"there are those who say that a jeweler/designer who offers an
eclectic assortment of styles is immature. The sign of a mature
jeweler/designer is that the designs are not eclectic, but focused
to one type of style or another".
Personally, I feel this type of a comment is a bit out of order. My
first impression of the instructor who made the statement (taken, as
it is, out of context) is that perhaps this individual has more
experience in the classroom than they have in the actual "real world"
of creating and selling jewelry. It takes a lot more than what is
suggested here, to be able to adequately evaluate and/or categorize
any artist’s maturity.
There is also the necessity to consider and examine the particulars
of the marketplace wherein the artist’s work is to be presented and
offered for sale. A great diversity exists between the type and
variety of venues which sell “jewelry” here in North America alone.
And, although I have been a jewelry artist by profession, for nearly
30 years, I still have only a rather limited experience of the genre
and marketplace as a whole.
Over my career I have designed and created jewelry which viewed
altogether would seem extremely wide in range or style, and not
always well connected in continuity. But, it wouldn’t be fair to look
at such a body of work and judge the maturity of the artist simply by
content and the similarity of the designs. I, as many others working
in this discipline, create works in series, which are often
differentiated by the general design, theme, purpose, intended use,
materials involved, or perhaps even just applied techniques. Many of
the smaller “bodies of work” I have produced as series, were created
for a specific gallery according to preferences of their clientele,
the price range, geographic location, climate, etc., and frequently
they might have little resemblance or resonance with any other of my
series, (aside from the quality of the work, of course ;-).
If you take a closer look at many of the very prolific designers and
manufacturers in the market today, they are often exhibiting a
completely new line each year or even every season. Not always does
their work limit itself to a single “style” from year to year or
season to season.This is a long standing practice in almost every
area of retail products and can often be attributed to trends and
popularity of styles, colors, and fashions, aside from the individual
intention of the designer to be creative. Sometimes blanket
statements such as those the instructor made in this example need to
be further elaborated upon and well defined, if they are intended to
be of any qualifying or authoritative usefulness.
Look at the work of Freidrich Becker, Hermann Junger, or Fritz
Maierhofer. There is great diversity of style and design in each of
their work, but with each of them one can perceive the same hand and
mind of the artist evident throughout all of their jewelry. That is,
I suggest, what represents true artistic maturity.
My unsolicited advice is to enjoy your creativity and flourish,
don’t worry too much about whether others perceive you as a mature
artist or not. After all, who better than you, will recognize this?
Michael David Sturlin, jewelry artist @Michael_David_Sturli
Michael Sturlin Studio, Scottsdale Arizona USA