It's May already so it's high time to introduce you our new Featured Artist. Last time we had Wendy Vecchi, who is an amazing mixed-media artist creating fabulous art journals and cards with her products. This month we would like to familiarize you with a different form of mixed-media art. Our guest is absolutely unique in her creations, and her style is very easy to recognize. She is combining jewellery making with mixed-media and collage, creating incredible art. Our Featured Artist this month is...
Susan Lenart Kazmer - award-winning jewellery designer, instructor, and author who pioneered the use of found objects in jewellery-making. Her products - Ice Resin, Iced Enamels, books, papers, bezels are unique and inspiring.
We asked our May's Featured Artist to tell us something more about her and answer few questions, so we hand you over now to Susan:
Susan’s early hand made collection began at Henry Bendell, Banana Republic, Nordstrom, Ann Taylor and more, where she began building a handmade and a commercial line of jewellery. Susan’s work participated in numerous museum exhibits including Smithsonian and Art Institute of New York. Author of her second book, RESIN ALCHEMY, an Amazon 2013 best seller list, It includes a pioneering ten year body of work combining metal and resin. She also creates a successful commercial line of components called, Industrial Chic.My work is built on years of researching cultures, repairing
ethnographic adornment, Art school, training in the craft of
metallurgy and a strong fashion back round. This has made my
work that I call, Expressive Adornment, a unique voice in the
industry. My work includes building Talismans, Prayer boxes,
Amulets and magic for the fashion, museum, gallery and
commercial world for over 20 years.
Susan’s innovative new work can be seen in March 2014 issue of U.S. ELLE as she re-enters the fashion world and on the runway in New York.
How did you develop your style? Was it a gradual process or did you always have a specific artistic vision? Explain.
I have both. I trust the process. I usually get my cues from what is around me. I usually go intuitively. I have taken a cue right now for new beginnings in my work. I'm working with heavy gauge wire, circles, sheet metal. I take my cues of what I'm feeling and what I feel I need to work on. I build for myself. It takes a lot of courage to build for yourself and then bring it out into the world as new ideas.
What are you most proud of?
To not have fear of exploration. I am very willing to go into my studio and fully explore a medium from the beginning and attempt to push it as far as I can. For example, one of the editors of a very prominent magazine said to me that resin was not even a material in the fine art world into I brought this medium into the market with work. It took a lot of courage to have my jewelry work with resin viewed as a viable material in the art world, but because I first went into my studio and worked it out and came up with a museum-quality body of work, I knew I had done my best to create something fresh and new and unique. I believed others would see it that way as well.
Where do you see yourself going in the next couple years? What are your goals?
Recently I just had 10 pages of my work in Elle Magazine (March 2014 issue) and I began working with a stylist on my wearable adornment. I'm considering some opportunities that have presented themselves to go back into the fashion world. In the 1990s when I was just out of art school, I was fortunate to have some instant success with my fashion jewelry line called LenART Collection. I built one-of-a-kind pieces that were sold at Banana Republic, Anne Taylor, Barneys New York and other high end boutiques in New York and Los Angeles.
What do you want the readers to know about you and your work? Any special advice to other designers who are just getting started?
Follow your heart and do not look at what people are doing or what is popular now. I think my success has come from just building and being true to myself even if my work wasn't in the fashion of the time. If you build from your own experiences, your own life, your own heart, you time will come. Stay true to you and do not absorb others.
What are some of your special finishes?
I spent years working with liquid enamels and enamels and love the glass surface it brings to metalwork. There are a lot of people who don't want to use kilns so I came up with a surface finish that looks like enamel work - called cold enameling that uses paints, Iced Enamels and resin (glasslike surface). Iced Enamels is a whole new category in itself and I've been able to do some brand new and interesting work with this cold enameling medium.
Susan is definitely an inspiring artist, but also lovely and kind person. Me and Jamie are both huge fans of her style, and we are sure that many of you also adore Susan's creations. Here are some of them:
Some of products Susan Lenart Kazmer used in above projects:
And there is even more coming. Through the whole of May we will share inspirations with products from Susan Lenart Kazmer - Ice Resin, Iced Enamels etc, including more of Susan's works and videos. We are also going to have a few very talented guest designers so stay tuned.
Please also remember that you can win Susan Lenart - Kazmer's DVD in our May challenge - "Exploring Resin Jewellery - Making":
Have a lovely day!