Featured: Ezra Satok-Wolman 2014 - an appreciated “Identity Crisis” and upcoming projects

Interview  /  ArtistsBehind the Scenes
Published: 07.01.2015
Featured: Ezra Satok-Wolman 2014 - an appreciated “Identity Crisis” and upcoming projects.
Sanna Svedestedt
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During 2014, Ezra Satok-Wolman was one of the most visited members of the Klimt02 Community. Here Ezra answers a few questions about the year that passed and what he has planned for 2015.
Hi Ezra!

Your jeweller’s profile as well as your essay “Identity Crisis: the Current State of Art Jewellery and the Future of it” has been getting a lot of attention during 2014. What kind of reactions have you been receiving since the article was published online?

The response to the essay was overwhelmingly positive.  Beyond the staggering number of “hits” the essay received on Klimt02, I received numerous emails and comments from people in every corner of our field who sent thanks and praise for the sentiments and underlying message in the essay.  While I am sure there were people who may not have agreed with everything in the essay, the people who took the time to respond or comment seemed to share my point of view.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the jewellery community who read, shared and commented on my essay “Identity Crisis.”
You have had a busy year working as art director for the Shanghai Jewellery Art Exhibition and presenting new work in the Genesis exhibition at Klimt02 gallery, just to mention a few events. Looking back, how did you experience 2014?
 2014 was a busy and successful year for me in many areas.  My main focus was to continue to gain exposure for my own work in Europe and Asia, and I travelled extensively to do so.  One of the most exciting experiences for me was to be a part of the Friedrich Becker Prize.  It has been a dream of mine since I became interested in making jewellery, and I was truly honoured to be a part of the 2014 group of finalists. 
On a more personal level, 2014 was an amazing year for me in terms of the people I met and the relationships I developed along the way.  I have been inspired, encouraged, and enlightened by the people I have met and spent time with throughout my travels.  I am very thankful for the strong network of friends and colleagues that I now find myself a part of.
The real highlight for me in 2014 was working with Wendy McAllister on our exhibition “Genesis: Life and Form Through Different Lenses.”  Wendy and I had never met and over the course of approximately 8 or 9 months, we collaborated on this project via email, without ever speaking to one another.  I am incredibly proud of what we put together, and the friendship we cultivated along the way.  We met and spoke for the very first time in Barcelona setting up for the opening of our exhibition at Klimt02 Gallery and it was such an exciting way to end the year.
Could you tell us a little about your plans for 2015?
First and foremost, I am looking forward to spending the first half of the year in my studio making new pieces! 
Last year I was invited to lecture on the current state of Art Jewellery and will continue to do so in 2015.  I have some exciting speaking events lined up for this year and look forward to sharing the details of those events with our community in the coming weeks.  I am also very excited about sharing my follow up essay “After Identity Crisis,” which we will be publishing in several parts on Klimt02 through the months of January and February.
I am currently working on organizing two trips to China, and look forward to returning to work with the organizers of the Shanghai Metalsmithing & Jewelry Art Exhibition for the 2015 Design Week edition.  I am also very excited about teaching workshops this year, and I am currently working on plans to do so in China and at my studio here in Canada.
Is there anything you didn’t do in 2014 that you will make sure is realized during 2015?
Over the past few years I have been working on a “jewellery system” that I just haven’t managed to contribute enough time or resources to in order to complete.  I produced models last year that I was very happy with and constructed some test prototypes, but this year I hope to be able to finally create the first finished piece.
To boost the level of creativity for the New Year, is there any tech, app, tool, podcast, book - that you would like to recommend?
There are two books that I will happily recommend.  “The World We Made” by Jonathon Porritt was recommended to me by Jie Sun and it is a great read from the view point of an author writing about what life on our planet will be like in 2050.  The book I am currently reading is “Our Mathematical Universe” by Max Tegmark, a Swedish theoretical physicist who believes the universe itself is a mathematical object.  Max has a great sense of humour, and manages to present difficult concepts like parallel universes and quantum “weirdness” in an easy to digest manor.

I used an amazing app that I would recommend for anyone planning on travelling to China.  “Pleco: Chinese Dictionary” uses the camera on your mobile phone to visually recognize Chinese text and then translates it for you on your screen.  The app was helpful reading menus at restaurants, at museums when trying to determine exactly what I was looking at, or simply reading signs on the street to navigate through the city.