Creating a handmade jewelry collection that speaks to both an exploration of geometry and beauty would seem to be a stretch, but such is not the case with Thea Izzi. Her exquisite collection of modern handmade pieces is at once sculptural and elegant, which is truly a remarkable achievement.
There are so many stunning designs in this handmade jewelry collection, it’s little wonder her customers give her work rave reviews. As one notes, “The work reflects a timeless archetypal connection with nature and the natural form, as interpreted through the eyes (and hands!) of an artist that lives and breathes beauty.” Once you take a look, I think you’ll agree: this is a modern handmade jewelry collection that is a feast for the eyes and a celebration of creativity. Enjoy this fresh interview with this talented artist and be sure to explore her handmade jewelry collection for yourself and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
What inspired you to begin your handmade jewelry collection?
The true inspiration for the jewelry I create is somewhat of a mystery. I love simple, elegant and clever designs but I’m also drawn to the divine feminine, natural geometry and modern sculpture. I am drawn to geometric forms that are balanced and still retain a feeling of joy. I also pay attention to contrasts in color and the play between positive and negative space. My hope is that when women wear my jewelry, they will tap into the Divine Feminine within them and find inner strength and outward beauty.
Describe your creative process. Where do you start?
My best ideas have come from a very unconscious place and result from a state of presence much like that which occurs when I am dancing or singing which is how I find my own inner strength and beauty. I can also realize later that I was unconsciously inspired by a something in my environment that I see every day, like a detail in a painting that’s in my bedroom or a drain pattern. Those are both real examples!
I created my first collection from a silver link necklace I designed while in school. It was the repeated pattern link assignment. I call it “The Mother” necklace because every idea that I’ve developed over the last 20 years evolved from that piece. I recently retired the design but repeated patterns are still a big theme in my work.
Ideas come from playful experimentation. My desk is completely covered with various elements and works in progress. One entire collection grew from the act of absent mindedly folding a flat washer shape then folding it again and tossing it to the back of the bench. It sat there for a month until I realized it’s potential. Several ideas have come from the exploration of what to do with leftover pieces from another design. Resourcefulness gets me excited.
Once a good idea is born, I run with it. Can it be a whole line? How will it work as a necklace or earrings or bracelet? How will it feel on the body? How can I keep it uncomplicated but still interesting? Will it replicate easily? Most importantly, will it bring a feeling of joy and confidence to the wearer? That’s the true designer in me.
How do you maintain your creative drive?
Creatively, I have no shortage of inspiration or drive. There are more than enough ideas waiting to be born. My challenge is getting stuck by being too overwhelmed by the enormous amount of things I want to make. Usually that’s when it’s time for a dance break. I take a lot of dance breaks in the studio. If I’m really stuck, I change my creative environment or take a walk. I also love cooking. The kitchen is my place of solace, distraction and creativity as well.
“My creative process is a combination of instinct, discovery and letting the things that inspire me percolate and come to the surface as I work. The act of creating jewelry in itself is often where new ideas are born. The spark can come from something as simple as folding a washer or cutting a circle.
I am drawn to geometric forms that are balanced and still retain a feeling of joy. I also pay attention to contrasts in color and the play between positive and negative space.” – Thea Izzi
What materials do you love to use?
Metal is by far, my favorite material. I love the action of heating metal for various purposes. It’s an alchemic thing, which may account for my love of cooking and making music. “ Alchemy: A seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination.”
I have used bimetal in several of my collections, which is sterling silver and 22k gold fused together. It creates a luminous glow when formed on the interior of a three dimensional element and if its reflective enough can create the illusion of a faceted stone. I find it mesmerizing.
Do you have a dream collaborator?
I don’t have a specific dream collaborator but I love the idea of collaborating with the intent to design jewelry that incorporates technology, ie “smart jewelry”. I think there’s a potential in that field for great design.
What are some of the challenges that you face as a maker?
My biggest challenge as a maker is time, illusory as it may be. I was blessed with many creative talents and there is never enough time to pursue all of them fully. Adding in parenting, time for creating jewelry is even more precious.
How do you use social media and blogging to promote your work?
Facebook was my first platform for social media but its getting more challenging to reach anybody that way. I’ve never loved Twitter but Pinterest and Instagram are the most effective. I think they work well when used all together. Using video and Youtube is my next hurdle. Blogging – no thanks. It takes me a long time to get out what I want to say in words. I’d much rather say it through images. Hopefully I will conquer my fears and do a live FB video soon. That seems like the best way to start.
What are you working on right now?
Presently I’m working to prepare for the JCK Tucson show. It will be my first time. I am building my wholesale business, which means creating more designs that can be repeated. I’m also creating more one of a kind designs using beautiful, precious stones like raw lapis, green onyx, opals and aquamarine. Set in 18k gold. Some are combined with the bimetal. Adding set stones to my work is a recent development since my jewelry has always been so metal focused. It’s an exciting change, which you can find out more about from my Instagram page. 2017 is already turning out to be a huge year for the growth of Thea Izzi Jewelry Design. Stay tuned!