Hello blog readers, and happy November! Hope you all had or are having super spooky Halloween fun times. This week I talked to Anastasia Azure, one of our newer artists and creator of a unique line of jewelery.
Introduce yourself! Who are you? What do you do? Where do you do what you do?
Hello! My name is Anastasia Azure. I make light, colorful jewelry inspired by the spiraling currents in the ocean. The jewelry is made from hand-dyed fishing line. I share a jewelry studio at Hope Artiste Vilage, and am looking for fellow textile artists to share a dye kitchen with.
You weave, yes, but you weave with fishing line. Where did the idea to use fishing line stem from? Can you talk a bit about how you developed your process?
I have been making jewelry since I was six years old. My favorite thing to make was those lanyard key chains. I spent hours creating my own elaborate designs and my Mom kept a pile of them somewhere. Later in high school I started working with sterling silver and soldering. Turning on the torch and watching metal melt hooked me for life. I went on to Revere Academy of Jewelry Art, trained as a goldsmith and worked in a fine jewelry store. Resizing platinum engagement rings got boring, so I went to California College of the Arts in Oakland/ San Francisco.
During undergrad I learned to weave. Being a jeweler what else would I weave withbut metal wire? It turns out that weaving with wire is tricky and requires very balanced tension. In a search for weights, I found myself in the sporting goods aisle at Rite Aid perusing sink bankers, and voila, spools of fishing line were sitting there. A-ha!
I continued weaving with fishing line during a three year residency at Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee. Fishing line is also known as nylon monofilament and nylon can be dyed with Washfast Acid dyes, so I did some experimenting and it worked. I moved to Providence in 2009 to study Textiles at RISD.
Mostly you do larger scale sculptures for museums. What got you into jewelery and how did you happen to stumble into Craftland?
Stumble into Craftland? No way! I gravitated, hypnotized by the vibrant, playful spirit of Craftland.
What inspires your work? What do you do when you're feeling a lack inspiration? How do you refill you're brain's vat of creative juices?
I am inspired by various things, such as oceanography, fluid dynamics, aquatic life, bridges, Tibetan sand mandalas, Maasai tribal jewelry and Balinese festival decorations.
When I’m feeling a lack of inspiration, I sleep. Seriously, I rest. My art making ebbs and flows. So when it ebbs, I let it be. It’s a divine gift that it flows back.
What do you do when you are not creating pieces for Azure Designs? Do you have any hobbies, are you really sucked into a series of novels you just discovered, nurturing any pipe dreams?
My newest hobby is my Galaxy 4 phone. It was a much needed upgrade from a flip phone!
Pipe dreams? Sailing around Cape Horn.
Random Question: What is your favorite fall activity?
Oh fall, the leaves, the leaves…death can have such dazzling beauty. My favorite fall activity is crunching the leaves…kicking through a pile of autumn leaves and listening to the rustling.