Q&A WITH JULIE COHN
What was the most challenging part of learning to make jewelry?
Jewelry is very labor-intensive. I like immediate gratification and am not an extremely patient person. I don't have the patience or dexterity to be a bench jeweler.
I am self-taught and create to the level of skill that I have, and if my work requires a greater level of precision, stone setting, or detailed fabrication I will collaborate with a bench jeweler. I am always learning and perfecting my craft.
How would you describe vour style?
My aesthetic is inspired by Etruscan, African, and other ancient jewelry.
There is a simplicity in that style that is also very modern to me.
What are your ravorite materials to work with?
My favorite material to work with is gold. While I love the luster, color, and history or bronze jewelry, it is a very difficult metal to work with.
Your husband is an acclaimed landscape archirect. Do you two bounce ideas off each other?
Our creative dialogue is about our house, garden, interior design, and architecture.
While I derive a lot of inspiration from the beautiful, lush garden he created, which is the view from my studio, we don't often discuss my jewelry designs.
You've been successful in many different fields. What are you most proud of?
For 35 years, I have been part of a women's political art collaborative called Toxic Shock, composed of sculptor Frances Bagley, photographer Debora Hunter, artist Susan Magilow, and my late business partner, photographer Linda Finnell.
While we have not made any new work since the late eighties, we stay in close touch with each other. In 2013 Leigh Arnold, a quest curator al the Dallas Museum of Art, asked us to show several of Toxic Shock's pieces in a 50-year retrospective of the Dallas art scene. It was very validating for our contribution to the art community.
What will your next creative pursuit be?
I would love to learn 3D rendering. So, l could design on the computer and print my jewelry. I love the idea of creating organic design with a mechanical process. I am definitely a person who lives to work and learn.
LAUREN SMITH FORD IS A WRITER AND STYLIST IN AUSTIN