Artistic Process Photography
Vilona Studios in Berthoud, CO
“The most important parts of my life have involved my hands. I can look down at my calloused hands and see the effects of my materials, reflecting back to where I started, mining, cutting and faceting precious stones in Brazil. The challenges of mining have given me so much appreciation and understanding for the minerals I work with; it is something I am extremely thankful for. Mining in Brazil led me down a creative path that made me an artist, reflecting on this unique perspective when it comes to knowing where the materials originate. I am constantly working towards increasing my awareness that celebrates the original rawness of a mineral. My goal is to create works of art that gives tribute to these origins.
My work constantly inspires me; I realized this method was beneficial for me early on in my career when I first started creating jewelry that allowed people to wear these beautiful gems and minerals. The stones spoke to me in ways that resulted in artistic themed jewelry. I was creating what I call “mini-sculptures” as my mode of relaying shapes with the complimentary colors of the actual gemstones. The way opal reflects the light is something I can see within my color choice in my patinas to this day.
I truly see myself in my work, and will always aim towards creating reflective work that relates to my artistic journey as an Artist. I enjoy seeing my work transition into larger than life works, this is something that I always wanted to manifest. The sculptures I create now are much larger than the pendants and rings I started from, but they have so much parallel in relation to one another. Whether it is the metal or the stone, I am still working with the raw materials I started with.
I love that I get to be innovative with my artwork; everyday being able to create my visions. Making art is a privilege and I am forever grateful for working with my hands. The dialogue between materials is encouraging for me; the varying metals in my studio offer different opportunities. Learning about how to use a specific metal for a piece of art has opened my mind to better engage it to its fullest potential.
My goal is to appreciate the metal while working with it to develop my art. I admire and acknowledge the roughness of forging steel, the delicateness of bending it, including the harshness of the heat it takes to make it all happen. It is a constant push and pull with the use of metal. What I have learned to do with metal in my studio will forever be involved in my art as I learn more about the materials. While creating manmade tension, I am allowing the raw form to act as a catalyst to create both positive and negative spaces.”