When did you begin working in metals? How did you find this path?
I began working in metals in high school, but my interest in making jewelry came from my dad. He was a lapidary and silversmith hobbyist. He passed away when I was sixteen. While I didn't have a chance to learn from him, I was fortunate to receive his rock collection and tools. My high school art teacher helped to identify my potential and taught me the basics of fabrication and casting. At that time, I knew I wanted to work with stone and metal. After a few years, and several classes at a local art center, I started my own business.
What are you currently working on in the studio?
I just finished restyling some family jewelry for a local client. Together we designed a ring that incorporated several pieces of diamond and gold jewelry. It was inspired by a ring I had in the gallery and was a fun project.
It's also art show season and I am working on fresh new collections for show inventory. I purchased some great material in Tucson this year that I am working through this summer.
How does your practice impact your teaching philosophy? And vice versa?
My teaching perspective follows my professional background in the jewelry industry; both as a fine jewelry maker and retailer. I think having that history adds value to the student who wishes to make an income as a jewelry artist. I not only teach how, but also why, and from a few different points of view. Being an instructor also challenges me as a maker. Students look at my work more critically and use my work as an example of standard. I take that very seriously and, as such, am personally challenged to push creative and technical boundaries.
What are you most looking forward to during your time teaching at PenArt?
I am looking forward to meeting new metals students and helping them on their creative journey. The amazing environment of PenArt is certainly a huge draw as well. I'm really excited for my first visit!
How can we find you and your work on social media and the web?
My website is JulieSanfordDesigns.com I am also on Facebook at Julie Sanford Designs, Twitter @JulieSanford, and Instagram @Julie_Sanford