Strolling through San Isidro, we enter the Lucy Mattos Museum and we find a showcase with artisan jeweler art and the best. Elena Angelini, is a goldsmith artist who produces her works in her own workshop in La Lucila. The hard work of working the metal, the crimping and the stones, makes the most sense when the customer bumps into his unique and personalized pieces. 'I have many ideas that I must adjust to the time of completion that is slow and demanding, but very satisfying,' says the artist and states: 'Each piece is somehow for me and I have to like it. And that's how I connect with the other through the piece.'
EEAM: Tell us how much time do you spend on jewelry?
EA: I've been doing full jewelry for 12 years. I took classes for 6 years, when I trained with Virginia Daza. I also ventured into gemology and sometimes the piece emerges to the starting point of the stone and its properties, and sometimes the design is the one that uses a certain stone. I was always interested in learning jewelry: I started with a course in the IUNA and then with Virginia, a full time, personalized Colombian teacher at her workshop in Microcentro who taught me the basics and secrets of jewelry and precious stones. We became friends.
EEAM: The reality is that each piece keeps its secret ...
EA: Yes! Each piece keeps its secret and its feeling. First comes the feeling. Then comes the realization. With my teacher, we were partners and started the Tairona project, with pre-Columbian designs that cover the culture from Colombia and regions that continue the Cordillera to the north and south of Argentina, thus uniting the origins of the indigenous peoples of each region.
EEAM: Exactly, I was going to tell you that your designs are reminiscent of pre-Columbian jewels ...
EA: The stage of the pre-Columbian line Tairona concluded although I still have some pieces. There was an evolution of design that has its own strength and is a quest for temperance and what the materials express, much more intense and risky.
EEAM: How's your encounter with the gems? How do you choose them?
EA: I approach the gems according to the moment of life that is passing the person and their life aspirations. They reinforce the process as facilitators, as bridging. Taking into account also the hardness, quality, beauty and intrinsic properties of the gems. Let us not forget that the stones were part of all matter in the universe and the sages of antiquity said that they were objects very sensitive to the vibrations or emanations of the planets, stars or all of them, there being a close relationship between both .
EEAM: Does the choice of metal or alloy depend on the same or does the choice of metal have to do with its functionality / aesthetics?
EA: Metal is key. Gold is the most important energetically and is the one that less deterioration suffers over time. Afterwards, the choice of it can vary and fits the customer's aesthetic taste, fashion, etc.
EEAM: What techniques of goldsmithing do you feel is the one that best relates to your work?
EA: I think the thing that represents me most is the lost wax technique, because it allows me to tackle the whole range of shapes and designs. Another technique in wax that I use is the flower pattern, natural elements and lace in antique cotton and silk, specially designed for precious and semiprecious stones. I also use and enjoy the work and design with acids that form openings and with enamels on metal.
EEAM: When customers contact you, do they ask you for something in particular? Do stones, colors or allow you, as an artist, to discover his piece?
EA: Customers who know my work, allow me to completely develop the designs and the choice of materials; is jointly a cost issue. Other people have a definite idea, catalog. Some ask me based on some event or special celebration stones specific for a piece, for example sapphire for 50 years of marriage. Most are usually those of the first case. In events such as weddings, where I make custom pieces for brides such as rings, rings, tiaras or brooches, the ideas I usually propose and show as a basis in my previous work and define a design as a whole.
EEAM: What do you think is the hardest part of working in the goldsmith's area?
EA: There are also customers who come to look for the new designs, since the process of creation and realization is in continuous renewal. With hope, I hope that through the intuition with which I elaborate the pieces, these are reciprocated and liked, since I do them without that expectation, as an adventure, without perceiving the results. Then, I'm always amazed. While I consider it difficult to open a project and show it, getting rid of the piece is often the hardest thing to do! But to sacrifice the piece is the possibility of continuing to create and fulfill other goals.
Each piece is somehow for me and I have to like it. And that's how I connect with the other through the piece.
EEAM: You said earlier, that you use the "lost wax" technique a lot. Many people heard of this technique, but not everyone is very clear about what it is. Can you explain it?
EA: The design of the piece is drawn on graph paper. Then you start from a high definition wax block where you take the exact measurements and start working in three dimensions, crossing the paper layout. If it is with a stone you work for the stone; if it is smooth, just follow the design and lines. Thus one begins to approach visually the design and is corrected at any time according to the success or not.
This often generates, during the realization, constant design adjustments, ergonomically, visually and symmetrically. During this process is performed and corrected continuously. Thus we must obtain the finished model, which melts in the chosen metal. Then the defects of the foundry are corrected and the polishing is done that gives the final finish.
EEAM: We know that in addition to working the metal, you also work imparting your knowledge in your workshop. What knowledge do you provide in your classes?
EA: In my classes I try to convey that each one has a capacity that makes it different from the other and it is amazing to see how sometimes the students surpass the one that teaches, in a personalized instruction and through their own style.
In my classes I adapt to the level of the student, from cutting welding, crimping, lost wax, enamel, acids, polishing and gemology, and then unite all the techniques in the student's design and style.
EEAM: Who is the audience that frequents your workshop?
EA: It is very varied the public and does not need previous knowledge. There have been architects, painters, as well as professionals from other fields, such as a neurologist, a merchant, craftsmen and clothing designers, etc.
EEAM: Of course, not only is it a hobby, but it can be a very good job opportunity for anyone who attends, without a doubt.
EA: Exactly, it can be a good job exit. In addition, working with the fine motor generates and stimulates states of relaxation and attention.
EEAM: We know that there is a permanent collection of your work at the Lucy Mattos Museum. How did you get there?
EA: Through an acquaintance who presented it to me, since she was in search of artists who worked pieces in metal with stones. Unlike other museums, Lucy Mattos has a space for the exhibition of goldsmiths. Thanks to his generosity, I give myself a space that I renew with different lines of design.
EEAM: What are your current and upcoming projects?
EA: At this moment I am putting together a series called Spondylus of rings and rings in gold and
emeralds, and another line of a design in wax. Also working pieces in garnet and gold.
INTERVIEW WITH ELENA ANGELINI
By Florencia Deleo for Expertos en Arte FD Magazine