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Interview with Sharon Massey

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 08.09.2014
Interview with Sharon Massey.
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona

Intro
The urban environment, specifically the architecture of Pittsburgh, inspires my current work, so the significance of the “local” is undeniable. However, I don’t merely re-create locations on a small scale; I re-interpret the urban landscape in a way that attempts to capture only the essence of the place, and hopefully generates universal appeal.
Do you think that jewelry is being standardized? What is there of local and universal in your artistic work?
I do notice trends in jewelry that sometimes give the impression of a standardization of the field, but when I look beyond those pieces, I find diversity of ideas and materials. I love being surprised by materials, whether through innovative use of a new material, or clever use of a traditional one.
The urban environment, specifically the architecture of Pittsburgh, inspires my current work, so the significance of the “local” is undeniable. However, I don’t merely re-create locations on a small scale; I re-interpret the urban landscape in a way that attempts to capture only the essence of the place, and hopefully generates universal appeal.

What do you expect when exposing your work to the public (for example with an exhibition)?
It depends on the venue, but I hope for my work to reach an interested audience, ideally one that will appreciate the work and feel inspired or moved by it in some way. I hope for professionalism in care and display, and I’m always honored by good promotion.

Are other areas besides the jewelry, present in your work?
I make sculptural work that is similar to my jewelry. I also have a curatorial project called One Wall Gallery with a collaborator, Ian F. Thomas. The goal of that project is to make affordable opportunites for exhibition and publication (especially with hard-to-exhibit works) available to artists.

Is there any designer, jeweller, artist, you appreciate a lot?
I’m hesitant to answer this one because there are so many jewellers who I appreciate, and I don’t want to leave anyone out. In no particular order, I love to see work by Ruudt Peters, Ted Noten, Marc Monzo, Bettina Speckner, Vera Siemund, Mallory Weston, Allyson Bone, Rebecca Hannon, and so many more. I’m also always grateful for the mentors in my life, including Linda Darty and Bob Ebendorf.

What piece or work has given you the most satisfaction?
The answer is always the most recent piece I have made, which is always immediately replaced by the next piece in progress.

Do you read Jewellery Magazines? What is your source to get information?
I read Metalsmith magazine, and the website Art Jewelry Forum. I actually get the majority of my information lately from social media like facebook and instagram—the online jewellery community is very inspiring. There are a lot of people who are really generous about sharing information on calls for entry and other opportunities. And of course, it is great to see all the images of works in progress and recently completed pieces from artists all over the world.

Do you discuss your work with other jewellery artists or any other person?
Yes, I’m lucky to have a small community of jewellers in my area with whom to discuss work. However, I have found that I can usually get the most constructive feedback from artists outside of the jewellery field. I get great technical advice from jewellers, but I prefer to discuss content with other friends.
I’m also very inspired by teaching—I find that my students challenge me to think in ways that I normally wouldn’t, which leads to research in ideas and materials outside my area of expertise. When I took a few years off from teaching, my productivity was at its lowest!

What is your first thought when you hear the word Future?, What do you expect for?
My first thought is a slight feeling of panic, just in anticipation of all the work that needs to be done and hoping that the inspiration to create still comes. But after the anxiety fades, I feel excited for the opportunities that lie ahead, and the chance to be a part of such an inspiring international community.
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