One Discipline: Amy Rodriguez in conversation with Readymade
Culture — 06.01.20
In the second instalment of One Discipline, we introduce jewellery makers Amy Rodriguez and Readymade. Although they share a collective discipline, both have entirely different processes, producing a unique aesthetic.
Amy Rodriguez is a London-based artist. Her rustic craftsmanship is industrial whilst playful, embodying childhood fantasy shapes. Skylar, the Berlin-based artist behind Readymade, creates mixed media pieces from found objects. Her collections, unique to limited runs, are nostalgic of 2000’s futurism and aerospace engineering elegance.
Both artists unite here to discuss and delve into their radical ideas of design expression, gender fluidity, and the future of jewellery making.
Amy: What is your creative process like, and what sparks it?
Skylar: I personally draw inspiration from a huge range of things. Initially, I was intrigued by aerospace engineering and freak accidents from the 90s and early 2000s. But Sparks can come from anywhere, films, a childhood memory or a visceral feeling derived from a work of art. My day to day experiences and emotions shape the majority of my pieces. Creating limited-run collections allow me the freedom to tell these stories through my jewellery.
Skylar: What does the use of silver with the unusual forms you create express about your own identity?
Amy: Since I was a child, I craved for individuality as I could never identify with the people around me. I was a very strange introverted child who just absorbed the world around, travelling into the forms of nature, fantasizing to escape the day-to-day. This daydreaming transpires into my relationship with my creation of shapes and forms. New objects with no familiarity, rather piece embodying my imagination.
Amy: Describe your workshop environment, music, decor, smells?
Skylar: I’m frequently travelling setting up temporary studios. I source materials from all over, which in turn makes the reproduction of most pieces very limited. The environment in which I work is generally very chaotic. Entering my process, I experiment with assembling and disassembling. I’m also very fond of smells, no matter where my studio there’s usually an overpowering smell of resin, latex or steel. I’ve grown to be very comforted by these senses and translate these narratives into the jewellery I create.
Skylar: What inspired you to create your first piece of jewellery? What obstacles have you encountered?
Amy: My fixation with jewellery stemmed from a love of metal and sculpture making. Whilst studying silversmithing I started creating large scale sculptural pieces. My biggest obstacles were working within the constraints of the traditional school. With contemporary jewellery being so uninspiring at the time I had to develop experimental processes of incorporating specific silversmithing skills into something more outlandish and individualistic. It wasn’t until a year after graduating that I developed my own advanced techniques. I downsized my sculptures and they evolved into wearable art and jewellery eventually leading to the pieces I create today.
Skylar: What direction do you see the future of jewellery heading? Is its perception changing quickly?
Amy: Gender norms within the fashion industry are dramatically changing. I’m finally seeing jewellery designers creating increasingly cutting edge designs, breaking standard conventions by working with progressive materials and models. Highstreet jewellery is firmly gender normative. However, I think we’re reaching a movement in fashion where people are buying something for the true admiration and love of design rather than quick passing binary trends made from cheap metals.
Amy: Your creations similar to mine, are gender fluid, how important is this for you and why?
Skylar: This is the most important thing for us as makers! Most jewellery on the market today is extremely gendered and that’s something that needs to change. ReadyMade offers single earrings because a lot of our friends only have one ear pierced, which makes it difficult to buy earrings that aren’t specifically marketed towards men. In our eyes, forms and materials shouldn’t be bound to gender norms, and our jewellery is definitely here to prove that.
Skylar: Have you ever felt as though you needed compromise a creation or the way in which you showcase your pieces?
Amy: I would love to make more exaggerated objects or sculptural pieces. Although, as I’m a self-funded designer, it is important to create pieces that are wearable. Creating accessible design helps support me to create more radical and creatively charged pieces.
Amy: What would you most like to change about the world?
Skylar: I would love to change the expectations of traditional processes. I believe sticking to norms can be incredibly limiting. The name Readymade alludes to Marcel Duchamp and his Readymades. I think it would do a lot of good to change and expand people’s perception of things and to raise questions and spark dialogue in general.
As the start of a new decade approaches, these two forthcoming artists hope to continue engaging in radical ideas through new creative approaches. Beyond traditional collaboration, these emerging artists hope to develop an innovative sculptural design, creating an inclusive and accessible space and stance for jewellery in 2020.