Shaya Durbin has jewelry making and crafting in her blood. We caught up with her and she had this to say:
"Hi! I am a jeweler from a family of artists and crafters. You could call me 3rd generation DIY.
I was taught to solder by my father when I was six years old. Since then I have been designing and creating with metals, my vision advancing as my skills increased.
Even though jewelry has always been in my life it has not always been my primary medium. In college I worked in other arts and only returned to my roots after I graduated. This shift had a profound influence on my sensibility as a jeweler. I do not approach my art from aesthetic of a traditional jeweler. Because of my work as a printmaker I think about jewelry in terms of layers and composition. I use textures, patinas, and contrasting metals to create complexity and compositional integrity. This is not formulaic but a sensitivity to what creates visual balance, and since it is different for each piece, and generally not repeatable, each piece is unique.
For me jewelry has been the great exploration of form, presenting the perpetual challenge of translating sculptural ideas into designs that accentuate the human body. This creates a captivating dialog between the sculpture and the wearer, making my relationship with the metal very personal. Because each finished piece will be more than purely visual art, the future intimate nature of the work is directly present in my own creative process. It is about a translation from artistic sensibility to practical form. I look not only at the aesthetic but at the comfort and the way the design will interact with the wearer. In this way my art is about creating intimate experiences. My philosophy is that people want jewelry as unique as they are."
We at the Handmade Ho Down are pretty unique ourselves, Shaya, so we wondered:
If you had to live out the rest of your life as a famous fictional character, who would you be and why?
Batman. He kicks butt.
If money were no object for just one day, what would you do?
Today I would fly to Turkey.
If you were invisible for one day and could go anywhere without being detected, where would you go and what would you do?
Fort Knox. That's where they keep the good stuff.
Did you have a crush on a TV character when you were little? Spill it!
The Goblin King.
What does buying and selling local handmade mean to you, and how has it affected your life?
If I have money to spend, I want it to go to an actual person, not a vast money-sucking machine.
Well, we couldn't agree more, Shaya. Thanks for the interview, we all look forward to seeing your beautiful jewelry in person!