ARTIST INTERVIEW: Jessica Winzelberg
Jessica Winzelberg is a Los Angeles based goldsmith and designer who launched her collection in 2011. She began 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. She lives in the Highand Park neighborhood of Los Angeles with her husband and Labradoodle.
An ode to color, connection and California, Jessica’s jewelry looks to celebrate the best things in life. Handmade in Los Angeles by Jessica herself or a team of highly skilled artisans, this jewelry is designed to be worn daily and bring a dose of color and beauty into the lives of the women who wear it.
We spoke to Jessica, a longtime EPCF artist, about her creative process.
Do you think community is important to creativity?
I think community is essential to creativity. Very, very few things get created in a vacuum and if they do, they could have been done more quickly or adeptly with the use of community. Bringing ideas to life is challenging. We can all do our best work and live our best lives when we leverage each other’s strengths and experiences. Many of us face similar challenges in trying to run our businesses and also live our lives in a beautiful, harmonious way. When we support each other, our worlds get exponentially better.
What criteria do you use to evaluate your own work?
Is it beautiful? Is it joyful? Is this a product only I can design? Does it excite my customer upon first glance and make her happy when she wears it? Is it comfortable on the body and will it wear well? Can it become a well loved signature piece for my customer? Is it necessary for this product to be on the market – does it stand strong amongst the incredible amount of product on the market?
How do you define success, or what does failure mean to you?
Success to me is being able to create a beautiful product on my own terms and in my own way – not by what the market dictates but by what I believe in my core. It is the ability to only say “yes” to that which lights me up and I believe in. Failure to me is getting distracted and looking outside myself and my capabilities for validation or guidance in design.
How is your work inspired by nature?
My work is highly influenced by the colors and materials of Mother Nature. Sunset and sunrise shades, bougainvillea hues, the blue of the ocean against the turquoise of the sky – these colors tie into memory and the fabric of our lives. I always aim to channel them into my work. Nature is perfectly imperfect and always changing – nothing is static or stays the same for very long.
What are your most important artistic tools?
I’m a designer but also a craftsman – I take immense pride in that. It allows my work to be incredibly special and gives me massive flexibility and speed – I can quickly turn the ideas in my head to reality myself without having to rely upon anyone else if necessary! I rely upon my years of studio experience in addition to my 3D cad software, soldering torch, enameling tools, drill press, polishing lathe, tweezers and pliers.