Meet the Winter Workshop 2019 Instructors
A Philadelphia native, I moved to San Francisco in 1995 and had many jobs - lifeguard, accountant, muralist, bartender - before discovering a passion for metalsmithing. The Bay Area landscape provides constant inspiration. It’s the perfect intersection of the man-made and natural worlds and nature always seems to have the edge.
As you walk around the city you'll see decayed structures overgrown with vegetation or view the Golden Gate bridge from jagged cliffs with cypress trees growing sideways from the wind. The city’s been almost leveled by earthquakes twice and rebuilt twice. These are constants reminder that civilization is tenuous and fragile - we can never control nature, and can only thrive when living in accordance with it’s principles.
Juxtaposing earthy textures with clean lines I try to make jewelry that reflects the spirit of this environment- it’s urban and organic, edgy yet sophisticated. Each piece is crafted for everyday wear using recycled precious metals and ethically sourced stones.
I studied classical goldsmithing at the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts where I’ve been teaching since 2011 and I support Made by Survivors, an NGO that rescues, educates, and employs survivors of human trafficking and slavery.
When not in the studio I love hiking, camping, seeing live music and enjoying the bounty of the beautiful place I call home.
Contemporary Jewelry Design Group
Bay Area Metal Arts Guild
2014 Art Domain Group’s Arts and Crafts Design Award nominee
2014 MJSA Online Design Challenge participant
2013 Niche Awards finalist
2012 Top 5 finalist, Halstead Grant Competition
2012 Mort Abelson Award finalist for New Designer of the Year
2012 Runner-up, American Jewelry Design Council’s New Talent Competition
By nature I am a collector. Not only curating objects, but concepts, attitudes, and memories. I’m drawn to unique things with age and character. It is why I appreciate antiques, and why I find the fine cracks on the surface of a beautiful Baroque painting so appealing. My work explores the concept of curating, expressed usually, but not exclusively, through nature-based themes. The individual traits that make an item unique act as a catalyst for my work. Gathering spectacular traits from multiple sources, I create a composition that celebrates the original. Some sources are obvious and some are not, but all are edited by my curator’s eye.
Although some of my work may have different thematic content, it is all linked by these unique qualities. Whether it is the symmetry in the gills of a mushroom, or the natural process of age and decay, my work tries to capture and emphasize those special properties.
About Patrik Kusek
Patrik’s experience in the worlds of design and fashion helped shape his creative vision and brand. He is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and The Academy of Art University. He worked as a Fashion Stylist at Macy’s San Francisco and was the owner and Creative Director of Wallop Design Group, a graphic design and branding company. He currently is able to pursue his passion as a jewelry artist and instructor. He teaches metal clay workshops in the San Francisco Bay Area and internationally. Patrik is a member of the PMC Guild and is both PMC Guild Certified and Art Clay Certified. He is one of 9 senior instructors for Rio Grande and teaches PMC certification workshops internationally. He was a featured artist on HGTV’s “That’s Clever.” Patrik’s work has been published in numerous books and publications. He is also the recipient of the 2007 Saul Bell Award 1st place in PMC. Patrik has also recently been featured in Ornament Magazine.
My appreciation for all that nature has to offer began in my early childhood. I grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
I learned to hunt and fish from my dad, which furthered my love for the outdoors. When I began creating jewelry during my years in high school, my first piece was a necklace of shark’s tooth, bone, hand carved beads, and leather. I never took the necklace off and friends soon expressed interest in my work. As the years passed, creating jewelry was always on my mind, and I enrolled in the Haywood Community College- Professional Crafts Jewelry Program.Two years later, I graduated with honors and distinction.
My dream was taking shape. My awareness of nature’s inherent beauty teamed with my new artistic knowledge and skills fueled my passion to create. I believe in the early arts and crafts philosophy that craft- makers should use materials that are local and familiar to them. And so, when I leave a trout stream, my pockets are often filled with such treasures as river stones and twigs. Back at my studio, these materials come together with precious metals and gems to form designs that I love, designs that are Precisely Natural.
Awards & Distinctions:
Award of Distinction: Haywood Community College 2004
Best New Selling Artist- Grovewood Gallery 2004
Award of Excellence- Grovewood Gallery 2006
Buddy Patton Scholarship Award-The Rosen Group 2007
Southern Highland Craft Guild Member 2007
When teaching, I tell students “We’re all our own worst critics, but you’d be surprised at what other people find inspirational and beautiful.” For me, taking an idea in my head, seeing it come to life and truly become a thing of beauty is exceptionally fulfilling. Taking a rock, something produced by nature with no value except for its properties, then cutting, grinding and polishing it to make a gorgeous piece of art in its own right is rewarding to my soul. I hand-fabricate all the gold or sterling silver jewelry with traditional techniques, and slab, cut to fit, grind and polish stones for my work.
My philosophies as a craftsperson are to create exceptional jewelry you don’t see every day, to always challenge myself to raise the bar, and make something truly stunning. I love the inherent properties of the different stones for use in functional, timeless jewelry. I have always been attracted to clean lines of designs, letting the stones speak for themselves in the silver/gold work I create around them. Simple can sometimes be better.
I usually work in Sterling silver, once awhile in gold, to produce the envelope for setting rough (unfinished stone) into channels, then thru grinding, shaping and polishing, create a unique piece of wearable art. The stones inherent properties, whether it be flash, color, texture, or drama, I try to work with as an artist to truly reveal the essence of the stone. Mother nature makes some beautiful art.
I try to find unique, unknown stones to create works of art. Different stones have different properties, so working with them can be challenging within the context of maintaining the framework of the silver/gold smithing done by myself, sometimes a design has to adapt. I also like using local minerals, geodes, and fossils in my work, again it is about the story the mineral, fossil or gem is telling.
I have been selling my work at local and midwest art fairs for the 8 years, with a local following, and some print press. Currently, I belong to Art in Hand Gallery in Zionsville, faculty at Indianapolis Arts Center and William Holland Lapidary School. My work has been successful at Art in Hand and fair venue, I developed an emphasis on branding of myself, look of my work, card-take away info of the work. I am focused craftsmanship but, value and quality of work for the price.
My focus on quality craftsmanship combined with a streamline look with distinctive stones is inlay is very unique, and inspired. I want to create wearable art that I am proud of, and proud to be doing in Indiana.
I am a working artist located in Indianapolis, IN. I have worked in multiple mediums, 2D and 3D work. Art has always played an important role in my life. Since I was a child I have always had a fascination with making objects. I find inspiration in the world around me. Whether it be from other visual mediums, found objects, or how a particular material speaks to me. I feel there are endless opportunities for inspiration as long as I am open to perceive it. I earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Furniture Design and Sculpture from Indiana University Herron School of Art and Design 2010. I have exhibited my work in local Indianapolis galleries, with a permanent installation at Indiana University Office for International affairs and have been published in House Trends Magazine. Woodworking had been my focus up untill 2013, when I began working with Chuck Bruce and started stone cutting and silversmithing I redirected my love of art, found objects and sculptural elements to unique contemporary jewelry and sculptures. I have spent the last five years working as a studio/teaching assistant to Chuck Bruce Designs and have participated in regional Midwest art fairs. I have embarked on my own teaching schedule at Berea Festival of Learnshops put on by the city of Berea Kentucky, as well as William Holland school of Lapidary Arts in Young Harris Georgia, and The Kentucky Guild.
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