Interview with Teresa Faris

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 31.07.2014
Interview with Teresa Faris.
Edited by:
Edited at:
Teresa F. Faris. Necklace: Collaboration with a Bird ll, 2012. Wood altered by a bird, sterling silver. Teresa F. Faris
Necklace: Collaboration with a Bird ll, 2012
Wood altered by a bird, sterling silver
© By the author. Read Copyright.

I am interested in communication, particularly silent communication of humans and non- humans. From bowery birds to “Goth” kids, I look at body language, fashion/color and body adornment and contemplate how those things attract or repel.
Do you think that jewelry is being standardized?
Yes. But to say that jewelry is standardized is to say that the makers aspire to be standard. I don’t think that it is always a conscious effort. People naturally want to fit in to some form of community. Even if someone wants to be different they work so hard to be unlike the “norm” only to find that they have become just like all the others trying to be different and therefore have established a new “norm”.

What is there of local and universal in your artistic work?
There are parts of each of us that are molded by our immediate (local) experiences. We may be inspired by these events/places/people and use that information to inform what we are making. Our local/individual experiences may be unlike those of others around the globe, but what we do with that information and how we internalize it is strictly our own.

What do you expect when exposing your work to the public (for example with an exhibition)?
I think that I do not have expectations. I have found them to never be met. In the US, it is more about the persons name than what they make. I receive a gift each time someone looks at my work and has a response to it.

Are other areas besides the jewelry, present in your work?
Yes, science: specifically biology and psychology. I am interested in communication, particularly silent communication of humans and non- humans. From bowery birds to “Goth” kids, I look at body language, fashion/color and body adornment and contemplate how those things attract or repel. I have lived with a rescued parrot for 20 years and I am endlessly inspired by our ability to communicate non-verbally. I have to admit that I am most interested in non-humans and objects/ patterns found in nature. My other primary fascination is the way that living beings react to anxiety, and I am deeply moved when I find an object that has been repetitively worn by the hands/beak/trunk... of an anxious being. As someone who finds stillness by performing repetitive movements it is comforting to know that these actions may be universal and offer some sense of connectedness to all living things.

The last work, book, film, city that has moved me was...
I have recently finished reading everything that Haruki Murakami has ever written (that is available in English). When I read the last sentence of the last book, I felt like I was losing a friend.

A place, space, country whose creativity surprises me...
It is not necessarily a single place that surprises me, but rather any place where there are people willing to be authentic. There is so much mimicry in this world right now that when I meet someone with conviction, I am immediately drawn to her or him.

Is there any designer, jeweller, artist, you appreciate a lot?
The two artists who immediately come to mind are Yoko Ono and Karl Fritsch. I remember researching Yoko Ono's "Instruction Paintings" when I was a young student, and they were the first works of art that made sense to me conceptually. That was the moment that I understood the importance of congruous material and content. Karl Fritsch’s work is the epitome of that…

What piece or work has given you the most satisfaction?
There have been a few, and it is always the pieces that drive me forward intellectually and skilfully. Collaboration with a Bird ll #15 made in 2012 was one of those pieces. For me it is about working on something (technique/idea) long enough that things begin to naturally morph. The imagery and process becomes truly authentic.

Do you read Jewellery Magazines? What is your source to get information?
I read books and periodicals relative to jewellery, craft and sculpture. Attending conferences/symposiums and workshops are also important resources.

Do you discuss your work with other jewelry artists or any other person?
People will ask me about technique and I am happy to discuss that. It is more difficult to find people interested in talking about the philosophical ideas surrounding the work.

What is your first thought when you hear the word Future?, What do you expect for?
I think that people will naturally return to making as a way of life. The disposable is not attractive anymore and people are finding that working with their hands and being social is good for them (referencing the wine and paint bars and “maker spaces” popping up all over). I hope that the rebellious people really make a change. We need more diversity; the mass-produced/everyone-looks-the-same society we live in is boring.