A few times a year I'm asked to be interviewed by a college student for a project in which the student has to research a contemporary in the field or a specific concept in art jewelry. I am always flattered to be asked and always happy to help. I remember interviewing Sofia Calderwood when I was working on my BFA in 2001 for a similar paper. I spent lots of time coming up with my questions and loved talking with her on the phone.
Most recently, Eden Silver-Myer from the University of the Creative Arts in Farnham, England asked me about narrative in my work. Previously, she had interviewed me about how I use memory. (Narrative and memory are two concepts she is currently exploring in her own work.) Sarah Davidson from Cleveland College of Art and Design in Hartlepool, England asked me about my history in the field, my inspirations, and sought some professional advice. Sarah Pietras from Boise State University in Boise, ID asked me about my beginnings in the field, my process, and wanted to know what it is about jewelry that continues to capture my interest. Sara Zagar at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC had visited my Penland studio when I was a resident artist and saw all my collections and arrangements. She later asked me about collecting--what I collect and why and how it affects my work.
Other interviews pre-2012 were by Lauren Veale from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. She asked me about my influences/inspirations and my thoughts on the studio and working alone vs. a sharing a space. While Holly Wilcox from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, Scotland asked me questions about how the internet has impacted my work as a contemporary craftsperson.
Today I like to think these students are coming to me because they connect with my work just as I did with Sofia's. I learned a lot from talking with Sofia and I want to help these new students by giving them focused attention and by providing thoughtful, articulate responses. I see these interviews as another form of teaching and also an excellent opportunity for me to take time to think and write about my work. Finally, they are a great way to connect and communicate with others in the field.
Thanks for reading.