ARTWEAR 2015

Visit ARTWEAR at the de Young on May 1st and 2nd to meet a thriving community of local artisans who create one-of-a-kind jewelry and textiles, from handmade felt hats to earrings made from discarded books. We met three of these makers and asked them a few questions about their work, the museum, and what they're excited about in the world of craft and design.

Laura Bruland Shields
Yes & Yes Designs

What is it about wearable art that attracts you to the medium?

My goal is to make pieces that start conversations—all of my work is made from the covers of unwanted, outdated, or irrelevant books. Because my pieces are wearable, these are conversations that can happen anywhere, or any time. Growing up with two artists for parents (Richard Bruland and Dori Atlantis), from an early age art has been—and still is—a vehicle for experimentation and play...thanks Mom and Dad!

Anything you particularly love about the de Young?

The observation tower is so special; it opened up a whole new view of the city that didn't exist before. I love that the observation tower is free and open to the public—like a gift to San Francisco.

Can you tell us about some trends in art and design that you’re excited about now?

I love that recycling and consumption has become an important and visible theme in contemporary art. As an artist who works with discarded books, it's a subject I've thought a lot about. Artists like H. A. Schult and Veronika Richterova are particularly inspiring to me.

 

Jessica Wertz
Jessica Wertz Ceramics

What is it about wearable art that attracts you to the medium?

I'm attracted to the way wearable art enhances and alters a person’s image. My joy in creating jewelry is that it lives so intimately with the body. I want women to feel beautiful and empowered in embellishing themselves with one-of-a-kind art work.

Anything you particularly love about the de Young?

Being in the de Young, surrounded by some of the greatest talent and most dedicated artists, is a feeling beyond words. The feeling of being in a time portal to other continents and centuries makes me feel connected to the infinite creative. It's uplifting and sends me right back to my studio to continue making.

Can you tell us about some trends in art and design that you’re excited about now?

Higher value is being placed on small-scale makers, and we are being recognized for our authentic work. Let's hope that isn't a trend. As a ceramic jeweler I'm inspired by watching materials transform themselves in unconventional ways again and again.

 

Carol Lee Shanks

What is it about wearable art that attracts you to the medium?

Working with materials that guide and inspire my creative process allows my imagination to discover new and unique designs. Once these designs come together as a collection and are ready to be shown, I have the great fortune of an engaged and supportive audience who are confident and devoted to expressing their individual style by wearing handmade designer clothing. 

Anything you particularly love about the de Young?

The African and Oceanic collections in the museum speak to my sensibilities. The figurative pieces in particular because they evoke the spirit of the people who created them. The rough, raw and handmade quality of those pieces is so intuitive and genuine.

Can you tell us about some trends in art and design that you’re excited about now?

I'm excited that the appreciation of beauty within the realm of handmade work is thriving within our on-demand fast paced culture. That people are still taking time to pause, gaze and embrace art and design as an important part of their lifestyle.

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