For this month's artist highlight, we have Joseph Allen Designs. He graciously offered to take time from his busy schedule creating hand-stamped, inspirational, jewelry designs. Enjoy the interview everyone!
"Do something you love to do. Often when I am creating something new I ask myself this question: "If I sold 20 of these a day would I still enjoy making them?" - Joseph Allen
How did you become interested in jewelry design? I often share with others the story of how jewelry found me. It was 1987 and a beautiful spring day. I was hanging out with a friend of mine after school. He wanted to get his bicycle from his brother who just so happened to work at a jewelry manufacturing company. He went in to see his brother and came out with a job. "Cool, maybe I could get one too!", I said. And I did! I continued to work with various companies throughout the years until I finally decided to become self employed in 1999. What is your favorite metal to work with/why? This would be a toss-up between Silver and Gold. Gold is definitely the easiest to work with but the lower cost of silver allows me to have more freedom in my designs. Is there another artistic medium that you haven't tried yet, but would like to? Yes, metal clay. I am often amazed at the creative designs many artists are able to make using PMC. (Precious metal clay) There are so many hand stamped designs out there that I'm always trying hard to keep my designs different and I think this is an area that needs to be explored. I'm hoping I'll be able to explore this area after the holidays. What part of creating jewelry is the most appealing to you as an artist? Pricing it. Ha Ha, just kidding. It would probably be the process of putting it together. There is the designing, carving, cutting, casting, etc. but it is the part when you're getting the new design put together that is probably the most exciting to me. I've seen it in my head but then I'm able to see it turn into something real. What piece of advice would you give to aspiring artists? I've thought about this question for quite a while and decided to keep it simple and go back to the root of all aspiring artists. Do something you love to do. Often when I am creating something new I ask myself this question: "If I sold 20 of these a day would I still enjoy making them?" You can make one piece of jewelry for anyone in history... who, what would that piece be and why? Judy Garland. I've always had this idea for an 18k yellow gold and platinum ring. It is kind of a complex design but to put it simply it would have 3 diamonds set on each side of a large 2 carat round ruby. I think it would of went well with her ruby slippers.
Thank you for your interview! I am sure it will be an inspiration to many artists and creative crafters alike!