Microcosmoi 2014

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Microcosmoi Exhibition (2014) at Eleni Marneri Gallery

Microcosmoi Exhibition (2014) at Eleni Marneri Gallery

This next exhibition is very special to me because it involves the work of five dear friends of mine. Chrysa Chatzikonstantinidou, Evangelie Dimitriou, Myrto Prokopiou, Kyriaki Panagi and Maro Vasiliadou were my classmates at Anastasia Kandaraki’s Anamma Seminars of Contemporary Jewellery for almost three years now and I’m very proud to present their last year’s project.

Eleni Marneri Gallery is right next to the Acropolis Metro station in Athens. If you walk around, you may come by Porinou street, where a couple of cute bars and restaurants are situated.

Porinou street near Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Porinou street near Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Porinou street near Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Porinou street near Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Microcosmoi Exhibition (2014) at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Microcosmoi Exhibition (2014) at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Microcosmoi Exhibition (2014) at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Microcosmoi Exhibition (2014) at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Microcosmoi Exhibition at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Microcosmoi Exhibition at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Microcosmoi Exhibition at Eleni Marneri Gallery. The gallery is situated near Acropolis. Under the glass floor you can see a part of the ancient city of Athens. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Microcosmoi Exhibition at Eleni Marneri Gallery. The gallery is situated near Acropolis. Under the glass floor you can see a part of the ancient city of Athens. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Pieces by Myrto Prokopiou. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Pieces by Myrto Prokopiou. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Pieces by Evangelie Dimitriou. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Pieces by Evangelie Dimitriou. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Pieces by Maro Vasiliadou. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Pieces by Maro Vasiliadou. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Pieces by Chrysa Chatzikonstantinidou. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Pieces by Chrysa Chatzikonstantinidou. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Pieces by Kyriaki Panagi. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Pieces by Kyriaki Panagi. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Myrto Prokopiou is the youngest of the group. She just finished her studies in architectures and lives on the beautiful island of Lesvos. Yet she never failed to fly to Athens for our lessons. She was inspired by the Aegean volcanic arc, the gathering of volcanoes around several of the Aegean islands (e.g. Methana, Aigina, Milos, Santorini, etc.). Myrto was interested in the way the volcanic eruptions have transformed the landscape throughout the centuries, so she simulated these mysterious rock formations by using foam and her own body.

Pieces by Myrto Prokopiou. The photos were taken by Giorgos Vitsaropoulos. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Pieces by Myrto Prokopiou. The photos were taken by Giorgos Vitsaropoulos. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Myrto Prokopiou - Brooch (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Myrto Prokopiou – Brooch (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Pieces by Myrto Prokopiou. Pictures were taken by Giorgos Vitsaropoulos. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Pieces by Myrto Prokopiou. Pictures were taken by Giorgos Vitsaropoulos. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Myrto Prokopiou - Brooch (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Myrto Prokopiou – Brooch (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Myrto Prokopiou - Necklace (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Myrto Prokopiou – Necklace (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Myrto Prokopiou - Brooch (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Myrto Prokopiou – Brooch (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Myrto Prokopiou - Brooch (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Myrto Prokopiou – Brooch (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Myrto Prokopiou - Rings (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Myrto Prokopiou – Rings (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Myrto Prokopiou - Earrings (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Myrto Prokopiou – Earrings (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Myrto Prokopiou - Earrings (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Myrto Prokopiou – Earrings (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Evangelie Dimitriou is a very sweet woman but hides a very strong passion inside her. Her work was inspired by the element of water. “We come to life surrounded by water, we live on earth surrounded by the seas. Sweat, tears, rain, snow, memories of life and death. Inspiration is always thirsty”.

Evangelie Dimitriou - Necklace (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Evangelie Dimitriou – Necklace (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Evangelie Dimitriou - Brooches (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Evangelie Dimitriou – Brooches (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Evangelie Dimitriou - Bracelet (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Evangelie Dimitriou – Bracelet (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Maro Vasiliadou has been struggling with several problems with her hands and eyes in the last two years so it may not be a coincidence that she chose the subject of religious vows (in Greek ‘tamata’) for her pieces. Such ‘tamata’ are very popular among the religious and (very) superstitious Greek people. One asks for a favor from a saint and vow (they make a ‘tama’) to pay the saint back (in silver/gold) if their wish is granted.

Maro Vasiliadou - Necklace (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Maro Vasiliadou – Necklace (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Maro Vasiliadou - Necklace (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Maro Vasiliadou – Necklace (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Maro Vasiliadou - Necklace (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Maro Vasiliadou – Necklace (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Maro Vasiliadou - Brooches (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Maro Vasiliadou – Brooches (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Chrysa Chatzikonstantinidou is the quiet, visual poet of the group. She makes minimalist,  discreet and yet very strong statements through her pieces. She chose to explore the haiku poems of famous Greek poets and to investigate the “deeper, internal dialogue between the poem and the jewel.”

Chrysa Chatzikonstantinidou - Necklace (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Chrysa Chatzikonstantinidou – Necklace (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Chrysa Chatzikonstantinidou - Brooch (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Chrysa Chatzikonstantinidou – Brooch (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Chrysa Chatzikonstantinidou - Brooch (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Chrysa Chatzikonstantinidou – Brooch (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Kiriaki Panagi used her children’s paintings as a starting point and discovered the little girl that was hiding inside her in the process. She went on a journey of self-discovery, went back to childhood fantasies and memories of light and darkness to come through to the other side of life, which is full of joy and color.

Kyriaki Panagi - Necklace (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Kyriaki Panagi – Necklace (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Kyriaki Panagi - Necklace (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Kyriaki Panagi – Necklace (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Kyriaki Panagi - Necklace (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Kyriaki Panagi – Necklace (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Kyriaki Panagi - Ring (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Kyriaki Panagi – Ring (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Kyriaki Panagi - Brooches (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Kyriaki Panagi – Brooches (2014). Photo by Contemporarty.com

Some of the artists' experiments from the Microcosmoi Exhibition (2014) at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Some of the artists’ experiments from the Microcosmoi Exhibition (2014) at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Some of the artists' experiments from the Microcosmoi Exhibition (2014) at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Contemporarty.com

Some of the artists’ experiments from the Microcosmoi Exhibition (2014) at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Contemporarty.com

This has been a very personal project and a very emotional year for all of us at Anamma Seminars and I’d like to congratulate all ‘my girls’ Chrysa, Evangelie, Myrto, Kyriaki and Maro and of course our wonderful teacher Anastasia Kandaraki for this amazing exhibition. I loved being there with all of you (almost till the very end ;-) ) and I am proud of your work and of what you’ve accomplished.

A big hug and BRAVO to all of you :)

 

Please do not forget to give credit where credit is due if you choose to share this text or these pictrues.
Thank you for reading

Made in Taiwan

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This year’s Schmuck is over and if you’ve had enough of it then I’m with you. However, bare with me on this one.

All the shows I managed to visit where amazing (check out photos here), and you’ve probably read tons of reports on many of them. However, I decided to write about this last show I was lucky to catch just before my trip back to Greece. Exhausted and on my way back to my hotel on Sunday afternoon, I decided that I didn’t want to see another piece of jewellery for months to come. However, I suddenly came upon Gallery Kobeia, which happened to be right next to my hotel and which I hadn’t had the time to visit all that time. I just thought I had missed the show. It was late and I thought that the gallery would be closed so I hoped to catch a glimpse of some pieces from the windows but when I realized that the show was still going on, I took a deep breath, thought to myself “Ok, this is the last one, for sure” and went in. Lucky me :)

 

The wonderful ‘Bench 886′ team consists of 10 Taiwanese jewellery artists, seven of whom I met in Munich. The name of the group derives from the jeweller’s working bench and 886 is the international dialing code of Taiwan. Here’s what they’ve created.

Wen-Miao Yeh at the Bench 886 exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Wen-Miao Yeh at the Bench 886 exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Space is not only space but also sentimentally attached to ourselves.

Wen-Miao based her collection on architectural designs and personal memories. Specifically, she focused on two iconic London architectural structures, the London Eye and the Millennium Dome, both of which she associates with wonderful memories, like celebrating New Year’s Eve or visiting a concert with friends and loved ones. She is very sensitive to the relationship between people and the places they inhabit. The vibrant colors of her pieces reflect her happy memories from these two places.

Wen-Miao Yeh - Brooch (2013). Plastic, copper, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Wen-Miao Yeh – Brooch (2013). Plastic, copper, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Wen-Miao Yeh - Brooch (2013). Plastic, copper, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Wen-Miao Yeh – Brooch (2013). Plastic, copper, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Wen-Miao Yeh - Brooch (2013). Plastic, copper, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Wen-Miao Yeh – Brooch (2013). Plastic, copper, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Wen-Miao Yeh - Brooch (2013). Plastic, copper, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Wen-Miao Yeh – Brooch (2013). Plastic, copper, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Wen-Miao Yeh - Brooch (2013). Plastic, copper, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Wen-Miao Yeh – Brooch (2013). Plastic, copper, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Wen-Miao Yeh - Brooch (2013). Plastic, copper, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Wen-Miao Yeh – Brooch (2013). Plastic, copper, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Wen-Miao Yeh - Brooch (2013). Plastic, copper, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Wen-Miao Yeh – Brooch (2013). Plastic, copper, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Wen-Miao Yeh – Brooch (2013). Plastic, copper, paint. Photo courtesy of the artist

Wen-Miao Yeh – Brooch (2013). Plastic, copper, paint. Photo courtesy of the artist

Wen-Miao Yeh – Brooch (2013). Plastic, copper, paint. Photo courtesy of the artist

Wen-Miao Yeh – Brooch (2013). Plastic, copper, paint. Photo courtesy of the artist

 

Han-Chieh (Joy) Chuang at the Bench 886 exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Han-Chieh (Joy) Chuang at the Bench 886 exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Through my works I expect to pass an idea of the beauty of my homeland and bring it back to hearts where those beauties have been forgotten.

Joy created pieces that remind us of Taiwan; brooches and earrings similar to red bricks the houses are made of and necklaces that are made out of bamboo, like the hats her fellow countrymen and women wear. She points out to me the woman on the picture wearing her necklace and tells me that she is an actual farmer from her town. She is very affectionate of Taiwan (actually, all Bench 866 members that I met there are like that) and through her work she wants to express the strong emotions she has for her homeland.

Han-Chieh (Joy) Chuang - Red Brick Brooch Series (2013). Enamel, silver, copper, paper, steel, 18ct gold dust, brass dust. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Han-Chieh (Joy) Chuang – Red Brick Brooch Series (2013). Enamel, silver, copper, paper, steel, 18ct gold dust, brass dust. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Han-Chieh (Joy) Chuang - Red Brick Brooch Series (2013). Enamel, silver, copper, paper, steel, 18ct gold dust, brass dust. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Han-Chieh (Joy) Chuang – Red Brick Brooch Series (2013). Enamel, silver, copper, paper, steel, 18ct gold dust, brass dust. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Han-Chieh (Joy) Chuang - Red Brick Brooch Series (2013). Enamel, silver, copper, paper, steel, 18ct gold dust, brass dust. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Han-Chieh (Joy) Chuang – Red Brick Brooch Series (2013). Enamel, silver, copper, paper, steel, 18ct gold dust, brass dust. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Han-Chieh (Joy) Chuang - Peasant necklace (2013). Bamboo leaf, paper, silver, fabric, gold foil, thread. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Han-Chieh (Joy) Chuang – Peasant necklace (2013). Bamboo leaf, paper, silver, fabric, gold foil, thread. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Han-Chieh (Joy) Chuang - Bracelet. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Han-Chieh (Joy) Chuang – Bracelet. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Han-Chieh (Joy) Chuang - Red Brick brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Han-Chieh (Joy) Chuang – Red Brick brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

 

Heng Lee at the Bench 886 exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Heng Lee at the Bench 886 exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Costumes and luxurious jewellery along with Eastern and Western history become the inspiration for my works.

Heng had the inspiring idea to combine the old with the new; tradition with technology. He was inspired by floral embroidery patterns taken from traditional women’s costumes; he used pixel versions of these patterns together with original embroidery that he made himself and the result was remarkable. The pixels become more blurred and the embroidered part of the pieces really stands out.

Heng Lee - Brooch (2013). Stainless steel, thread, silk organza. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Heng Lee – Brooch (2013). Stainless steel, thread, silk organza. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Heng Lee - Brooch (2013). Stainless steel, thread, silk organza. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Heng Lee – Brooch (2013). Stainless steel, thread, silk organza. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Heng Lee - Brooch (2013). Stainless steel, thread, silk organza. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Heng Lee – Brooch (2013). Stainless steel, thread, silk organza. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Heng Lee - Necklace (2013). Stainless steel, thread, silk organza. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Heng Lee – Necklace (2013). Stainless steel, thread, silk organza. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Heng Lee - Brooch (2013). Stainless steel, thread, silk organza. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Heng Lee – Brooch (2013). Stainless steel, thread, silk organza. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Heng Lee - Brooch (2013). Stainless steel, thread, silk organza. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Heng Lee – Brooch (2013). Stainless steel, thread, silk organza. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Heng Lee - Necklace (2013). Stainless steel, thread, silk organza. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Heng Lee – Necklace (2013). Stainless steel, thread, silk organza. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Heng Lee - Necklace (2013). Stainless steel, thread, silk organza. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Heng Lee – Necklace (2013). Stainless steel, thread, silk organza. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

 

Heng Lee - Necklace. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Heng Lee – Necklace. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Heng Lee - Brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Heng Lee – Brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

 

Yu-Ping Lin at the Bench 886 exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yu-Ping Lin at the Bench 886 exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

I do not set out to be a jewellery or fashion designer but as my portfolio developed I became interested in both elements and aesthetics.

Yu-Ping uses paper cutting and folding techniques based on Origami and architectural patterns. Her 3D objects are witty and complex, and it is great fun to handle and wear them.

Yu-Ping Lin - Brooche (2013). Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yu-Ping Lin – Brooche (2013). Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yu-Ping Lin - Brooches (2013). Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yu-Ping Lin – Brooches (2013). Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yu-Ping Lin - Brooche (2013). Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yu-Ping Lin – Brooche (2013). Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yu-Ping Lin - Brooche (2013). Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yu-Ping Lin – Brooche (2013). Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yu-Ping Lin - Brooche (2013). Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yu-Ping Lin – Brooche (2013). Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yu-Ping Lin - Brooches (2013). Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yu-Ping Lin – Brooches (2013). Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yu-Ping Lin - Brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Yu-Ping Lin – Brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Yu-Ping Lin - Necklace. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Yu-Ping Lin – Necklace. Photo courtesy of the artist.

 

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu at the Bench 886 exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu at the Bench 886 exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.

Anybody who has worked with resin can tell you how stubborn and difficult this material is. That is why I was very impressed when Ying-Hsun explained to me the process of her work. Inspired by science, Asian aesthetics and the notion of Wabi-Sabi. With the help of magnets and resin she managed to capture iron filings in amazing patterns. Very impressive and elegant pieces.

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu - Brooch (2013). Brass, iron magnetized, epoxy resin. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu – Brooch (2013). Brass, iron magnetized, epoxy resin. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu - Brooch (2013). Brass, iron magnetized, epoxy resin. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu – Brooch (2013). Brass, iron magnetized, epoxy resin. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu - Brooch (2013). Brass, iron magnetized, epoxy resin. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu – Brooch (2013). Brass, iron magnetized, epoxy resin. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu - Brooch (2013). Brass, iron magnetized, epoxy resin. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu – Brooch (2013). Brass, iron magnetized, epoxy resin. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu - Brooch (2013). Brass, iron magnetized, epoxy resin. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu – Brooch (2013). Brass, iron magnetized, epoxy resin. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu - Brooch (2013). Brass, iron magnetized, epoxy resin. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu – Brooch (2013). Brass, iron magnetized, epoxy resin. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu - Brooch (2013). Brass, iron magnetized, epoxy resin. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu – Brooch (2013). Brass, iron magnetized, epoxy resin. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu - Brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu – Brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu - Brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Ying-Hsun (Zita) Hsu – Brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

 

Cai-Xuan Wu at the Bench 886 exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Cai-Xuan Wu at the Bench 886 exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

My challenge is to use non-textile materials to transform a traditional craft technique into a contemporary art work which pushes the boundary of material and making technique.

Cai-Xuan Wu applied traditional textile techniques (knitting) on acrylics and these wonderful creatures were the result.

Cai-Xuan Wu - Brooch (2013). Acrylic, steel wire. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Cai-Xuan Wu – Brooch (2013). Acrylic, steel wire. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Cai-Xuan Wu - Brooch (2013). Acrylic, steel wire. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Cai-Xuan Wu – Brooch (2013). Acrylic, steel wire. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Cai-Xuan Wu - Brooch (2013). Acrylic, steel wire. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Cai-Xuan Wu – Brooch (2013). Acrylic, steel wire. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Cai-Xuan Wu - Brooches (2013). Acrylic, steel wire. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Cai-Xuan Wu – Brooches (2013). Acrylic, steel wire. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Cai-Xuan Wu - Brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Cai-Xuan Wu – Brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Cai-Xuan Wu - Brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Cai-Xuan Wu – Brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

 

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng - Neckpieces (2013). Porcelain, plaster, leather. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng – Neckpieces (2013). Porcelain, plaster, leather. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

I aim to create a neutral area – peaceful but slightly odd, fragile but strong, smooth but rough.

Shih-Dea believes that nothing is absolute and tries to evoke emotions by juxtaposing textures, which have irregular three-dimensional patterns. White gives a certain vagueness to objects, one wants to touch and handle them in order to determine their texture and their nature.

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng - Neckpieces (2013). Porcelain, plaster, leather. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng – Neckpieces (2013). Porcelain, plaster, leather. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng - Neckpieces (2013). Porcelain, plaster, leather. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng – Neckpieces (2013). Porcelain, plaster, leather. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng - Neckpieces (2013). Porcelain, plaster, leather. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng – Neckpieces (2013). Porcelain, plaster, leather. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng - Neckpieces (2013). Porcelain, plaster, leather. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng – Neckpieces (2013). Porcelain, plaster, leather. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng - Neckpieces (2013). Porcelain, plaster, leather. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng – Neckpieces (2013). Porcelain, plaster, leather. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng - Neckpieces (2013). Porcelain, plaster, leather. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng – Neckpieces (2013). Porcelain, plaster, leather. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng - Neckpieces (2013). Porcelain, plaster, leather. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng – Neckpieces (2013). Porcelain, plaster, leather. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng - Neckpiece. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng – Neckpiece. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng - Neckpiece. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Shih-Dea (Deborah) Tseng – Neckpiece. Photo courtesy of the artist.

 

Yung-Huei Chao - Brooches (2013). Copper, nickel silver, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yung-Huei Chao – Brooches (2013). Copper, nickel silver, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Jewellery is the building block put on to the surface of our body, and so are the constructional elements of housings and architecture.

Inspired by housing elements from her home country, Yung-Huei’s work focuses on rooftops and other similar structures have created to supply them with comfort and security; their practicality is more important than their aesthetics.

Yung-Huei Chao - Brooches (2013). Copper, nickel silver, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yung-Huei Chao – Brooches (2013). Copper, nickel silver, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yung-Huei Chao - Bracelets (2013). Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yung-Huei Chao – Bracelets (2013). Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yung-Huei Chao - Bracelets (2013). Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yung-Huei Chao – Bracelets (2013). Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yung-Huei Chao - Brooches (2013). Copper, nickel silver, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yung-Huei Chao – Brooches (2013). Copper, nickel silver, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yung-Huei Chao - Brooches (2013). Copper, nickel silver, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yung-Huei Chao – Brooches (2013). Copper, nickel silver, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Yung-Huei Chao - Brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Yung-Huei Chao – Brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Yung-Huei Chao - Bracelets. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Yung-Huei Chao – Bracelets. Photo courtesy of the artist.

 

Ying-Hsiu Chen - Rings (2013). Light clay, stockings, 18ct gold plated brass. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsiu Chen – Rings (2013). Light clay, stockings, 18ct gold plated brass. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

In the process of growing up, the beach is my most frequently visited spot as I was raised in an environment surrounded by the sea.

Ying-Hsiu grew up on a small island in the Southwest of Taiwan and we can that she was inspired by all the things she found on the beach just by looking at her work. She observed all kinds of marine animals, their patterns, their forms and colors and has done a superb job in recreating them with unlikely materials such as stockings, bath towels and clay.

Ying-Hsiu Chen - Brooche (2013). Light clay, stockings, 18ct gold plated brass. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsiu Chen – Brooche (2013). Light clay, stockings, 18ct gold plated brass. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsiu Chen - Brooch (2013). Light clay, bath towel, plated brass. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsiu Chen – Brooch (2013). Light clay, bath towel, plated brass. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsiu Chen - Brooch (2013). Light clay, bath towel, plated brass. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsiu Chen – Brooch (2013). Light clay, bath towel, plated brass. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsiu Chen - Brooche (2013). Light clay, stockings, 18ct gold plated brass. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsiu Chen – Brooche (2013). Light clay, stockings, 18ct gold plated brass. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsiu Chen - Brooche (2013). Light clay, stockings, 18ct gold plated brass. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsiu Chen – Brooche (2013). Light clay, stockings, 18ct gold plated brass. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsiu Chen - Brooche (2013). Light clay, stockings, 18ct gold plated brass. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsiu Chen – Brooche (2013). Light clay, stockings, 18ct gold plated brass. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsiu Chen - Brooche (2013). Light clay, stockings, 18ct gold plated brass. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsiu Chen – Brooche (2013). Light clay, stockings, 18ct gold plated brass. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ying-Hsiu Chen - Ring. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Ying-Hsiu Chen – Ring. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Ying-Hsiu Chen - Brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Ying-Hsiu Chen – Brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

 

Mei-Fang Chiang - Brooch (2013). Anodized aluminium, ink, paint, stainless steel wire, toner. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Mei-Fang Chiang – Brooch (2013). Anodized aluminium, ink, paint, stainless steel wire, toner. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

The everyday-use experience of the wearer is one of my major concerns.

Mei-Fang intends to “connect the unique emotion between jewelry and its owner”. She is a keen observer of life, of the land, nature and people. “Infusing colors into metal, my intention is to polish the expression of materials, bring it to a subtle balance between sense and sensibility, then search for possibilities of jewelry design.”

Mei-Fang Chiang - Brooch (2013). Anodized aluminium, ink, paint, stainless steel wire, toner. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Mei-Fang Chiang – Brooch (2013). Anodized aluminium, ink, paint, stainless steel wire, toner. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Mei-Fang Chiang - Brooch (2013). Anodized aluminium, stainless steel wire, toner. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Mei-Fang Chiang – Brooch (2013). Anodized aluminium, stainless steel wire, toner. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Mei-Fang Chiang - Brooch (2013). Anodized aluminium, stainless steel wire, toner. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Mei-Fang Chiang – Brooch (2013). Anodized aluminium, stainless steel wire, toner. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Mei-Fang Chiang - Brooches. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Mei-Fang Chiang – Brooches. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Mei-Fang Chiang - Brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Mei-Fang Chiang – Brooch. Photo courtesy of the artist.

The Bench 886 team at the Bench 886 exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

The Bench 886 team at Gallery Kobeia. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

 

All the quotes have been taken from the show’s catalog.

Thank you for reading :)

A Jewel Made in Greece Exhibition

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The idea of ‘A Jewel Made in Greece‘ (22.02-01.03.2014) belongs to designer Mary Samoli and art critic Iris Kritikou curated the exhibition. The show brought together twenty-five Greek contemporary jewelry artists and it also featured replicas of jewelry from well-known Greek museums, such as the National Archaeological Museum, Museum of Cycladic Art, Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum, Numismatic Museum of Athens, and many others.

Here are some pictures from the works of artists that caught my eye: Rallou Katsari, Anastasia Kandaraki, Michael Pelamidis, Christina Karakalpaki, Stavroula Kaziale, Polina Sapouna Ellis and Christina Soubli.

Congratulations to all the artists and to all those involved in the organization of such a successful exhibition!

Technopolis at Gkazi, Athens. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Technopolis at Gkazi, Athens. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

A Jewel Made in Greece Exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

A Jewel Made in Greece Exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Rallou Katsari at her stand. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Rallou Katsari at her stand. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Rallou Katsari's stand. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Rallou Katsari’s stand. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Rallou Katsari's stand. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Rallou Katsari’s stand. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Rallou Katsari's stand. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Rallou Katsari’s stand. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Rings by Rallou Katsari. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Rings by Rallou Katsari. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ring by Anastasia Kandaraki. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ring by Anastasia Kandaraki. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Anastasia Kandaraki brooch. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Anastasia Kandaraki brooch. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Anastasia Kandaraki brooch. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Anastasia Kandaraki brooch. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Anastasia Kandaraki brooch. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Anastasia Kandaraki brooch. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Anastasia Kandaraki brooch. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Anastasia Kandaraki brooch. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Anastasia Kandaraki brooch. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Anastasia Kandaraki brooch. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Anastasia Kandaraki brooch. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Anastasia Kandaraki brooch. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Anastasia Kandaraki brooch. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Anastasia Kandaraki brooch. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Michael Pelamidis at his stand. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Michael Pelamidis at his stand. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Michael Pelamidis, bracelet. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Michael Pelamidis, bracelet. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Michael Pelamidis, bracelet. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Michael Pelamidis, bracelet. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Michael Pelamidis, ring. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Michael Pelamidis, ring. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Michael Pelamidis, ring. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Michael Pelamidis, ring. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Michael Pelamidis, ring. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Michael Pelamidis, ring. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Christina Karakalpaki, necklace. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Christina Karakalpaki, necklace. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Christina Karakalpaki, necklace. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Christina Karakalpaki, necklace. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Christina Karakalpaki, ring. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Christina Karakalpaki, ring. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Christina Karakalpaki, necklace. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Christina Karakalpaki, necklace. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Katerina Anastasiou, gold-plated silver, mosaic. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Katerina Anastasiou, gold-plated silver, mosaic. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ring by Maria Margoni, gold, aquamarine. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ring by Maria Margoni, gold, aquamarine. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Vassliou, titanium, gold. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Vassliou, titanium, gold. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ring by Maria Margoni, silver, aquamarine. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ring by Maria Margoni, silver, aquamarine. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Christina Soubli, ring. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Christina Soubli, ring. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Stavroula Kaziale, necklace. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Stavroula Kaziale, necklace. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Stavroula Kaziale, necklace. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Stavroula Kaziale, brooches. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Brooch by Takis. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Brooch by Takis. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Bracelet by Polina Sapouna Ellis. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Bracelet by Polina Sapouna Ellis. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Bracelets by Polina Sapouna Ellis. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Bracelets by Polina Sapouna Ellis. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

A piece from the Ilias Lalaounis Museum of Jewelry. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

A piece from the Ilias Lalaounis Museum of Jewelry. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

A piece from the Ilias Lalaounis Museum of Jewelry. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

A piece from the Ilias Lalaounis Museum of Jewelry. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

A Jewel Made in Greece Exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

A Jewel Made in Greece Exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Technopolis at Gkazi, Athens. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Technopolis at Gkazi, Athens. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

I hope you have enjoyed this post and thank you for reading :)

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Student: Demitra Thomloudis

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Hello folks. Just in time for the holidays, I’ve got this year’s last interview for you!
If you’ve been following my posts, you might remember the first interview with Michael Rybicki for my “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Student” column. Well, it just so happens that Demitra Thomloudis, the second artist I have interviewed for this column is yet another student from San Diego State University, just like Michael was. I guess someone’s being doing something right in supporting these young talents develop their ideas and create such amazing work. I have admired Demitra’s work for quite some time now and I am very happy to share this interview with you.

Demitra Thomloudis - "15.04 oz" (2013). Necklace. Cement, resin, stainless steel, sterling silver, aluminum, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – “15.04 oz” (2013). Necklace. Cement, resin, stainless steel, sterling silver, aluminum, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Contemporarty: Before we talk about your work, would you like to give us some information on your Greek background?

Demitra Thomloudis: Absolutely! I am a Greek-American. My father was born and raised in Greece, specifically Kavala. He immigrated to the USA in his early 30’s.  All of my father’s family lives in Greece and we visit family as much as possible. Our family has a small olive tree farm in Kavala, so my father visits at least once a year to tend to our trees.  For the most part though, my family lives in Athens and is where I have spent many summers.  My heritage is very important to me and has shaped the person and artist that I have become. My passion and excitement for life and art is undoubtedly rooted in Greece.  Specifically relating to jewelry, Greece is currently fostering a dynamic relationship to the craft and building a strong community around it. In the last few years I have seen lots of inspiring and thoughtful jewelry work coming out of Greece, it seems like a great place to be right now within the international community.  It is a dream of mine to have an exhibition in Athens! That would really connect all the dots for me!

Demitra Thomloudis - Brooches. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – Brooches. Picture courtesy of the artist.

C: Tell us a few words about your journey into contemporary jewelry. How did you discover your passion for it?

DT: I have always been interested in the body. In undergraduate school I was on track to becoming a medical illustration major.  My second year in school I took a jewelry class and that was the end of my illustration career! As I developed in my schooling I had realized that drawing just wasn’t enough, I need material, I needed process, I need tradition and Jewelry encompassed everything I wanted.

Demitra Thomloudis - "Remnants" (2013). Brooches. Multimedia. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – “Remnants” (2013). Brooches. Multimedia. Picture courtesy of the artist.

C: You are inspired by architecture and reinventing new ways of using materials. How did you decide to work with cement and how did you discover new ways of using it to create objects that one can wear?

DT: Architecture is wonderful; it is formally and conceptually full of organizational information that I wish to follow but also defy. I turn to architecture as a formal framework and as inspiration for my material choices. I have always been drawn to use of uncommon materials, ones that are generally not associated with adornment. I see it as a great challenge and a primary purpose for using jewelry as my format of self-expression. I am interested in how I can transform these materials and have them be accepted as adornment. In my studio I work on 500 things as once, it’s the perfect example of organized chaos. All at the same time I am completing work, starting work, making test samples, drawing, painting you name it. Working on multiple projects at once helps to inform processes past and present. I believe that this is where most of my material discoveries come from. Those happy accidents that are then developed into an actual technique.

Demitra Thomloudis - "15.04 oz" (2013). Necklace. Cement, resin, stainless steel, sterling silver, aluminum, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – “15.04 oz” (2013). Necklace. Cement, resin, stainless steel, sterling silver, aluminum, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

C: I feel that many of your pieces are not only jewelry but also sculptures that could stand by themselves. What are your thoughts on contemporary jewellery and wearability? And how does it make you feel when you see your pieces worn by others?

DT: I am trained as a jeweler and with that sensibility, I believe, comes the obligation to aesthetically and formally consider the entire object.  The wearer visually and haptically investigates jewelry and it is important for me to put as much consideration to the front of the piece as I do to the back, the side, and even the interior. Considering the relative scale of some of my work, I see how it can operate in a sculptural realm but ultimately I make my work to be worn and design decisions are always made with the wearer in mind. All of my larger work is hollow constructed (yes even the cement pieces) so that they can operate in the arena of jewelry and lend themselves to our preconceptions of wearbility. The weight of my pieces is what surprises people the most. 

Demitra Thomloudis - "Containment" (2013). Necklace. Cement, steel, resin, sterling silver, cord, wood. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – “Containment” (2013). Necklace. Cement, steel, resin, sterling silver, cord, wood. Picture courtesy of the artist.

C: Which persons have influenced your pathway as an artist and in what way?

DT: Lisa Bjorke, Andrea Wagner have been very influential to my practice. These two jewelers are completely consumed by their love for material.  Both attempt to defy and conquer material in new and innovative ways, which is truly inspiring.

Demitra Thomloudis - "Reconstructed: Tension" (2013). Brooch. Cement, plywood, sterling silver, nickel silver, thread, resin, pigment, duck tape. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – “Reconstructed: Tension” (2013). Brooch. Cement, plywood, sterling silver, nickel silver, thread, resin, pigment, duck tape. Picture courtesy of the artist.

C: You are currently a resident at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. What will you focus on in the next 12 months and what do you wish to acquire from this program?

DT: The Program at HCCC is such a wonderful opportunity for my studio practice to grow. Houston Texas as a city has a wide variety of architectural information.  Currently in Houston many of the older buildings are being torn down and new modern buildings are being build quite rapidly, therefore creating this landscape, which is constantly in flux. I have always been interested with the construction aspect of architecture and now within my daily periphery I get to see the inner workings of how the city structures are physically changing right before my eyes.  In the last three months three homes on my block have been leveled to the ground and new construction has already started.

I have a few goals set for my stay here in Houston, which focus on past present and future projects.

  1. ( the past)  is to continue to elaborate on my “remnants” series  which I began  in the beginning of 2013.
  2. (the present) I have begun working on a new body of work which slightly departs from my current work in the materials sense and is directly inspired by the landscape in the Houston area.
  3. ( the future)  I will soon be launching a community facebook site entitled “ Jewelry is Here” which is  to be used as an interactive community page  to collect, uncover and showcase  jewelry and its place within our shared lives. With the use of digital and instantaneous image making, it is my hope that this page can help facilitate a dialog, which contributes to our idea of what jewelry is, where it exists and the real time moments where it is found.
Demitra Thomloudis - "Reconstructed: Square Interior" (2013). Brooch. Cement, plywood, sterling silver, nickel silver, resin, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – “Reconstructed: Square Interior” (2013). Brooch. Cement, plywood, sterling silver, nickel silver, resin, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

C: If someone told you “I’d like to become a contemporary jewelry artist” what would your advice to them be?

DT: Do It!

Demitra Thomloudis - Necklace (2013). Cement, sterling silver, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – Necklace (2013). Cement, sterling silver, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis - Necklace (2013). Cement, sterling silver, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – Necklace (2013). Cement, sterling silver, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis - Brooch (2013). Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – Brooch (2013). Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis - Brooch (2013). Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – Brooch (2013). Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis - "Bound (in pink)" (2013). Necklace. Cement, steel, resin, pigment, cord. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – “Bound (in pink)” (2013). Necklace. Cement, steel, resin, pigment, cord. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis - "Reconstructed: Continued Line" (2013). Brooch. Cement, sterling silver, steel, resin, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – “Reconstructed: Continued Line” (2013). Brooch. Cement, sterling silver, steel, resin, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis - "Detached Compliment" (2013). Necklace. Cement, plywood, nickel silver, sterling silver, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – “Detached Compliment” (2013). Necklace. Cement, plywood, nickel silver, sterling silver, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis - "Reconstructed: Square Interior" (2013). Brooch. Cement, plywood, sterling silver, nickel silver, resin, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – “Reconstructed: Square Interior” (2013). Brooch. Cement, plywood, sterling silver, nickel silver, resin, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis - "Perforated Cleft Slab" (2013). Necklace. Cement, plywood, nickel silver, silver solder, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – “Perforated Cleft Slab” (2013). Necklace. Cement, plywood, nickel silver, silver solder, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis - "Reconstructed: Framed" (2013). Cement, plywood, sterling silver, nickel silver, resin, pigment, duck tape. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – “Reconstructed: Framed” (2013). Cement, plywood, sterling silver, nickel silver, resin, pigment, duck tape. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis - Necklace. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – Necklace. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis - "Joined Compliment" (2013). Necklace. Cement, plywood, nickel silver, sterling silver, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – “Joined Compliment” (2013). Necklace. Cement, plywood, nickel silver, sterling silver, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis - "24.427" (2013). Necklace. Cement, resin, steel, wood, nickel silver, sterling silver, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – “24.427” (2013). Necklace. Cement, resin, steel, wood, nickel silver, sterling silver, pigment. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis - "Dislodged Fragment" (2013). Necklace. Cement, steel, pigment, resin, cord. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra Thomloudis – “Dislodged Fragment” (2013). Necklace. Cement, steel, pigment, resin, cord. Picture courtesy of the artist.

Demitra, thank you so much for the wonderful interview, good luck with all your current or future endeavors and we really hope to see your work exhibited here in Greece in the near future!

And thank you all for reading :)

UPDATE: PATTERN Exhibition

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Last Friday was the opening night for the PATTERN exhibition at Eleni Marneri Gallery and I had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful artists whose work was shown for the first time in Athens.

The different personalities and cultural backgrounds of the 9 artists served as the basis for the exhibition. Chiara Cavallo is from Rome, Lena Grabher and Anna Drexel are from Austria, Lavinia Rossetti from Pisa, Enrica Prazzoli is also Italian. Nur Terün is from Turkey, Francesca Urciuoli from Perugia, Azahara Santoro from Valencia and Valentina Caporali from Turin.

Azahara Santoro's installation at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Azahara Santoro’s installation at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

A few of the 200 memory-filled plastic cups created by Azahara to decorate Alchimia’s spring window found their way to the gallery. Azahara used different colors, plants and objects that remind her of her past. Four of the nine artists, all Italians, were present at the opening; I’ve taken some pictures for you to see and tried to remember all the things we talked about.

Chiara Cavallo

Chiara Cavallo at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Chiara Cavallo at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Chiara was the ‘quietest’ of the four and yet she was the first one to take the initiative to talk to me about her work. She explained that she had experimented with paper and inspired by the morning and evening sky she created forms reminiscent of clouds and sunsets. The pieces are big and very light; the brooches are constructed in such a way that the wearer can also see their backs while wearing them.

Chiara Cavallo - Necklace. Paper, gold, thread. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Chiara Cavallo – Necklace. Paper, gold, thread. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Chiara Cavallo - Necklace. Paper, gold, thread. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Chiara Cavallo – Necklace. Paper, gold, thread. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

The second part of her work was based on a self-portrait exercise; Chiara told me that she likes being organized and that she works very methodically and in a very structured way so that her fellow students say she’s like a working bee. Taking that as a starting point, Chiara created necklaces and earrings out of bronze and gold.

Chiara Cavallo - Necklace and pins. Bronze, gold. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Chiara Cavallo – Necklace and pins. Bronze, gold. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Valentina Caporali

Valentina Caporali at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Valentina Caporali at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Unlike the rest of the group, who graduated from Alchimia a few months ago, Valentina just finished her second year in Florence. She loves working with natural materials like wood and stones. She has studied anthropology and is very interested in how craftsmen created jewellery thousands of years ago. She uses tree branches and handmade hemp thread for her necklaces and found wooden pieces for brooches and pendants.

Valentina Caporali at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Valentina Caporali at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

At the exhibition, she was wearing the first pendant she ever created and explained that is is very precious to her and cannot part with it. Both of the following necklaces are proof of a very meticulous and patient work. She cut branches and connected them with hemp thread; the first one expresses ‘order’ and the second one ‘chaos’ to express how things may start out harmoniously but eventually get out of hand.

Valentina Caporali - Necklace and ring. Wood, hemp thread, pebble. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Valentina Caporali – Necklace and ring. Wood, hemp thread, pebble. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Valentina Caporali - Necklace. Wood, hemp thread. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Valentina Caporali – Necklace. Wood, hemp thread. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Valentina Caporali - Necklace. Wood, iron. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Valentina Caporali – Necklace. Wood, iron. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Valentina Caporali - Brooch. Wood, iron. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Valentina Caporali – Brooch. Wood, iron. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Lavinia Rossetti

Lavinia Rossetti at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Lavinia Rossetti at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

The first things one notices about Lavinia are her Tuscan temperament and her wonderful smile. Some of Lavinia’s pieces are the result of experimenting with a process of burning and coloring sponges (see necklace below). Lavinia also created very impressive earrings and necklaces, which she made by soldering together very small pieces of metal.

Lavinia Rossetti - Necklace. Sponge, metal, golden leaf. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Lavinia Rossetti – Necklace. Sponge, metal, golden leaf. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Lavinia Rossetti - Earrings. Silver. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Lavinia Rossetti – Earrings. Silver. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Enrica Prazzoli

Enrica Prazzoli at Eleni Marneri Gallery. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Enrica Prazzoli at Eleni Marneri Gallery. She is wearing her favorite brooch, which resembles a very popular Italian hand sign. Can you guess which one?
Photo by Eleni Roumpou

“I talk with my hands, a lot” told me Enrica Prazzoli, who decided to use this aspect of herself and create brooches that show how she communicates in her own sign language. She dips wire in a mixture of plastic and color to create words or phrases and communicate with the viewer. At the exhibition she was wearing her favorite brooch, one specific hand sign that is very popular in Italy. Can you guess what it is?

Enrica Prazzoli - Brooch. Wire, plastic. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Enrica Prazzoli – Brooch. Wire, plastic. A close-up of the most popular Italian hand sign.
Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Enrica Prazzoli - "OK" Brooch and rings. Wire, plastic. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Enrica Prazzoli – “OK” Brooch and rings. Wire, plastic. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Enrica Prazzoli - Brooches. Wire, plastic. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Enrica Prazzoli – Brooches. Wire, plastic. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Enrica Prazzoli - Brooches. Wire, plastic. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Enrica Prazzoli – Brooches. Wire, plastic. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Enrica Prazzoli - Brooches. Wire, plastic. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Enrica Prazzoli – Brooches. Wire, plastic. PATTERN exhibition at Eleni Marneri Gallery.
Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Francesca Urciuoli - Necklace. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Francesca Urciuoli – Necklace. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Francesca Urciuoli - Necklace. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Francesca Urciuoli – Necklace. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Azahara Santoro – Brooch. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Azahara Santoro – Brooch. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Azahara Santoro – Brooch. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Azahara Santoro – Brooch. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Lena Grabher - Necklace. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Lena Grabher – Necklace.
Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Nur Terün - Necklaces and bracelets. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Nur Terün – Necklaces and bracelets.
Photo by Eleni Roumpou

From left to right: Ioanna Natsikou (also Alchimia alumna who was visiting the exhibition), Valentina Caporali, Enrica Prazzoli, Chiara Cavallo and Lavinia Rossetti. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

From left to right: Ioanna Natsikou, another Alchimia alumna who was visiting the exhibition and the four artists Valentina Caporali, Enrica Prazzoli, Chiara Cavallo and Lavinia Rossetti.
Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Thank you Eleni Marneri Gallery for organizing the exhibition and thank you girls for coming to Athens and talking to us!

Congratulations to all of you for the wonderful pieces!

And thank you for reading ;)

PATTERN Exhibition at Marneri Gallery

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PATTERN Exhibition at Marneri Gallery

Guess what. September started on a very good note for us contemporary jewellery lovers in Greece because this Friday 6th September a wonderful exhibition is opening at Marneri Gallery.

Exhibition: PATTERN
Gallery: Eleni Marneri
Opening: 06.09.2013 at 19:00
Closing: 05.10.2013

El.marneri galerie invites you to the world of Pattern, a contemporary jewellery exhibition of 9 jewellery makers who come from different nationalities and create stories based on combination of materials.                                                                                                                                                                     Strongly connected to the body, the jewels are the mirror of the experimentation and sensibility of each artist.

A new world is created : P a t t e r n.

We invite the public to enter into this new dimension of repeated elements. And to follow the rhythm of our energy and creativity.

All artists are Alchimia alumni. I’m pretty exited to see this show and of course I’ll be uploading lots of photos for you to see my dears :)

Here’s a sneak peek with short descriptions of the artist’s work taken from Alchimia’s blog.

Anna Drexel - Necklace. Photo from alchimiablog.com

Anna Drexel – Necklace. Photo from alchimiablog.com

the work of Anna Drexel is about borders (individual and social) which we all need to set and about their interference in the life of each individual.In this way her pieces are really interactive, she sets these borders and the owner can decide to break them or not.

Azahara Santoro - Brooch

Azahara Santoro – Brooch

Azahara was an exchange student from Valencia and she was the one to install her ‘private garden’ at Alchimia’s window, which is also the main picture on the exhibition’s poster (fishing wire and and about 200 cups filled with color, plants, objects and personal memories).

Azahara's installation at Alchimia's window

Azahara’s installation at Alchimia’s window

Chiara Cavallo - Necklace

Chiara Cavallo – Necklace

Chiara Cavallo, born in Rome, has also studied for three years in Alchimia after a BA in industrial design. She has produced a very poetical body of work deploying a wide range of materials and techniques.

Enrica Prazzoli - Brooch

Enrica Prazzoli – Brooch

Enrica Prazzoli was the fourth Italian in this class and also her graduation project […] is really difficult to present in its actual quality through the photos in our possession.
Several agendas were fighting for attention in her ambitious “Spoon” project: the concept of “ospite”, the notion of imperfection and the link to social rituals.

Francesca Urciuoli - Necklace

Francesca Urciuoli – Necklace

Francesca is from Perugia, italy and she has studied at Alchimia for three years. Her excellent work during this year was awarded with the Alchimia Prize.
Francesca’s work is based on her very personal history and her great achievement is to have put it in a wider context resulting in rich and evocative pieces.

Lavinia Rossetti - Bracelet/brooch

Lavinia Rossetti – Bracelet/brooch

Lavinia Rossetti – her project I-denti-ty is at the same time humorous and impactful. She did a great job in caring well about all aspects of her work from packaging to presentation and catalogue. Dealing with teeth – denti in Italian- therefore the title I-denti-ty her pieces were presented in glass as happens to the false teeth at night and braquets at day.

Lena Grabher - Necklace

Lena Grabher – Necklace

The Austrian Lena Grabher worked on the concept of memory and data conservation. Her pieces made of audio tape and silver are abstract and elegant and she has reached a really high level of execution. She has also been chosen for the Marzee Graduation Show in Nijmegen.

Nur Terün

Nur Terün

Nur Terun’s work is conceptual and difficult to understand from just photos, also because her catalogue […] is a very important part of it. (S)he worked with cards (the usal pokercards in commerce everywhere) glueing them together in stacks and then slicing them again in thin layers.
The conceptual coherence of this project, resolved in all its different aspects – the material development, the presentation and the publication is all the more commendable because it led to a result which is not immediately visually appealing, but weaves a subtle charm once observed in its entity.

Valentina Caporali - Necklace. Wood

Valentina Caporali – Necklace. Wood

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Student: Michael Rybicki

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Hello everyone and sorry for staying away for so long but I’m back now with yet another new column called “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Student“, which will focus on students of jewellery around the globe, whose work, well, I admire.

San Diego, CA has been a lot on my mind lately and not only because of the international Comic Conference, which just started and I’d love to visit at least once in my lifetime, but also because our first guest Michael Rybicki is a very talented jewellery student at San Diego State University. When I discovered his work online, I couldn’t stop looking, so I decided to drop him a line and I was very glad to find out that he didn’t mind giving us some insights on his Poured collection.

“The PouredGrid/Column pieces were made for my 2011 BFA senior show at UW-Whitewater, although a few predate that. Two of the earliest ones were exhibited in national shows; PouredGrid:21 was in State of Flux: SNAG Student Show 2011 and PouredGrid:39 traveled with Alchemy Exhibition 2011: 9th International Enamelist Society Juried Student Exhibition. Teresa Faris, head of the Metals/Jewelry area was my professor/mentor there.

This work stemmed from my interest in architecture, construction and the interaction between body and structure. My father is a carpenter, and I grew up on many of his home construction sites, which had a large influence on me, both in visual vocabulary and in understanding the process of building by hand. The materials in the Poured series were chosen to reflect the materials I had seen used in construction processes. Forged silver frames held cast enamel pieces, which I chose to work with for the way in which both the process and the surface mimicked concrete.

The following is my artist statement that accompanied that work:

Stairwells, entrances, distances between adjacent buildings, corridors– these spaces either consider the movement of the human body in passing or work to guide it. The arrangement of structure and material creates a multitude of such spaces for the body to engage. The occupation of such spaces and the resulting interactions/intersections of body and structure intrigue me.

Poured: as a series examines such relations between modern/contemporary architecture and the body. Intimate structures of metal and enamel are used as adornment, isolating space on the wearer. Utilizing processes similar to poured/cast concrete, enamel is fused within brass forms to create solid volumes. The porous surfaces that result mimic concrete, a strong contrast to the tradition of enamel as surface embellishment for precious objects, shifting the value placed upon structural elements. Unlike the buildings and urban environments referenced, components of my work are allowed to conform and respond with areas on the wearer via pins, links and cables. Cast enamel forms, suspended between sterling frames rest slumped against the body, then rise and fall as the wearer moves.”

Thank you Michael for sharing your process with us and we look forward to hearing from you in the future!

Michael Rybicki - PouredGrid:18x12 (2011). Necklace: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, Stainless

Michael Rybicki – PouredGrid:18×12 (2011). Necklace: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, Stainless. Photo from michaelrybicki.com

Michael Rybicki - PouredGrid:18 (2011). Necklace: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, Stainless

Michael Rybicki – PouredGrid:18 (2011). Necklace: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, Stainless. Photo from michaelrybicki.com

Michael Rybicki - PouredGrid:150 (2011). Necklace: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, Stainless

Michael Rybicki – PouredGrid:150 (2011). Necklace: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, Stainless. Photo from michaelrybicki.com

Michael Rybicki - PouredGrid:75 (2011). Bracelet: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, 23k Gold

Michael Rybicki – PouredGrid:75 (2011). Bracelet: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, 23k Gold. Photo from michaelrybicki.com

Michael Rybicki - PouredGrid:49x4 (2011). Brooch: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, Stainless

Michael Rybicki – PouredGrid:49×4 (2011). Brooch: Sterling, Brass, Enamel, Stainless. Photo from michaelrybicki.com

Michael Rybicki - PouredGrid:77 (2011). Brooch: Sterling Silver, Brass, Enamel

Michael Rybicki – PouredGrid:77 (2011). Brooch: Sterling Silver, Brass, Enamel. Photo from michaelrybicki.com

Michael Rybicki - PouredGrid:42 (2011). Bracelet: Sterling Silver, Enamel

Michael Rybicki – PouredGrid:42 (2011). Bracelet: Sterling Silver, Enamel. Photo from michaelrybicki.com

Michael Rybicki - PouredGrid:42-Detail (2011). Bracelet: Sterling Silver, Enamel

Michael Rybicki – PouredGrid:42-Detail (2011). Bracelet: Sterling Silver, Enamel. Photo from michaelrybicki.com

Michael Rybicki - PouredGrid:21 (2010). Brooch: Sterling Silver, Brass, Enamel

Michael Rybicki – PouredGrid:21 (2010). Brooch: Sterling Silver, Brass, Enamel. Photo from michaelrybicki.com

What’s on your workbench: Akis Goumas’ workshop and exhibition

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After photographing Poly Nikolopoulou’s workshop back in February, I told her that I wanted to visit Greek painter’s Yiannis Adamakos’ exhibition at the Benaki Museum that day. Before leaving her house, she told me that I should also visit Akis Goumas‘ exhibition who was giving a presentation at the museum’s shop the same day.

I decided to see Adamakos’ work first. His big-scale paintings were breathtaking but I was saddened by the fact that besides me and another visitor, the exhibition was absolutely empty, and on a Sunday, mind you…

Anyway, I took my time examining his work and then decided to go to Akis’ exhibition next door. I have to admit that at that time, I knew nothing about him besides catching a few glimpses of his work on Facebook. At first, not knowing what to expect, I thought that I would have to sit in a room and possibly look at slides while listening to him talk about his work. Instead, I found him in the museum’s shop, surrounded by a group of people who seemed to be fascinated by his narration. I started clicking away with my camera but his stories on ancient jewellery craftsmen were so interesting that I had to stop clicking and start listening.

The exhibition was called “Diadromes P138″ and it was part of a series of exhibitions entitled ‘Material Quests’. Akis had put together a display of objects based on elements, observations and drawings gathered during his quest of experimenting with traditional techniques, which he then applied in his work.

Besides teaching at the Art Workshop of Chalkida, Akis has been working together with archeologists and other scientists who discover jewellery and jewellery-related artifacts at various excavations in Greece for many years. His passion is to do research, re-create and share with his audience the creating processes of metalsmiths and goldsmiths of ancient times. On that Sunday, he spent more than a couple of hours telling us stories about how people created jewellery thousands of years ago and showing us tools he had made himself. He uses these tools to make jewellery the way craftsmen used to do back then.

If you would like to have an idea of his vast knowledge on the subject, visit his blog Diadromes (‘Routes’ – sadly only in Greek for the moment) where he tells the story of a traveler who treks around Greece back in 4.500 BC, searching for workshops of famous craftsmen. In this fairytale-like narration, Akis describes the techniques and the tools they used to create jewellery with and explains how the masters of different crafts (ceramists, metalsmiths, goldsmiths, etc.) collaborated with eachother and shared their knowledge and skills to develop new techniques.

While listening to his stories and being surrounded by so many people, for such a relatively small exhibition, I suddenly thought about the big, empty showroom with Adamakos’ paintings next door. I am not aware of any art schools where storytelling or presentation skills are an essential part of their curriculum but in my naive perception of the subject I am willing to suggest that if artists decided to get out of their studios and develop such skills, no museums or galleries would remain unvisited.

Finally, I realized that charisma is also very important. Akis is the teacher we all wish we had had at school: passionate about his work and about sharing his knowledge with everyone.

Akis Goumas talking to the visitors of his exhibition at the Benaki Museum. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas talking to the visitors of his exhibition at the Benaki Museum. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou
Akis Goumas describing his working process. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas describing his working process. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas describing his working process. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas describing his working process. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas - Ring. Silver, cedar wood, glass, gold leaf. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas – Ring. Silver, cedar wood, glass, gold leaf. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas sketchbook. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas sketchbook. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas sketchbook. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas sketchbook. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas exhibition. Photography by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas exhibition. Photography by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas exhibition. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas exhibition. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

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Akis Goumas exhibition. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas exhibition. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas sketchbook. Photgraph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas sketchbook. Photgraph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas talks about ancient jewellery-making techniques. Photography by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas talks about ancient jewellery-making techniques. Photography by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas during his presentation at the Benaki Museum in Athens. Photography by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas during his presentation at the Benaki Museum in Athens. Photography by Eleni Roumpou

During the presentation I was a bit afraid that my clicking away with my camera might distract Akis or his audience but I was very glad to hear it did not. Not only that, but I also got an invitation to visit his workshop and take some pictures!

Akis told me that after graduating from highschool, he went on to study business administration but soon realized that it was not what he wanted to do with his life. He is self-taught and learned the basic skills of jewellery-making by working at the workshops of various goldsmiths in Athens.

Over a cup of herbal tea, we discussed the possibilities of teaching people about the origins of jewellery-making and of connecting these ancient stories with each and every piece that sits in storage rooms of museums or behind the glass of hundreds of showcases, while visitors casually pass them by, never realizing how much work or how much of the artist’s soul were put in their creation. It was clear to me that his journey in jewellery is also based on trying to answer questions such as: How can artists discover their inner voice and transfer it to their pieces? How can we maintain the knowledge on ancient techniques that seems to be fading away? How can young Greek jewellery artists use this knowledge of their ancestors as a basis of further developing their working processes and perhaps even giving birth to a new era of Greek contemporary jewellery?

Akis Goumas' workshop: the table is the most important tool in the room. Everything, including ideas, is created on it. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas’ workshop: the table is the most important tool in the room. Everything, including ideas, is created on it. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas' workshop: a sculpture of Akis' wife, artist Georgia Gremouti, is hung on the wall. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas’ workshop: a sculpture of Akis’ wife, artist Georgia Gremouti, is hung on the wall. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas is placing replicas of ancient tools on the table. He has created them and uses them to re-create ancient techniques in jewellery-making. The big wooden box is the actual size of an ancient workshop. Craftsmen carried their tools in these boxes on their journeys around Greece. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas is placing replicas of ancient tools on the table. He has created them and uses them to re-create ancient techniques in jewellery-making. The big wooden box is the actual size of an ancient workshop. Craftsmen carried their tools in these boxes on their journeys around Greece. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas' workshop: wooden moulds and dies. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas’ workshop: wooden moulds and dies. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas' workshop: wooden moulds and dies. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas’ workshop: wooden moulds and dies. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas' working bench. Photography by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas’ working bench. Photography by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas' working bench. Photography by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas’ working bench. Photography by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas' working bench. Photography by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas’ working bench. Photography by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas' working bench. Photography by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas’ working bench. Photography by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas' soldering board. Photography by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas’ soldering board. Photography by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas' workshop: tools and anvil. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas’ workshop: tools and anvil. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas' workshop. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas’ workshop. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas' workshop. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

Akis Goumas’ workshop. Photograph by Eleni Roumpou

If you are lucky enough to be in Athens this weekend, do not miss his next presentation at the Benaki Museum on International Museum Day tomorrow!

International Museum Day 2013
The Museum “Out of the Box”: 35th Anniversary of the Benaki Shop
Saturday, May 18, 11:00-20:00
Sunday, May 19, 11:00-15:00 – 1 KOUMPARI ST
http://bit.ly/17Rv1du
Free entrance

Thank you Aki for sharing your thoughts and your workshop with us and for inspiring us with your stories!

Thank you for reading :)

Yoko Shimizu Interview

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My fascination with the Japanese culture started in the 80’s between episodes of Shogun and  Carl Sagan’s explanation of Heikegani on his Cosmos series. This mysterious and far away land with their samurai legends and their Wabi-sabi aesthetics has had a great impact on me ever since.

Therefore, it is not surprising that my very first post on this blog back in October 2011, was about my two favourite J’s: Japanese Jewellery. I was, however, pleasantly surprised when one of the artists I featured in that post, Yoko Shimizu, agreed to meet with me when I visited Florence last year. We met in my favourite cafe La Cite and the result of that meeting was a one-hour audio interview, which I have tried to transcribe and present to you today. I have been working on it for a long (very long) time mainly because it was my first ‘live’ interview and I hope that you will enjoy reading it.

Yoko is one of my favourite contemporary jewellery artists and if I had not read her CV I would never have thought that her first degree was in law. I was very surprized when she told me that she had been working at an investment bank before she left Japan to go to Florence. She graduated from Alchimia in 2003 and has been creating and teaching jewellery ever since.

Name: Yoko Shimizu
Born in: Tokyo, Japan

Contemporarty: How does a person who has studied law turn to jewellery?

Yoko Shimizu: I knew that what I was doing at the time was not something I would like to do for the rest of my life and also studying law at the University was not my dream. I did not always want to become a lawyer. However, it was while I worked for an investment bank, which was a very energy-consuming job, when I realized that I needed to do something creative. That’s when I started thinking seriously about it.

I started taking jewellery lessons on Saturdays, after work. I really liked it and one day I decided ok, I’ll try and do this seriously. I quit my job and I went to see a few schools in Tokyo. I think some of them are great but it didn’t feel right for me. I didn’t want to go to another University and I looked into a few private schools but I also liked the idea of going abroad.

So I found this school in Florence and I came here and looked at different schools. Alchimia did not exist at that time. I went to a small jewellery school. I was fascinated with the jewellery creating process. We did not use any electricity just old fashioned tools, soldering by blowing through a tube and so I learned a lot of techniques there. Nevertheless, there was not much room for my own creativity; it was more about technique. I went back to Tokyo for two months, you see, I was married to my first husband then. I did look for a job in the jewellery business in Tokyo but I wasn’t ready to open my own business so I came back to Florence in 2001.

This time I was more serious about this. Alchimia had been offering courses with Giampaolo Babetto and I loved his work, so I decided to join them. Then I took courses with Manfred Bischoff; both are completely different artists and teachers.

C.: How so?

Y.: Well, Giampaolo kind of opened my eyes into making aesthetic combinations more freely, not starting with an idea but experimenting, trying, retrying, redoing things. For me, Manfred was much more difficult to follow; he had a very different way of communicating with us in respect to what I was used to. Manfred was doing his first course at Alchimia. He would say a few words and then explain nothing. So we had to think about it and later we would understand what he meant. It was a little puzzling in the beginning but after some time I got it.

C.: Both Babetto and Bischoff have a different opinion on the wearability of jewellery pieces. Does wearability play an important role from the beginning of your planning process?

Y.: My starting point is the jewellery piece on the body. I think it looks different when you look at it on the table and then on the body and that is very important to me.

When I have an idea then I use the material to see the effect, if it coincides with the idea. If I start with an idea, the wearibility issue is not there yet in that stage. I’m more interested in seeing the effect of the material from an aesthetic point of view, so usually, my starting point is how the piece would look on the body. However, at this moment I’m using materials that I already know how they behave on the body and that is why I can start with a vague idea without worrying how they will affect the body.

C.: In your series ‘Arno at Night’ you used oxidized silver and gold and in ‘Transformation’ you used resin. How did you choose these materials?

Y.: For the first one, I started with this idea of the river with the dark water and the nothingness. I wanted it to look black with the reflections on the water. I wanted to reflect the light on the nothingness, on the water.

For the resin pieces, this is what happened. My name ‘Yoko’ in Japanese is the ideogramm for ‘leaf’. I think we discussed this years ago with Giampaolo, when we were supposed to draw something in the first lesson.

So, I started drawing leaves and fish scales. That was kind of my starting point and one day he said “Yoko, come here” and he showed me this shadow of leaves falling on the wall, which resembled the pictures that I was making. So, I started experimenting with materials that would have that kind of transparency like resin, paper and other materials. Paper in resin becomes a little transparent and so that is when I started becoming interested in resin. What I don’t like about it is when it looks glassy and shiny, or cheap and that is why I wanted to make the surface not look shiny.

So, the first pieces were made with paper and I somehow managed to get them not look shiny. Continuing from that, I was interested in the surface of wood, which is organic and warm and I was trying to make the resin surface into something more subtle so that is why I chose wood. I model the pieces in wood, mold them, then poor the resin into the molds and I also liked the idea that wood is a natural material which is transported into a material that is not natural and I can give it transparency.

C.: How did you go from one collection that is so dark to another with so vibrant colours?

Y.: I wanted to create colours that do not exist on wood. Also, after making all these pieces in black, my subconsious hungered for colour. I go from one thing to the other, so when I work a lot of time with resin, I need to go back to metal.

C.: You left your life in Japan and started from scratch in Florence. You have a family and a son, who was born here. Do you miss living in Japan? Or does it make you love it more?

Y.: Definitely. I miss things that I took for granted when I was there. For example that things work, there is organization and people are so polite. When people are polite and things work, you don’t even notice it. When things don’t work and people are not polite then you notice it.

C.: How did you adapt in this new country?

Y.: When I was 9 years old, my father, who was a journalist, was transfered to New York, so I am used to changes and this helped me adapt. I was forced to adapt to different situations. That makes me a little bit less afraid to take chances. In the end, the Japanese mentality is very strict. If you are used only to that then it is more difficult to live in different cultures but I had the possibility to learn new cultures as a child.

C.: Besides working on your pieces, you also teach. Do you teach regularly or not?

Y.: No, I’m doing various workshops but I don’t teach regularly now. I like teaching because the students in Alchimia are from all over the world and that is very interesting. It is also interesting to see the outcome of their works when they come from different cultures. I learn a lot but I also need time to work on my pieces and to be with my family.

C.: You work on your own and you also collaborate with ORIZZONTI. How did that come about?

Y.: ORIZZONTI was founded by Meiri Ishida and Karin Kato, all students of Alchimia. We wanted to promote Japan and our work. They were organizing an exhibition in Japan and I loved their work so when they asked me, I took the chance.

C.: Are you thinking about going back to Japan at some point?

Y.: It’s been 12 years that I’ve been here. There were times when I thought seriously about going back but I did not do it. Now, my husband is Italian and it would be more difficult to go back, but one never knows what happens. If I left Italy I would miss it too. Compared to the hectic life I was living in Japan, it is much better to lead a creative life here.

C.: Ok, my last question is something you have probably heard before but here goes. If someone told you “I want to become a contemporary jewellery artist”, how would you respond to that?

Y.: Do you want to make a living out of it? (we both laugh at that)

You have to be very patient and hard working. For me, I love it. There are still a lot of things to be invented and work to be created. And things change. For me, in the future, I would like to make small productions of pieces that would be accessible to more people because one-of-a-kind pieces take a lot of time and work and thinking and it is not possible to lower the prices on that.

Dear Yoko, thank you so much for spending time with me and answering all those questions. It was a real pleasure and I learned a lot!

My approach to jewellery often begins with a focus on the relationship between the jewellery piece and the human body.  I look for simplicity and harmony in this relationship through the process of making: experimenting with materials and forms, constructing one part at a time, pausing to see the effect on the body. In the end I feel the need to leave an imperfection or add or eliminate an element, so that there is something a bit off or unexpected, at times in search of tension, rigor, sometimes for a touch of warmth.Yoko Shimizu

Yoko Shimizu - 'Arno by Night' Series. Bracelet: Oxidized silver, gold. Photo by www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu – ‘Arno by Night’ Series. Bracelet: Oxidized silver, gold. Photo by http://www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu - 'Arno by Night' Series. Earrings: Oxidized silver, gold. Photo by www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu – ‘Arno by Night’ Series. Earrings: Oxidized silver, gold. Photo by http://www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu - 'Arno by Night' Series. Earrings: Oxidized silver, gold. Photo by www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu – ‘Arno by Night’ Series. Earrings: Oxidized silver, gold. Photo by http://www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu - 'Arno by Night' Series. Earring: Oxidized silver, gold. Photo by www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu – ‘Arno by Night’ Series. Earring: Oxidized silver, gold. Photo by http://www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu - 'Arno by Night' Series. Ring: Oxidized silver, gold. Photo by www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu – ‘Arno by Night’ Series. Ring: Oxidized silver, gold. Photo by http://www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu - 'Arno by Night' Series. Rings: Oxidized silver, gold. Photo by www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu – ‘Arno by Night’ Series. Rings: Oxidized silver, gold. Photo by http://www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu - 'Arno by Night' Series. Brooch: Oxidized silver, gold. Photo by www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu – ‘Arno by Night’ Series. Brooch: Oxidized silver, gold. Photo by http://www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu - 'Arno by Night' Series. Necklace: Oxidized silver, gold. Photo by www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu – ‘Arno by Night’ Series. Necklace: Oxidized silver, gold. Photo by http://www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu - 'Arno by Night' Series. Necklace: Oxidized silver, gold. Photo by www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu – ‘Arno by Night’ Series. Necklace: Oxidized silver, gold. Photo by http://www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu - 'Transformation' Series. Necklace: Resin, paper, colour, silver. Photo by www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu – ‘Transformation’ Series. Necklace: Resin, paper, colour, silver. Photo by http://www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu - 'Transformation' Series. Necklace: Resin, paper, colour, silver. Photo by www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu – ‘Transformation’ Series. Necklace: Resin, paper, colour, silver. Photo by http://www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu - 'Transformation' Series. Necklace: Resin, paper, colour, silver. Photo by www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu – ‘Transformation’ Series. Necklace: Resin, paper, colour, silver. Photo by http://www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu - 'Transformation' Series. Necklace: Resin, paper, colour, silver. Photo by www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu – ‘Transformation’ Series. Necklace: Resin, paper, colour, silver. Photo by http://www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu - 'Transformation' Series. Necklace: Resin, paper, colour, silver. Photo by www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu – ‘Transformation’ Series. Necklace: Resin, paper, colour, silver. Photo by http://www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu - 'Transformation' Series. Necklace: Resin, paper, colour, silver. Photo by www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu – ‘Transformation’ Series. Necklace: Resin, paper, colour, silver. Photo by http://www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu - 'Transformation' Series. Necklace: Resin, paper, colour, silver. Photo by www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu – ‘Transformation’ Series. Necklace: Resin, paper, colour, silver. Photo by http://www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu - 'Transformation' Series. Necklace: Resin, paper, colour, silver. Photo by www.yokoshimizu.it

Yoko Shimizu – ‘Transformation’ Series. Necklace: Resin, paper, colour, silver. Photo by http://www.yokoshimizu.it

Thank you for reading :)

What’s on your workbench: Poly Nikolopoulou

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If you are like me, you probably love finding out how jewellery artists work, what their studio looks like, what kind of tools they use or what the view outside their window is. That is why Contemporarty™ is introducing its new column “What’s on your workbench?” with pictures and interviews from jewellery creators from Greece and around the world!

The first artist to be featured on our new column is Poly Nikolopoulou. You have seen her work on Contemporarty™ before, but this time you get to see her studio through my camera. I visited Poly on a sunny Sunday morning and I think that she is very lucky to be living in one of the few suburbs of Athens that still have that countryside feeling. Her house is located on a hill and the view of Athens and the surrounding mountains is spectacular. I bet that in order to get inspired, all she needs to do is step outside her door. ;)

Poly told me that contemporary jewellery was not her first choice of profession. She did not even know that such a thing existed at the time. She studied journalism and graphic design in Athens before deciding to follow her instincts and her love for creating objects with her hands. Through the internet she found Alchimia in Florence and there she became fascinated with the world of contemporary jewellery. After completing her final Quaternitas year under the supervision of Manfred Bischoff, she came back to Greece in 2008 and continued creating and exhibiting her jewellery. In October 2012, she started teaching the jewellery courses at the Art Workshop of Chalkida (her students’ work was presented in our previous post).

Poly divides her time between teaching and working on her own pieces and says that she loves doing both. She feels lucky to be working with her students from Chalkida, who give their hearts and souls into their jewellery making. Poly feels that she learns a lot from them too and enjoys watching the process of creation through their pieces.

If you live in Athens and would like to learn more about Poly and her work, why don’t you drop in at Eleni Marneri Gallery on Saturday 23rd March, between 13:00 and 14:00? Together with Connie Ochoa, Poly will present some of her pieces, explain her work process and answer your questions. I am looking forward to it!

Thank you Poly for your hospitality! :)

Inside Poly Nikolopoulou's studio. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

Inside Poly Nikolopoulou’s studio. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

A genuine Alchimia workbench! Notice the metalic casing on top of the bench, which provides a more secure surface for soldering. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

A genuine Alchimia workbench! Notice the metalic casing on top of the bench, which provides a more secure surface for soldering. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

Burs drills and mandrels on Poly's workbench. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

Burs drills and mandrels on Poly’s workbench. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

Work in progress perhaps? Photos by Eleni Roumpou

Work in progress perhaps? Photos by Eleni Roumpou

Soldering boards on Poly's workbench. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

Soldering boards on Poly’s workbench. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

Poly's benchpeg. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

Poly’s benchpeg. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

Poly Nikolopoulou at work. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

Poly Nikolopoulou at work. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

Poly Nikolopoulou at work. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

Poly Nikolopoulou at work. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

Poly Nikolopoulou at work. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

Poly Nikolopoulou at work. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

Poly keeps some of her work on display. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

Poly keeps some of her work on display. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

Poly keeps some of her work on display. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

Poly keeps some of her work on display. Photos by Eleni Roumpou

All pictures belong to Eleni Roumpou and Contemporarty™. If you would like to share them, do not forget to give credit. 

Thank you for reading :)

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