ARTIST INTERVIEW: Jessica Winzelberg
Jessica Winzelberg recently launched her eponymous line of uniquely crafted fine jewelry. Sculpting metals and setting rare stones from her Los Angeles studio, Jessica’s work is defined by her unusual combinations: large rough cabochon stones are mixed with petite brilliant faceted colored gemstones and blended with Jessica’s trademark pattern motif metalsmithing. Jessica began developing this specific motif learning goldsmithing techniques while studying international business and finance at Washington University in St. Louis. Upon graduation, Jessica took a job in investment banking but soon left the world of finance to follow her love of jewelry design. After leaving her job, Jessica began studying goldsmithing full time and began work on what would become her first full collection for Spring 2011. We spoke to her about her inspiration and creative process.
What is your background and how have your past experiences fed into your art?
Before starting my line, I studied finance and worked in biotech investment banking. I quickly realized that my passions and interests were elsewhere, and left to learn classical goldsmithing. I still make most pieces entirely by hand with only the most beautiful, natural and rare materials.
Do you feel that your environment feeds into work and if so, what makes your work distinctively Californian?
My work is absolutely inspired by my environment and distinctively Californian in a few different ways. I am endlessly inspired by the light and by the color combinations throughout California. The hues and patterns of the desert, the ocean, the vibrant flora and fauna and the hazy sunset skies all inspire my work. I’m also greatly influenced by the luxurious natural Californian aesthetic. The local community also feeds into my work – I just adore the dedication to beauty, artisanal craft and creativity here.
What are your top 3 studio essentials?
For actually making jewelry: my torch, electronic calipers, lots of tweezers and pliers, and hand polishing materials to make the jewelry shiny. I also rely on cold brew, lots of organizational boxes and bins and beautiful sketchbooks, notebooks and pens.