tasks, you just can’t manage everything by yourself. Here for instance Lumy Noguez played the role of chief curatorial advisor of WYSIWYG.

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Don’t try to decode the first visitor’s thoughts about the show, there is just a fine line between looking interested, serious and absolutely bored.

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If you want or need performers in your show of course ask people that surround you and you know already. The job is hard, and shouldn’t be overdone.

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Do think about children when plotting the display. Having a baby-safe exhibition space will multiply your audience.

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NEVER forget to thank publicly everyone who helped you. Giving credit to who donated work and time to your show is not only a nice gesture, it’s a must do thing. People loved you, so do love back.

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This should go without saying, but SMILE SMILE SMILE. If you made it this far, you should be more than proud of yourself.

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Originally posted by Alchimia.it – How to Make an Exhibition (in Florence) #1 Chumeng Weng

1.WORKING TOGETHER IS BETTER THAN WORKING ALONE (MOST OF THE TIMES)

As soon as you get out of school you might feel pretty lost and overwhelmed, you have to learn how to manage your time and choose what to invest your energy in. I think that having good professional “partners” is a big help and a way to feel constantly challenged and motivated. You can share opportunities and knowledge, discuss and receive feedback to your ideas, push and get pulled when you need it. Not everybody feels comfortable in working with other people though, it’s a matter of taste and luck, so find your way and always respect others.

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Offcine Nora working space – 2015

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Officine Nora resident members exhibiting at Jewelry Selection, Palazzo Bellini – Florence – 2016. Martina Lončar, Kellie Riggs, Arata Fuchi, Valentina Caprini, Margherita de Martino Norante. Wood objects by Castorina.

2.FIND A GOOD WORKING SPACE

One of my first needs and wishes as I started working was to make the most out of my studio space. I felt that working in a “secret” workshop was not right because I wanted to use it in any way possible, not only for making my pieces, but also for selling them, teaching and attracting new clients and people interested in craftsmanship and applied arts. This, together with my wish for working in a lively and international environment brought me to start Officine Nora.

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Officine Nora display and selling area, behind part of the working zone

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Workshop and demonstrations at Officine Nora are always a good way to engage new people and show part of the work behind hand made jewelry making.

3. TRY ANYTHING ONCE AND CHOOSE WHAT SUITS YOU

The jewelry field has many different aspects. Within its framework you can find various working opportunities that range from teaching to working on commissions, from designing for third parties to curating exhibitions, from shooting pictures to writing. Being curious and trying yourself out on different tasks could open new job opportunities you didn’t think about. What’s important though is finding your focus and not loosing it!

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Working to prepare the catalogue for an exhibition, prints and stickers. 1×1 collective goes to Belgium.

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1×1 Collective at Joya Barcelona.

4. NOT ALL OPPORTUNITIES ARE GOOD OPPORTUNITIES

Bad experiences happen! Sometimes, the eager for showing your work and selling it can lead you to trust unprofessional subjects. Once, I sent some of my pieces, together with some fellow artists, to a newborn and self declared gallerist that lost all our pieces in one shot. It took us months and an incredible amount of effort to have our money back. So respect your work! Try to be as professional and accurate as possible, never do things based only on handshakes or verbal agreements, even if you know the people you’re dealing with. Learn to say no when things are conducted carelessly.

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The Wise, brooch, lost in the world since 2013.

5. JEWELRY IS MEANT TO BE WORN

Jewelry is meant to be worn, and therefore sold. You spent years and money learning techniques and now that you can produce your pieces don’t be afraid about how they will be judged and labeled. As long as you produce well made objects and you don’t copy other people’s work there’s nothing to be afraid of. The public will be different from place to place, and will have diverse tastes and interests. So try to engage, or even educate, your public, and if you find a certain public doesn’t understand your work just change it, and look for other frameworks. So don’t get sad by making pieces you don’t feel like making just for the sake of selling them and don’t get frustrated trying to place your work where it doesn’t belong, but try to educate your public or try to create your own space!

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Florentine people standing in line outside Tiffany’s – every year around Christmas. Not the ideal public for contemporary jewelry.

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Ricordati che se vuoi puoi usare un aiuto. Pendant or wall object.

Marherita de Martino Norante was born, lives and works in Florence. She holds a degree in Idustrial Design, and studied jewerly at Alchimia Contemporary Jewelry School and hand engraving at Le Arti Orafe. In 2010, together with some friends, she started 1×1 collective, a project with the aim of spreading and showcasing contemporary jewelry in a simple and direct way. She organized some exhibitions for the collective and took part in others like: Alchemic Experiences (Lorber Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel), Conceptual Jewelry exhibition (Gallery Putti, Riga, Latvia), Premio Fondazione Cominelli (Cominelli Foundation, Cisano di San Felice, Brescia, Italy), JOYA Fair (contemporary jewellery week Barcelona with 1×1), and was selected for Schmuck 2012 (Munich, Germany). Her work is also part of some private and public collections in Italy, Austria, Holland and Russia. In 2013 she founded Officine Nora, a co-working space in the heart of Florence, born to create and promote contemporary jewelry.

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Originally posted by Alchimia.it – Tips for Future Designers #2 Margherita de Martino Norante