Thursday, November 3, 2011

Art is a way of life.

Interview with Jewelry Designer Barbara Solomon
by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt

"Art is a way of life and isn’t separate from who I am as a person" ~ Barbara Solomon

Follow Solomon's blog Enchanted Jewels
SchulmanArt: How long have you been an artist?  
Barbara Solomon:  I started designing and fabricating jewelry 16 years ago.  However, my interest and exploration of art began as a young teenager.  My older sister, now a fashion designer, was always sketching models and clothes she created.  I would sit and watch her and began to draw necklaces, bracelets, earrings that would go with her designs.

SchulmanArt: Where did you study art?   
Barbara Solomon: My study of art formally began at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. About 23 years ago.  I was majoring in Geology and had a minor in art. I continued to study in Graduate school at University of North Carolina in Wilmington, NC.  I became a Geologist after college and my art training was in constant use sketching fossils, rock formations and gemstones in the rough.  It was during this time that I began to create beaded necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

Available from Designing Parrot Jewel
SchulmanArt:  What are your inspirations?  
Barbara Solomon:  I find inspiration everywhere……browsing fabric stores, bead shops, in novels or taking walks down by the nearby lake….I find it everywhere.

SchulmanArt: What has been your most exciting moment as an artist?   
Barbara Solomon: My most exciting moments come when I finish a piece and it turns out beautiful, even to my eyes.  As with most artists in any media, I am my harshest critic.

Jewelry also for sale on  ArtFire
SchulmanArt:  What is your studio space like? 
Barbara Solomon: My studio work area is actually divided between two rooms.  I have a work table usually full of beads, wire, half finished pieces, etc. with cabinets to the side which are neatly labeled with all types of supplies; my computer, desk, camera, reference materials and telescope are at the other end of the room.  But I don’t make jewelry there!  I take the materials I need and sit down at my pub table in the Florida Room.  There I’m surrounded by large windows that look out on my backyard full of trees, ferns, flowers and wildlife.

SchulmanArt:  Do you have any pets and do they keep you company while you create? Barbara Solomon:  I’m a “parrot mom” to Fred, my Quaker parrot. He sits on my head or jumps onto the table to “help” me create jewelry.  Thus, the name of my Etsy shop, Designing Parrot Jewel .  And, usually the feral cat that I’ve been feeding for the last 2 years, who answers to being called “Little Bit” comes into the yard and dozes on my patio chairs while I am working on jewelry.  

 mentioned in this article: @depjewe, @schulmanArt