UPDATE: Candy will be on hand at the gallery on Saturday from 11AM to 4PM to give a live demonstration of her art. We invite you drop by and watch her in action.
Handcrafted Precious Metal Jewelry
Silversmith and jewelry designer Candy Emerson says, “Handcrafting jewelry makes me smile!
I remember looking at the titles of career self-help books and the message always seemed to be ‘follow your passion, do what you love and determine the color of your parachute’.
So I did! I moved to the beautiful Asheville, NC area, set up a jewelry workshop and determined that my favorite parachute color is the next one.”
“When I look at a striking or interesting landscape, flower, leaf, animal, dragonfly or architectural detail, I am inspired to think about how it will translate into a piece of jewelry.”
Inside the Artist Studio with Candy Emerson
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
When I was a child I thought, I want to grow up to be a famous artist.
When did you first realize you wanted to be an artist?
I always knew that I wanted to be doing something creative. What I didn’t realize growing up was that there are so many ways to be creative!
How long does it take you to create one of your pieces?
The process of creating the design can come together very quickly, or it may be a process that evolves in the back of my mind. The final design sometimes pops into my brain while I am working on other projects, driving in my car or while I am asleep.
What is your schedule like when you are working?
I am typically in my workshop every day during the week. Before I shut it down at the end of the day, I decide what I will work on the next day. But, since I have a beautiful and demanding shop cat, every day begins and ends with making sure that she is happy!
What would you say is your interesting quirk while working?
While I work in my shop, I have audio entertainment. The entertainment may be listening to an audiobook, which means I typically have to back it up several times, because I am making too much noise to hear it the first…. or second time. Or, I may be playing rock ‘n roll music…, which means I am either singing along, or have dance breaks… or both!
Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your artwork?
The inspiration for my work comes from all directions. It may be the shape and design or color of a stone, an architectural feature, anything in nature or looking at other artistic creations that inspire an idea of my own.
What do you like to do when you are not working on your art?
I love spending time with my husband, my cats and friends, talking a walk or practicing yoga.
“Experience is the Key…”
How many pieces do you think you have created?
I have never stopped to think about how many pieces I have created, and it would be a wild guess. So, I will say about 300.
Every piece that I create is my favorite at the time I am creating it.
It may not be the most “fun” to create due to the technical challenges, but I do enjoy the pieces. I find myself smiling at the ones that are more whimsical, like the hand colored metal owls and cats.
How do you decide which ideas to develop?
There are definitely more designs in my head and in my sketchbook than I work on. It may not be that I choose one over the other, but more the fact of which one pops into my head when I step into the workshop. I may also just be in the mood to work with one technique over another, which will determine which idea I choose.
Do you hear from your fans? What kinds of things do they say?
I really enjoy doing demos in the store and participating in Arts Festivals, so that I can get direct feedback from the public because typically the comments that I get are that my designs are creative, beautiful, unique and organic. This feedback inspires me to keep working every day to live up to the comments.
What do you think makes good art?
Art and design is definitely in the eyes of the beholder. For me good art attracts my eye and forces me to linger and appreciate it.
If you enjoyed this article and wish to see more of Candy’s work, then we invite you to visit the Mountain Made gallery, the next time are in downtown Asheville.