Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Featured Artist: Kevin Kamalu

You can find Kevin's work in his Etsy Shop, Rocknwow.

Kevin's favorite techniques include metalsmithing, wirewrapping, beading, and precious metal clay. He uses fossils, stones, leather, shells, glass, and metal to make his jewelry; he quips, "the list of things I don't use would be shorter!"

Kevin used a fossilized Great White shark's tooth, gold-filled wire-wrap, ostrich shell heishi, yellow jade(serpentine/chrysolite) and natural unstablilized turquoise to make the necklace on the left. He said, "I loved utililizing the best of everything I had in stock...too many times I've made compromises to keep costs down."

Kevin likes the intimacy and small scale of designing jewelry, saying impishly, "I like anything I can hide in two hands."

An art major in high school, he took everything "art" he could. He continued his art education in college, and, more recently, has been taking metalsmithing open studio courses. He describes himself as mostly self-taught, learning by experience.

Kevin describes his lifestyle as, "One woman, one dog, one garage that can't fit a car," and describes his approach to jewelry designing as, "mixing the organic with the mechanical and finding a balance."

The necklace on the right is made with Tibetan Sherpa coral (glass), Tibetan Copal, Sponge coral, bamboo coral, red jasper, gemmy travertine, Indian Naga glass and seed beads with a modern czech glass button for the clasp. When asked when this necklace could be worn, Kevin offers, "Black evening dress, denim jacket and the center of attention at a party."

He admits that he gets his inspiration from bones, machinery, anatomy, buttons and smiles; his sense of wonder and fun is very evident in his work and in his words.

A full-time jewelry designer, Kevin quit his day job two years ago, but admits with a grin that, "I mop the floors and do laundry now."

When asked how he hopes people feel when they wear his jewelry, Kevin replied, "What sacrifices do I have to make to get another one?"


Laurel said...

Very nicely done! Kevin you are an interesting guy.....and so talented...I love that big Orange necklace.....YUM!!!

Laurel said...

Great article! Kevin you are such an interesting guy!

I love the orange necklace.....YUM!!!

Leilani said...

Very the eclectic use of materials and the earthy feel.