Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Tuesday's Treasures - La Bella Luna
I had the pleasure of interviewing Evelyn of La Bella Luna for this week's artisan spotlight. Evelyn is a very talented jewelry artisan who specializes in all things silver....silversmithing, PMC, etc. Let's get to know Evelyn better!
1. If there’s one thing that defines you, what is it? Me?- as a person?- I would have to say the word would be earnest. I'm very honest and really care about my work. I try VERY hard. It's my personality. Sometimes it's a bit of a curse, but it's how I've always been.
My work?- that's a hard one. All I can tell you that I design every piece that I make with my own personal sensibilities. By that I mean I absolutely have to like it myself. I follow my instincts and if something doesn't please me I take it apart and re-work it till it feels right. Hard to explain...
I asked some friends what they thought. One said "vintage meets modern", one said "clean" and also "arts and crafts or craftsmen" (as in the design movement- think Stickley). I agree with all of that, too.
2. What role does your family play in your art? I was always encouraged by all of my family. My father and my grandfather (paternal) were mechanics. They also had very clever creative streaks. I must have been influenced by that. I love tools, fabrication, figuring things out, and of course design. My husband is a photographer and so he is a wonderful source of inspiration and support (he bought me my kiln as a surprise gift!) Not to mention he helps me with the great photos of my work!
3. Where do you live and what is it like? I live in Windsor, Connecticut, my hometown. The neighborhood I live in now was built in the 1920's. We still have a few neighbors who are originals around here! There are lots of artists and creative people. It's a lovely community. There are sidewalks and a lot of people walking all the time. The town center is a few blocks away. We really like it here.
4. Where did you learn to craft or are you self taught? I've always made things, all my life. I now work primarily in precious metal clay- and my first experience with that was at Lis-el Crowley's studio, Art and Soul, which is here in town. Lis-el has been a great teacher and mentor for me. She is an accomplished metal clay artist, and I am fortunate to be associated with her. I have also been certified through the Rio Grande program. That involved a three day intensive workshop to learn more advanced skills. I continue to take classes and workshops whenever I can. I read all the time, too. Always looking to learn new things.
5. How long have you been working at your craft? Well, as I said, it's always been part of my life. I remember making jewelry as a kid. But the real serious stuff started about 4 years ago. And then I started full time with the jewelry business about a year ago.
6. Where do you receive your inspiration, in general? My inspiration is visual. I see things all the time (sounds like that movie... The Sixth Sense!) Seriously, though, I will see something- could be anything- and an idea will pop into my head. I carry a little pad with me and I make sketches. I belong to the Precious Metal Clay Guild, and they have a publication called Fusion. In every issue they have a feature called the "Visual Trigger Challenge". They print an abstract image, and challenge readers to design a piece based on it. I mention this because it's a good analogy for the way I get inspired. It's the Visual Trigger.
7. What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists? Oh, I know. It would definitely be- Do what you think is best! By that I mean follow your own muse. Don't let others steer you around. It's YOUR art!
8. If you won a thousand dollar craft shopping spree, what would you spend it on? Oh man. Wouldn't that be sweet? Let's see- a torch, a jeweler's bench, a flex shaft, a bunch of PMC, sheet silver, tons of wire... have I spent a thousand yet? Stones, gadgets, tools, tools and more tools!
Here are links to where you can find Evelyn's beautiful creations: