Artist Interview – Angela Gerhard

sgraffito bracelet ©2010 Angela Gerhard Jewelry
Enamel jewelry artist, Angela Gerhard is someone I’ve come across here and there online. I love the rough geometric shapes she’s able to fill with deep shades of color. And what colors! You can find her work for sale on the Angela Gerhard Contemporary Jewelry Etsy page or connect with her on her Facebook page.

1. How did you get started in your craft? (using your media)

Around 2007 I found myself with some extra time on my hands and signed up for a couple of short courses in basic metalsmithing and glass lampworking. I had always been actively creative, but after a long lapse I found myself being called back to craft. As I found myself making jewelry, I realized that I really wanted to do something I’d never seen before, something that would enable me to be as expressive as possible. Being drawn to vivid and saturated color, I started to search for the medium that would allow for all of these needs to be met. I played around with polymer clay for awhile, but it didn’t really speak to me. I had a deep sense that as soon as I took an enameling class, that would be it. And it was. After a brief 2-day workshop I was well on my way to where I am now. Enamel is so versatile and has a rich history. Doing more contemporary enamel work gives me a lot of satisfaction and I feel like I’m able to contribute my work and vision to the overall field.

2. What has been inspiring/influencing your work lately?

Color Shift no.1 Brooch ©2010 Angela Gerhard Jewelry

It’s a funny question, and one that I have a hard time answering right now. In the past I had a clearer vision of what I wanted to communicate visually based on what I found inspiring. Nowadays I find that I hold onto fleeting moments and carry them with me to the studio. Maybe it is the light filtering through window panes, a dramatic multi-colored sunset against the industrial mill buildings I’m surrounded by, or the color of the landscape as the seasons change. I’m very sensitive to my environment, and I try to bring some of those impressions into my work without abandoning the style and techniques that so clearly identify my work. It’s not always possible. Much of the time it is exposure to the materials themselves that enables me to pull together new ideas. And when things are good, I feel like I’m merely a facilitator, as the work takes on a life of its own.

3. Who are your favorite artists in your field?

Anne Havel, Marjorie Simon, Michael Romanik

4. What is your favorite customer quote or story?

Patchwork Bracelet ©2011 Angela Gerhard Jewelry

Just the other day I received an order from a woman in Canada for one of my most popular bracelets. When I asked if it would be for her in regards to sizing, she replied, “The bracelet is definitely for me…they will have to pry it from my cold dead wrist to get it off me. I have been circling it for months…and have been squirreling money for weeks (sacrificing my Starbucks runs) so that I could afford it.” That definitely made me smile, and hearing things like this really validates that what I do is making a small mark in people’s lives – even enough to sacrifice Starbucks runs! It definitely helps motivate me when things get challenging in the studio.

5. What is your favorite piece of art or fine craft that you own?

I have two large porcelain vessels from Elizabeth Anne Kendall that I picked up at CraftBoston a couple years ago. They look great in my living room loft with the exposed brick and wooden ceiling beams. They have such wonderful surface texture and individual character.

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