Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Artist Interview - Jewelry Designer Barbara Trainer

How did you get started making jewelry?
I'm a garden designer by profession and approach it by visualizing how unusual plant combinations can transform a 'yard' into a very unique and special place. I've always loved working with my hands, whether getting them dirty in the garden or creating art through many kinds of crafts. I'd been collecting colorful and natural materials--glass, silver, copper, ceramics, semi precious stones--for quite some time with the idea of creating wearable art. In much the way I picture different plant combinations together, so I experiment with diverse ways of pairing jewelry components.

How long have you been making jewelry? 
I started thinking about it years ago, but actually got to the work of it 4 years ago.

What influences your jewelry designs? 
Color, light & texture. I aim to make jewelry that catches/reflects light and draws the eye without distracting. I love mixing unexpected colors and textures to create striking, unusual pieces.

Do you have any favorite jewelry/craft sellers? if so what are they? 
I usually frequent local suppliers and regional bead shows as I like to see and touch the components I want. For instance, in last weekend, there was the Best Little Bead Show in Dedham at the Holiday Inn. The Armenian Cultural Center in Watertown has an annual show in October and the International Jewelry & Gem Show has 2-3 shows a year in Marlboro.

You are a garden designer, how does this influence your designs? 
The principles of design are pretty much the same throughout art & design of any kind--light, texture, unity, some mirroring or repetition and finally, balance--whether it is symmetrical or asymmetrical. Also, the mathematics principal of the odd (rather than even) number--3 is more often more interesting than 2.

Do you have favorite designers/crafters? 
Well, my business partner, Monica Fairbairn's work is one of my favorites. Our styles are quite different hers more earthy, multicultural. She uses the Ecuadoran pine nut, Tagua, in a vast variety of shapes & colors. Also she chooses components from all different cultures with their varied ethos & meanings.

You can see both Barbara Trainer's and Monica Fairbairn's jewelry at the Dedham Square Artist Guild

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