When someone asks you "What do you do?" What is your reply?
This is a hard question as I sort of live a double life. In terms of my jewelry, I usually tell people i design or make jewelry. I consider myself a designer first and foremost since my background is in graphic design and it really is how I approach my jewelry.
Why did you choose this profession?I have always been designing and making things in some fashion. After many years of working professionally as a graphic designer (mostly in interactive media) I had a great urge to work with my hands on something more personally fulfilling and a lot less corporate. I quit a job I had in 2001 and started playing around with a lot of different things. Knitting, painting, jewelry making. Eventually, I took a metalsmithing class and for the first time in my life I felt like I had found my medium! I don't know if its because I can get a bit restless or not, but I love that when I work in the studio I always have several things going on at once. Its that wonderful combination of the intense concentration you have when you are deeply involved in an intricate detail of something and the energy of being able to move around from one station to the other... saw, sand, solder, pound, sand again, solder again... you know the drill.
Essentially, metalsmithing suits me as it allows me to realize my creative vision and design aesthetic while giving me a medium to work in that i thoroughly enjoy.
What is your favorite skill/technique?Wow! That is a very difficult question. I suppose you mean one that I already have? As opposed to one I would like to learn? I do tend to love working on methodical things and there is something about hollow forming and bezel making that i really enjoy. I get great satisfaction out of seeing something look very geometric and clean lined.
What skill would you like to learn?
Ah that answers the above question! Right now I am really focused on wanting to improve my stone setting skills. But wax carving is up there. I'd also love to master some great forging techniques.
What is your workshop like? (Any photos)
I share my workspace with two other wonderful jewelers, Paul Deblassie and Martha Coté. I have pictures of the space posted on my Flickr page.
What is your main goal this year?
I am working very hard to increase awareness of my work and get more wholesale accounts and into galleries. But as for the work itself, I want to keep expanding my collections and growing my skills. Really, what don't I want to achieve!
Please provide links to five of your favorite websites. (Blogs, Artists or Whatever)
Cal Lane http://www.callane.com/
Marian Anderson http://www.marianneanderson.co.uk/
Tone Vigeland http://www.cooperhewitt.org/EXHIBITIONS/archive/vigeland/start.htm
Betty Cooke http://www.modernsilver.com/BETTYCOOKE.htm
I dont read a lot of blogs but i should! i plan to start one soon. I'll keep you posted.
Where can people find you?www.ninadinoffjewelry.com
Thank you Nina.