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I can listen to the iron and follow its lead when I'm amid creation. Interview with Janne Peltokangas by Klimt02

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 15.12.2021
Janne Peltokangas Janne Peltokangas
Author:
Klimt02
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona
Edited on:
2021
Janne Peltokangas. Body piece: Suoldni No2, 2021. Forged steel. 22 x 48 x 14 cm. Photo by: Janne Peltokangas. From series: Suoldni. Janne Peltokangas
Body piece: Suoldni No2, 2021
Forged steel
22 x 48 x 14 cm
Photo by: Janne Peltokangas
From series: Suoldni
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
My practice has gone from measured, clean, geometrical to distorted, decaying and mythical. What started as a need to understand the material, expanded into a collaboration with iron to create art that feels animated.
Tell us about your background. What were your first influences to be creative and become an artist and what has drawn you to contemporary jewellery?  
I’m a trained blacksmith from Finnish Lapland. I studied arts at 6 different universities in Europe and USA. I’ve been working artist for over 8 years. I mostly create sculptural metalwork, but I also make jewellery and tools. My first influence was my grandfather who was a master blacksmith. Another one was Terrence Clark, a British artist blacksmith and sculptor. The third one was my cousin Kalervo Palsa, a Finnish painter who was a very controversial person and fantastic realist”.
It was an accident that got me into contemporary jewellery. It was other artists who told me that some of my sculptural work is body-related and after I started noticing it also. Nowadays I jockey between jewellery and sculptural artwork and I use leftover material from my sculptural pieces for my jewellery art.
 

How important is networking for you in your professional practice and what are your preferred tools for this?
It's important but I am not very active or good at it. I use social media, but my preferred method to network is to mingle in exhibitions and biennales.
 

What are your general thoughts on the contemporary jewellery world, (education, market, development...), where do you see chances and where are dead ends?
I’m not that familiar with this world as I am not a “real” jewellery artist in the sense that I haven’t studied it.
 

Thinking about your career, what role do technology and the digital play in your artistic development & communication?
To be honest, I try my best to stay away from anything digital and nowadays that is very difficult. Of course, one needs to take photos of his work, render them and post the pictures on social media and websites.
 

How has your work changed over the past few years and what are you excited about these days?
My practice has gone from measured, clean, geometrical to distorted, decaying and mythical. What started as a need to understand the material, expanded into a collaboration with iron to create art that feels animated. In the beginning, it was important for me to master the techniques and command iron into forms I felt it needed to take. From then on, my understanding of the material, techniques, and the world has changed all that. I can listen to the iron and follow its lead when I’m amid creation.
In my work, I have studied and expressed the loss of loved ones, subconscious, and mental stress. From these topics, I have moved to explore how it was to grow up in the forests and fells of Lapland as a Sámi and how the spirits and ancestors have influenced our lives there.
 
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