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Interview with Jennifer Merchant

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 20.08.2013
Interview with Jennifer Merchant.
Author:
Klimt02
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona

Intro
I am not sure there is much about my work that feels local; in fact many people in my hometown are surprised to find out that I am local. I view my work as very universal. I incorporate imagery and inspiration form a wide range of sources that are from all over the world. I want my pieces to be intriguing and different, and to draw interest from people with many different backgrounds.
Do you think that jewelry is being standardized? What is there of local and universal in your artistic work?
There is a large market of standardized and mass produced jewelry, but there is also a growing number of artists that are pushing to change that and get the public more interested in unique jewelry.
I am not sure there is much about my work that feels local; in fact many people in my hometown are surprised to find out that I am local. I view my work as very universal. I incorporate imagery and inspiration form a wide range of sources that are from all over the world. I want my pieces to be intriguing and different, and to draw interest from people with many different backgrounds.

What do you expect when exposing your work to the public (for example with an exhibition)?
I want my work to transcend its materials, and get people to see the value in craftsmanship and innovation. I want to expose the public to a new way to perceive jewelry, and show them that even the humblest of materials can become precious.

Are other areas besides the jewelry, present in your work?
I like to think of my pieces as small scale sculptures; in the future I would like to make larger scale pieces as well. I also utilize imagery for much of my work; I curate intriguing and graphic images and rely on my compositional skills to collage them together throughout the layers in my pieces.

The last work, book, film, that has moved me was...
It was a TED Talk with artist Phil Hansen (which can be viewed here: www.ted.com/talks/phil_hansen_embrace_the_shake.html) He shared the idea that limitations can lead to great art, and force you to think more creatively. This really resonated with me, as I started making jewelry using alternative materials because I had limited resources and couldn’t afford to work with metal.

A place, space, country whose creativity surprises me...
I enjoy large cities; they have a constant energy that is intoxicating. Paris is a particularly inspiring place. The lights, sounds, the romantic energy, history, fashion; I just love it there.

Is there any designer, jeweller, artist, you appreciate a lot?
Lately I have been very inspired by pop art. Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol did such amazing work. I love to incorporate their imagery into my pieces and find ways to re-imagine it through cropping and layering.

What piece or work has given you the most satisfaction?
I enjoy the engineering of a new design. Having an idea in my head, and then going beyond how it will look. How will the piece work? How will it be possible to create? I enjoy finding the answers to these questions in a very hands on way. I don’t usually do a lot of sketches first; I like to jump right into sculpting materials. Trial and error is a great way to learn; it helps you to answer your questions, and can also lead to more. The never ending search and creative problem solving are the most rewarding aspects of creating to me. The final product can be exciting, but there is always a new idea to be had, and a new project to work on.
Jennifer Merchant. Ring: Faceted Channel Set, 2012. Acrylic, magazine pages, CZ. 1.75” x 1.25” x 1”. Jennifer Merchant
Ring: Faceted Channel Set, 2012
Acrylic, magazine pages, CZ
1.75” x 1.25” x 1”
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Jennifer Merchant. Bracelet: Layered Acrylic Cuffs, 2011. Acrylic, magazine pages, Ametrine, CZs. 3.75” x 3” x .75-2”. Jennifer Merchant
Bracelet: Layered Acrylic Cuffs, 2011
Acrylic, magazine pages, Ametrine, CZs
3.75” x 3” x .75-2”
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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