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Interview with Tissa Berwanger

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 13.03.2012
Interview with Tissa Berwanger.
Author:
Klimt02
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona

Intro
There is always this tension between design and art in my work. My educational background is product design and I think it is easier for me to think like a designer than like an artist. I still have to work a lot to become an artist.
 Do you think that jewelry is being standardized? What is there of local and universal in your artistic work? 
Of course there is a lot of uniform and low-quality jewelry being produced out there but I think at the same time there are many art jewelers and real designers who create beautiful and original jewelry.
I certainly get a lot of inspiration from the environment I am in, like the Brazilian nature (photo 1) or every-day materials like straws (photo 2) or crown caps (photo 3). I’m inspired by everything that surrounds me. When I worked and studied goldsmithing in Germany, where people value good design, I learned a lot about constructing shapes and forms, and about the perfect finishing (photo 4). These things can never really be standardized. 

What do you expect when exposing your work to the public (for example with an exhibition)? 
I’m always happy to see when people make a connection with my work, be it by understanding or not understanding; loving or hating; feeling, questioning it or not. 

Are other areas besides the jewelry, present in your work? 
There is always this tension between design and art in my work. My educational background is product design and I think it is easier for me to think like a designer than like an artist. I still have to work a lot to become an artist. Behind every piece of my work, you will find the detail-orientation of my design heritage. I care a lot about presentation and everything that surrounds my jewelry, for example packaging, leaflets and sometimes poems (photo 5, 6, 7, and 8). When I develop a piece of jewelry I analyze and iterate on it forever until it reaches its best form. 

The last work, book, film, that has moved me was... 
The film Waste Land by Vik Muniz was a great movie about transforming sadness into hope through art. 

A place, space, country whose creativity surprises me... 
I think that my country, Brazil, is where I find the most inspiration and creativity. You don’t necessarily find a lot perfect-technique jewelry - but unequaled creativity. This is mainly because people here are experts in the art of improvisation. When it comes to goldsmithing, Brazil doesn’t have a long tradition of jewelry or tools making and it’s often far too expensive for many to import tools. It’s amazing to see how many Brazilian goldsmiths have to improvise and still get it right. 

Is there any designer, jeweller, artist, you appreciate a lot? 
There are many artists that I admire. For example my favorite Italian jeweler, Giampaolo Babetto, has an incredibly minimalistic and precise technique. His geometric design gives me a lot. I also admire the Brazilian artist Amilcar de Castro with his beautiful contemporary metal sculptures, which remind me of large-dimensional jewelry. I also appreciate the amazing work of Nel Linssen and my favorite land artist is Andy Goldsworthy. 

What piece or work has given you the most satisfaction? 
Every jewelry piece has a story behind it. For example, the necklace Kronkorkenkette (English: crown cap necklace, photo 3) was a lot of fun. I had to consume a lot of golden and silver capped beer and I had quite a few parties at home in order to collect enough of them. Even after I finished work on the necklace the students of the jewelry academy in Germany used to send me thousands of caps every week. I like this connection between an artist and the people around her, for example in a context of social or environmental work.
T. Berwanger, Photo 1.
T. Berwanger, Photo 1

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T. Berwanger, Photo 2.
T. Berwanger, Photo 2

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T. Berwanger, Photo 3.
T. Berwanger, Photo 3

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T. Berwanger, Photo 4.
T. Berwanger, Photo 4

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T. Berwanger, Photo 5.
T. Berwanger, Photo 5

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T. Berwanger, Photo 6.
T. Berwanger, Photo 6

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T. Berwanger, Photo 7.
T. Berwanger, Photo 7

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T. Berwanger, Photo 8.
T. Berwanger, Photo 8

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