Encounters: A reflection on the nature of time, Legnica Jewelry Festival Silver. Interview with Felicia Mülbaier by Anna Wójcik

Interview  /  Artists   BehindTheScenes   AnnaWójcik
Published: 24.05.2022
Felicia Mülbaier Felicia Mülbaier
Anna Wójcik
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Felicia Mülbaier. Pendant: A part - a beginning - an end, 2022. Lapis lazuli, silk, silver.. Felicia Mülbaier
Pendant: A part - a beginning - an end, 2022
Lapis lazuli, silk, silver.
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When Felicia Mülbaier makes jewellery, she primarily uses the media stone and textile to express her artistic vision. She accompanies her creative process with drawings.

Felicia Mülbaier’s solo exhibition Encounters – A reflection on the nature of time is organized as a part of the Legnica Jewellery Festival SILVER in the Gallery of Art in Legnica.
What does the title of your exhibition "Encounters – a reflection on the nature of time" refer to?
In my eyes, encounters are immeasurably valuable for artistic practice; they shape the creative process and inspire. They trigger a movement and can occur quite unexpectedly, trigger something that can pass again or remain permanently.
These inspirations can be people who shape one as a teacher, statements of others, passages from books, text fragments, the evening play of light on a house facade, a found object or a fascinating material. In all these encounters there is a simplicity and a calmness, none of them has the need to shout out loud - they make you listen, they help to make an inner picture clearer, to find answers, to dive into something and to train your own gaze. So the phenomenon of such an encounter lies not only in itself, but also in its perception. This approach should reflect my exhibition and the catalog.
Your miniature sculptures are mostly made of stone – at the exhibition, we can see a series of works made of Lapis lazuli. Where does your fascination with this material come from?
I encountered the material stone - by now hardly imaginable without it in my artistic practice - quite unplanned during my studies in 2016.
Before I encountered the material stone, I had explored a wide range of techniques and materials. I believe that all of these experiences inform my work.
The sculptural, empirical work on the material requires great endurance - but through this dedication and getting lost, a freedom in the mind emerges, and an inner stillness returns.
I immerse myself in the work, linger, observe, feel …. strip the stone.
This, in the positive sense, lengthy work happens almost silently, accompanied by a background noise of machines and engines.

Work by Felicia Mülbaier.

Felicia Mülbaier: Little Moth pendant. Lapis lazuli, silk, silver, 2019-2022.

Is the creative process itself more important to you than final result? How precisely do you plan the final appearance of an object at the stage of designing? Does your vision change during the creative process and the final effect may be different from that intended?
To begin, I usually hold a large chunk of stone in my hand. It was selected of course because of its superficial appearance or shape. Subsequently, it may be that I immediately dealt with the rock, but now and then he lies for a while with others in the stone box.
During the creative process it undergoes many steps it is considered - examined - put away - further processed - discarded and sometimes after years again in a half-developed state revisited. Especially pieces with such a life cycle can be found in the exhibition "Encounters - a reflection on the nature of time".
Working with the stone gives me a certain serenity and therefore the process is very important in my eyes and I appreciate it very much that I can give myself such time. Of course, it can also happen that I follow a certain plan at the beginning, but this usually runs relatively quickly again and the form and materiality develops entirely in accordance with the time and my patience.

Sculpture and goldsmithing are not the only forms of expression you explore as an artist. What do your drawings and jewellery have in common?
Early in my studies it had become apparent that my artistic process in sculptural design is accompanied by using a sketchbook. From this process, small notes, annotations, lines and repetitions lead to fragments that create more pronounced drawings.
In the exhibition in the Gallery of Art in Legnica you can see drawings that served me as an aid to arrive in the studio in the morning and were the last thing I sat at in the evening to finish the day in it. These drawings form a kind of diary, through repetitive movements something builds up - the contrast to working in sculptural design where I usually remove something until it disappears.

More information about Legnica Jewellery Festival SILVER.

About the Interviewee

Felicia Mülbaier was born in Speyer (Germany) in 1988. Between 2011 and 2015, Felicia Mülbaier studied at the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf, where she received a Bachelor of Arts. In 2019, she completed her studies with the Master of Fine Arts in Gemstones and Jewellery at the Trier University of Applied Sciences, Idar-Oberstein Campus. As part of her artistic training and development, she spent time abroad at the Academy of Art and Design in Gothenburg (Sweden) and the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn.

About the author

Anna Wójcik - coordinator of the Legnica Jewellery Festival SILVER. She works in the Gallery of Art in Legnica (Poland) since 2018. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in the history of art from the University of Silesia in Katowice (Poland). She's a member of the International Amber Association, and a member of the editorial team of the Amber Magazine.