Interview with Petra Class

Interview  /  ArtistsBehind the Scenes
Published: 21.04.2016
Petra Class Petra Class
Ivan Barnett
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Patina will present Rhythmical Arrangements through June 26, 2016. In anticipation of that event, Class took time to answer questions about her art and her latest pieces.
Your new collection, created to honor tap dancer Savion Glover, recalls the Jazz Age. How do those influences emerge in your new pieces?
Rhythm is part of my work. So is improvisation, like a jazz beat. With my new pieces, I feel a freedom of movement, not as restricted as conventional jewelry would be. I listen to music and my pencil follows the lines of the music as I feel it. I juxtapose stones in patterns of color, and it’s the blending of colors that creates music. The process of creating can be free flowing, but the rhythm and pattern always emerge in the design. I find certain themes reoccurring in my work, the rhythmical arrangements of several elements, repetition of similar forms or colors, the unexpected contrasts of differently textured materials.

You describe how improvisation in your work creates a mood, much as what gets from a jazz beat. How so?
Certainly, the colors are making a statement and creating a mood. People see color and hear music. They call it the blues for a reason. I create lines of color or fields of color. I feel I can, through my choice of colors and textures, communicate a certain mood, an attitude towards life that in turn will be, I hope, sensed by whoever is looking at the piece, like an improvisational jazz melody or like an abstract landscape.

Why is it important to you that you create pieces meant to be worn?
I am very traditionally trained. I am a goldsmith. To be a goldsmith is to make pieces for the human body. People love to be adorned. The pieces I make must be worn or wearable. That is one of the limitations I put on myself. It is gratifying to contribute beauty to the human experience.

Describe your creative process that creates the interplay of color and texture.
In my jewelry, there is a parallel to music. I put on music and go with the flow. I begin to play. It is an important part of the process to play with the materials. And then comes the point when I am no longer allowed to doubt. This is the decision-making point when I know that I have the piece I must make.
Petra Class. Earrings: Untitled, 2016. Rose-cut blue sapphires, facetted tear drops. Petra Class
Earrings: Untitled, 2016
Rose-cut blue sapphires, facetted tear drops

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