Monday, April 27, 2009

Interview with an Artist: Jeannine Komush

"Brass and Sterling O - A Pendant"


Me: What do you design and how would you describe your design aesthetic?
Jeannine: I design jewelry from copper, brass, sterling silver, and steel, incorporating semi-precious stones and vintage materials. It might sound odd, but I think of my design aesthetic as "things being slightly off." By which I mean I like asymmetry, the pretty (like sparkly stones) mixed with the rough (like steel wire), scratched up metals. The natural world looked at through the lens of jewelry design: it seems like chaos, it's a bit messy at times, but all the pieces of the whole work together in a symbiotic relationship.

Me: What inspires you?
Jeannine: Gosh, when I hear this question, my immediate answer is "everything!" Old, broken down, rusty things inspire me. Insects and animals and the natural world. The way light reflects off of puddles. Sunsets. Sunrises. Everyday people and their amazing styles. I'll see an empty urban lot full of wildflowers and think "I want to capture that in a necklace" and then I'll strive to do just that, sometimes successfully. Sometimes a design will start out inspired by one thing, like a swallowtail butterfly but end up more reminiscent of, say, a stormy sky.

Me: When did you start doing what you’re doing?
Jeannine: I started making jewelry about 6 or 7 years ago. When I first started out it was mainly beadwork with some wire-wrapping. Eventually I was making these massive beaded necklaces that were heavy and elaborate. It took guts to wear them because you would be noticed! It was just about 2 or 3 years ago that I started to get into metal work. My designs now are a bit more stripped down, a bit more minimalist.

Me: What are you working on now?
Jeannine: Right now I'm working on lots of mixed metal pieces, some incorporating steel. Steel and sterling has become my new favorite combination of metals. I'm also experimenting with different textures and patinas too. Texture has this way of completely changing the way a piece of jewelry makes you feel.

Me: How do customers react to your product?
Jeannine: Customers seem to appreciate the subtle uniqueness of my pieces. They like that they are easy to wear but still not just like everything else you see in the jewelry world. A lot of my customers also seem to love mixed metals, which I do a lot of. I have a difficult time making a piece that doesn't incorporate mixed metals in one way or another!

Me: What is you favorite item you offer for sale now?
Jeannine: My favorite piece right now is my "Secret Garden Pendant". It's a very wearable piece but harkens back to my love of elaborate, slightly mixed up jewelry. I love the way the copper flowers are sort of haphazardly layered on top of each other. It's a bit chaotic, just like a field of flowers, or an unkempt garden!

"Secret Garden"

Me: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Jeannine: Advice for other artists: remember why you do what you do. I think this is especially important to keep in mind if you're going to make your work to sell. Don't loose touch with what's important to you. And make time to get out of the studio! Inspiration comes from living a balanced life, getting out and experiencing the world.

For more item please visit: Designs-by-a-Hummingbird

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