Monday, December 7, 2009

DM: Amy, please tell us what is your artistic medium?
AT: My jewelry: is made of 14k and 18k gold and sterling silver. It is completely constructed (no cast elements) with an emphasis on unique hinge work, gemstone color juxtapostions, as well as found objects such as beach glass and rock.

DM: Tell us how you got into your medium.
AT: Mom said I should go to medical school. Of course I went to art school! Parsons School of Design, specifically...I wanted to go into fashion. When I found out fashion didn't include hot pink high-topped Converse All Star gym shoes, I was lost. I tried every medium and was told by my mother, "you'll never be able to make a living at it!" Fortunately for me, metal smithing ran through my veins, my grandfather was a watch maker and jeweler, so I let genetics take the lead. I was also fortunate enough to knock on just the right door and acquired an apprenticeship with a jeweler at a young age. Now, "I am metalsmith, watch me forge!" ( I just love that line ! - DM)

DM: What do you enjoy most about working with your medium?
AT: Working with metal is seductive to has character, it's takes on every form you want it has immediacy in its don't have to let it dry, cure or fire of all, you get to play with fire without hurting anyone! (...well...most of the time I don't hurt myself...) : )

DM: Where do you find your inspirations for what you create?
AT: To be honest, completely honest about the inspiration of my work I have to go back to childhood. I was raised in Evanston, IL, which is a suburb north of Chicago. Walking to and from school afforded me the luxury of walking through neighborhoods that sported large boulevards protected by hand-wrought iron fences and brooding gates. I loved looking at them and always touched them and examined their mechanism.

I didn't really find my "niche" in jewelry, it sort of found me...I put hinges on literally everything...I love the movement...and I LOVE coming up with new hinges that are characteristically "me" by being impossible to make and unwittingly hard to deal with. I'll grumble and toil and then its' all worth it: a collector or customer HAS to HAVE it! Okay...I have to admit...I'm pretty happy with the results... : )

DM: Have you ever experienced artist block and how did you overcome it?
AT: "Artist Block" does's competitive out there and we really have to keep on our toes to keep things fresh, noticed and networked. It's exhausting! Feedback always keeps me from going over the edge, but if I do really get blocked...I don't stop working...I'll work on something boring for a while (like making bezels for stones or cutting out shaped elements) and usually something hits me. It helps to keep the studio cozy (I'm a good craftsman by not by the furthest stretch of the imagination am I an neat studio-keeper...) warm, music at my fingertips and NO television, food or animals around. Too many distractions! And, I have another part time job so I don't get wiggy being by myself all day. That would not be a pretty sight. : ) Being social is very important to me. As is reading and spending time "away". Stretching myself to do SOMETHING different on a frequent basis helps me to realize I'm not a "stuck" person, just "stuck" with my work...that inevitably helps me get over the hump too.

DM: What advise would you give someone starting out?
AT: For anyone starting out I'd say to just have fun with what they are doing. Don't beat yourself up if it's not perfect (I still have my first few projects and belly laugh by looking at them on occasion) with any art, be expressive.

DM: Are there any artist that inspire you or that you admire?
AT: Sculptor Rodin inspires me because he often made elements without knowing what the end product would be. When inspired, he'd just start throwing elements together. I like that. It worked for him...and it does for me too. In the end, you get a cohesive line of work full of all the things you love.

DM: Amy was telling me offline that Kathryn Shield Dummer is an old gradeschool chum...she used to be the person she would walk past those wrought iron fences with...and now she's an award winning polymer clay artist. On Amy's Etsy page is a stunning piece that she and Kathryn collaborated on. Being a newly polymer clay artist myself, I just fell in love with this piece of jewelry  !

DM: What do you find the most frustrating or difficult about your work?
AT: The most difficult task of doing what I do is being discreet with my customers. Okay, that didn't sound right. What I mean, is an intensely private thing to some people. It's an extension of themselves...when I work on a piece for someone, I have to be private about's special and exclusive for that individual. It's not to be broadcast, shared or shouted from the rooftops...and I certainly have to be careful not to leave phone messages with spouses, etc. The relationships I have with people are almost secretive...certainly special...and always fulfilling. I love my work.

DM: Anything else you wish to share?
AT: Thanks for asking me about myself and my work, I'm a single mom who is able to "swing it" because of my love of the craft, and I appreciate you helping to inspire others to do the same by "spreading your word"! Bless you in your pursuits and I'll be an avid reader!

DM: Amy also shared that she has been a four time DeBeer's Diamond Design contest winner, personally looking over her work that does not suprise me one bit !

Amy's art can be fount at Amy Taylor Jewelry & Hinged Jewelry on Etsy

If you have questions for Amy, she can be reached at

Again, we want to thank Amy for her interview and wish her the best for years to come, it has been a real joy getting to know her and her art !


amy said...

Thank you for the opportunity to share my work with others, Muse! I feel honored to be included, and look forward to you posting some of YOUR work! XO! Amy : )

Helen said...

You have amazing work Amy! You make me look at hinges now in a different light.

Thank you to DM for featuring great artists with really interesting work of art. You really got me browsing... More power!

Anonymous said...

Amy I am the one that is honored, your work is so expresive and being a fan of jewelry that moves, what can I say but WOW ! Thank you again for taking the time to speak with our readers !

Anonymous said...

Helen, thank you for your kind words, we love sharing each and everyone of our artist! Keep reading we have so many more great artist that will be show-cased !

amy said...

(((( group hug )))) Thank you, love and bling to you both! - Amy

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