I’m really excited to say that The Jewellery Spot has gone international for the first time! Jewellery Artist Meg Wachs is based in Houston, Texas and Artist in Resident at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.
I just love how she thinks of jewellery as the visual exclamation mark on an outfit! What a fabulous way to describe a necklace or pair of earrings.
Here are her thoughts on her work…
How would you describe your jewellery?
The simplest answer is that my jewelry is a hybrid of my two art practices, painting and metalsmithing.
What materials do you use?
I love silver so that’s usually my supporting material but the core of my practice is using painting materials as jewelry.
Where do you create your jewellery?
I create wherever I can. I’m just finishing a six-month residency in Houston, TX but moving back to New York at the end of the summer. I’ll be sorting out a new studio situation once I’m settled.
What’s your favourite piece in your jewellery collection?
I’m starting to realize that I keep gravitating toward certain color schemes and have decided to lean into that, so my current favorite piece is a lavender and rose pink canvas necklace. I think if any piece embodies my own style, that would be it.
What’s the piece you’re most proud of creating?
More generally I’m most proud of this whole new body of work. I started along this concept when I was in university but it got put on hold for about seven years and I got to re-investigate my ideas and materials during this residency.
What’s your favourite part of being a Jewellery Designer?
More simply than specifically being a jewelry designer, as an artist I love that I get to create things that resonate with other people. The most gratifying feeling is when someone relates to what I’ve made.
What’s your design process?
Usually a single question pops into my head like, “What would jewelry look like if I made it out of paint and canvas?” I think about how I can manipulate or transform a material, I write down processes I can potentially use. I do LOTS of sketching, a fair amount of material tests and experiments, a little more sketching, then make, make, make! Mind maps have always helped me flesh out my ideas too.
What do you love about jewellery?
We need clothing for warmth and protection and we buy clothing based on our style, but jewelry is the visual exclamation mark.
How did you start creating jewellery?
I remember being 10 or 11 years old and making craft bead jewelry and loving it, but my first metals class was at 15 and I was fully hooked.
Why did you fall in love with jewellery design?
I get asked this a lot and I still don’t know how to answer it. I feel lucky enough to have found my passion from a young age and never fully wanted to know the “why”.
How do you juggle all the different aspects of the job?
I learned pretty early that being a maker is more than just the making; The making is probably about 50% of what I do. Between photography, editing, website maintenance, social media, the making, THEN all the other life things we all deal with, there’s a lot to balance. A written calendar and written to-do lists are how I organize myself. I hate the Google-calendar, I have to write stuff down.
What inspires you?
I get inspired by other great art! Seeing other jewelry, talking to other artists, going to museums, listening to podcasts (if you haven’t discovered it already, “Perceived Value” should be a regular listen).