Sunday, May 4, 2008

Julie Glassman: Extraordinary Enamels!

Julie Glassman In Her Studio

A Higher Ground

Love Is Not Constant

Hot In The City

Spring Tree

I love to take a stroll through metalcyberspace from time to time to see what the best-of-the best are doing in jewelry design. This is a magnificent website for seeing some of the most interesting work in the world. And, it's where I stumbled upon Julie Glassman's work. I opened her website, Julie Glassman Fine Art Jewelry and was stopped in my tracks. WOW! The color, humor and uniqueness of her work is something special indeed. One of her specialties is her series of Byzantine enameled landscapes. Here's what Julie had to say:
My landscapes are actually my interpretations of places I have been. It is how my minds eye sees these places and I have a yearning to infuse that onto glass and canvas. The Hopi people that live on the mesas in Arizona don't allow people to take pictures of their sacred place so a lot of their art has paintings or drawings of where they live. I like to think of my landscape series as a memoir rather then taking a photo. My inspiration comes from nature, hiking and life experiences. It is actually like a sixth sense. I wish I could say that my visions and ideas had a down time but I have always been just the opposite. I have too many visions and ideas but not enough time!

With Byzantine enameling an enamel jewel is created by painting and firing various layers into a fine silver or gold cup with many wires. It is then sanded down, high fired and set into a piece of jewelry. Most enamel is just a one time surface firing.

Many of your pieces seem to have a spiritual quality including your "evil eye" series and talisman pieces. Why have you gone in this direction?

I have always been fascinated with symbols and the meanings behind them. To many people, symbols bring strength or empowerment. There is something very wonderful about symbolic jewelry. It brings the person a sense of connection.

You mention in your website that you started making jewelry as a child. It's rare that a person takes a path in life that was of interest as a child....tell us what was so instantly gratifying to you about making jewelry and how it sustains you now?

When I handled a blowtorch at fourteen, I knew this was the way for me to extract all the images and visions I had as a child. That is also the main reason for enamel. Metal wasn't enough of a way for me to get my creativity out. Jewelry and art sustain me in spiritual way. When I create a series of enamels it is my way of working through something emotional or sharing with others.

With metals I had lots of training in high school and college. With enamel I am self taught. I feel it allows for one to develop a style and somewhat of a technique that is their own. There is a lot of trial and error but nothing good comes easy.

What advise do you have for fledgling jewelry designers?

I would advise that patience is key. I would also say that sometimes we need to take a few steps back in order to move forward.

Julie's work can be found at art shows around the southwest and on her website which she tells me is constantly updated. It was such a pleasure "meeting" Julie and seeing these extraordinary enamels!

Thanks for stopping by!

No comments: