Julie shares a bit about herself and her jewelry with us:
How did you get started as an artist?
I have always made things with my hands. When I was very little I sewed different colored buttons onto cloth with a needle and thread, and I just continued from there. I have no shame in calling myself a “craftsman” as well as an artist. I have always been inspired and moved by materials, especially textiles- fabrics, yarns, threads, beads. I have never “not” designed and made art with fiber and my hands.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your artistic career?
I was influenced tremendously by my mother, who is an artist. When I was young, she sewed clothing, crocheted, did wild stitcheries, macrame, decoupage, made jewelry with metal and as a fine artist she painted and drew. She was a gifted art teacher and always took me to museums, galleries and exposed me to art of all kinds. I was also inspired by Irene Miller, of The Knitty Noddy in Croton-on-Hudson, NY in the 1970’s. I would take the train for an hour ride along the Hudson river on Saturday mornings and work for a morning using any materials at all in the shop – knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, dyeing. It was a center of creativity and exploration for me.
What do you do when you need inspiration?
I do different things depending on my mood. Sometimes I get away from the process and hike or walk or run or swim to refresh my brain. Traveling is very inspiring for me, but I don’t get a chance to do it quite enough! Other times I look at my collection of books on fine artists, architects and craftsmen- Henri Matisse, Gustav Klimt, Paul Klee, Bonnard, Sean Scully, El Anatsui. I also enjoy Pinterest and am continually inspired by images there and sharing with other people. I also love to go to museums and galleries and am mostly inspired by work that is not in my medium!
Julie Powell cuff inspired by a painting by Sean Scully
Where do you find your best ideas?
I tinker and play in my mind with forms and colors that I have done in the past. I peruse my sketch book, which I keep daily, and take off from there. I look at jewelry and textiles from history and from my contemporaries. I draw, do watercolors and sketch constantly and have done so since I was in High School.
Describe a breakthrough moment.
I feel as though I have break through moments every day. Often I dream about an idea for a piece. I wake up and sketch it, and then try to execute the vision in reality. When I am able to recreate what is in my mind into a 3-D object, I find it very satisfying and fulfilling. Just that process is mind-blowing to me.
What do you love most about being an artist?
I love that I can be surrounded by colors and surfaces- tiny pieces of glass that catch the light, in all shapes and forms. I love the intensity of the scale and the engineering involved in designing and making. I love the excitement of a challenge, but I also love the quiet peacefulness of threading the beads one by one and weaving them in my fingers and through the tension of my hands. I love how any piece grows row by row, stitch by stitch, without knowing how it will emerge. I love that I can make mistakes and rip them out and try again. It is a fluid, meditative process for me. And I love working with color. Making piles of beads, jars of stones and stones and being surrounded by them as I work is heaven.
We’re thrilled to feature an exclusive online trunk show of one-of-a-kind necklaces and bracelets by renowned jewelry artist Julie Powell. Created entirely by hand, each exquisite work of art is completely unique — and available for a limited time only.