Modern Metalsmiths in the USA
Sandra and Jim make kitchenware and decor with roots deep in purposeful design. "My husband and I are in it together," she says, "and we came at it from an academic and an art perspective." So while some manufacturers may be thinking from the start about the most efficient way to make something, Sandra joined a cultural movement of makers starting with thinking about an object as art and in reference to its place in society.
How did you get into your craft?
"From school. I had taken an Intro to Jewelry class because it sounded interesting, and I really really connected with it. My college didn't have a program, but they had an arrangement with other Boston area schools that you could take it somewhere else. So I ended up taking classes in Boston and then felt like it was just what I was really interested in doing." She pursue graduate school and received her MFA in Metals and Jewelry. "We really didn't know anything about manufacturing. We knew how to make ONE of something, but not how to translate that into making an accessible affordable product." In time, they learned, until becoming able to produce the elegant and useful kitchenware pictured here.
What do you look forward to the most in your work?
"The times we get to work on new products, and the discovery of having a new idea work out. As things begin to materialize, you have this moment of thinking 'This is gonna work'. It doesn't happen that often, but that's our goal."
What would you say to a young person who wants to do what you do?
"Oh gosh, I guess to think about, you know there's so much STUFF in the world. As a maker of things, you have a responsibility not to fill the world with junk. So I'd say A) Be responsible about what you're making, and B) Think about the context. Is this something that you want to be an affordable thing? Then make it affordable. You want it to be shown in museums? Ok make it that. There's a lot of things that occupy this quasi-space of 'Does this object have a context? Does it have a place in the world?'."