Our Q&A with Anna Nava who is the founder of her eponymous jewelry brand.
Q.: How and when did you start making jewels? I took my first metal jewelry class, in high school. I was about 17 years old and I gave the silver ring, my first piece ever, to my boyfriend. I never got it back. I do, however remember exactly what it looks like and I will defininitely make another, someday.
Q.: What is your background? All of my metal smithing/jewelry making skills have been earned at The Art League School in Alexandria, Virginia. (I didn’t study art in college but I do have a degree in marketing).The Art League offers a variety of art classes. The jewelry making options are broad and taught by talented, experienced and knowledgeable jewelry artists. I’ve taken classes in jewelry making for over 10 years, one class at a time, year-round. I has been a process that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.
Q.: You took part of various jewellery exhibitions also in Italy, tell us more about it. Artistar Jewels, in Milan has welcomed me to their exhibition for the past four years. The first year was a little intimidating, as I was just beginning to put my jewelry and myself “out there”. What I came away with was confidence to explore my identity as a jewelry artist and many contacts whom I now consider friends. The Artistar Jewels project will always be very special to me.
Q.: What is your favorite metal? and gemstone? Sterling silver has been my preferred metal, for a long time. It’s the metal that I most associate with my Mexican American culture. Having said that, I won’t rule out the possibility of working with and coming to treasure other metals. Gemstones are not a focus in my jewelry pieces but I do adore stones in the cool area of the color spectrum. So, blue sapphires, purple amethysts, lapiz lazuli, turquoise… you get the idea.
Q.: Where do you take the inspiration from? As many artists will tell you, inspiration comes from so many places and it changes from time to time. “10 Timeless Fashion Pieces Every Woman Should Own”, by Mary Johnson. (Mary Johnson wrote Mary Johnson’s Guide to Altering and Restyling Ready-Made Clothes, published in 1964.) has been the inspiration for several pieces I’ve created for the past three years. Why fashion? Because I’m a lover timeless yet current fashion, textures and prints found in fabric, the drama of statement jewelry, and I am on a mission to create to create one-of-a-kind clothing-inspired jewelry. From metal, another thing I adore. So far, I’ve “covered” the White Button Down shirt, Black Blazer, and the Little Black Dress. I’m working on the Black Pump.
Q.: Do you create custom’s jewelry? Most of the jewelry I make are one-of-a-kind pieces so there’s little room for customization but I do enjoy making commission pieces. The design and creating process of making something for a specific person is such a challenge and so fulfilling, if I do my job right. Above all, I strive to create pieces of wearable art that speaks to the person who wears and treasures it.
Q.: What are your future plans? We all know that Covid-19 has changed everything about our world and the way we live our day-to-day lives. It’s hard to make definite plans in a situation that keeps changing, from one day to the next. My overall plan is to continue to create pieces that truly come from my whole heart and that embody greatest creative efforts. You’ll be able to find these pieces at Atelier d’Emotion in NYC. I also hope to be part of a few events, over the next year.
Q.: Best advice ever received? “You can’t skip steps, it takes at long as it takes so be patient and go through the entire process.”–advice given to me by my mentor. It applies to my creative process and my life, in general.
Q.: Which is your most representative piece/creation and why? 100% My CA Poppies French Cuff Bracelet. It’s inspired by bold fashion, etched with my own print that references fabric, contains a double-sided cuff link with flower boxes overflowing with individually-made California Poppy flowers (a nod to my heritage), and the detail I am most proud of, an inner bracelet I designed and made over a period of many, many weeks of experimentation with a variety of materials. It’s what makes the bracelet a wearable piece of art.
For more info visit Anna’s IG account @annanavahandcrafted