Hello Astari, and congratulations on your Gran Prix prize winning piece for the Silver Accessory Contest last year (2013). I am sure that the trip to Japan for the prize ceremony and meeting other prize winners from around the world that day was a fantastic experience for you. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience?
Thank you! To be in Japan and received the Grand Prix was an amazing experience. There were so many fantastic pieces displayed at the Silver Accessories Contest exhibition and I enjoyed meeting other artists. The party after the award ceremony was heart-warming. It was an experience of a life time, I am deeply grateful.
Has anything changed for you as an artist since then?
This was like a confirmation that I should keep doing what I do, developing my style and experimenting with new challenging design ideas even though sometimes it really requires lots of efforts and patients.
What inspires you to keep working and creating with Art Clay Silver?
Its versatility. I could create any shapes from a lump of clay. This fits me as I like to express my thoughts and ideas with unique shapes and combine these with materials such as glass and stone. The New Mokume Gane technique also offers me even more possibilities to push the limit and make my ideas into reality.
For those people who are just starting out with metal clay, and those more experienced artists and instructors that feel that they have reached a plateau with their work, do you have any words of advice for them?
I would say keep creating and developing your own style, don't compare and take your time. Especially when someone is just starting it could be overwhelming now to see other artists' works. However everyone started from nothing at one point and you just have to be yourself along the way.
It seems that the quality of work in Europe has improved rapidly over the last few years. What do you think is behind this rapid change?
Metal clay is a very approachable material. Once you get a hold of the basics, you can go really far with your creativity. Many European artists that I know are actively taking classes, showcasing their work and communicate, which creates a great creative vibe.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, and we look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.
Thank you for interviewing me, it's a pleasure!
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