Monday, November 23, 2009

Michael David Sturlin- AZ treasure

Metalsmiths Unite
Blog Interview with Michael David Sturlin 11/17/2009

How would you describe what you do as an artist?
I'm a goldsmith and studio jewelry artist. I work with precious metals and gemstones.

what inspires your designs?
Minimalism, practicality, functionality. My design aesthetic tends towards simplicity.
My basic inspiration comes from combining skill with tool and fluency with material.

how long have you been involved in this type of making? (how did you start?)
Nearly 40 years, professionally for 35 years, I started making jewelry in 1970.

where are you located?( email if you want to share, or city/town that you live in)
I have a private studio in Scottsdale Arizona. My email address is

do you have a website or etsy/artfire/1000market etc store? (list url here)

what other ways do you market your work?(shows, galleries, brick and mortar stores)
My jewelry is represented in galleries. I don't currently sell work online.

do you teach? if so, where-
I'm a faculty member at the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco
At this point in my career I am devoting the majority of my time to teaching. I work with students at all levels from beginners to accomplished professionals.
I also offer private instruction and group workshops in my studio and I teach extensively as a visiting guest artist.

any sage advice for newcomers that you would like to share?
Focus on skill development. Start by working with simple tools and traditional techniques. This is the most useful foundation for building the vocabulary to produce work which will bring forth a recognizable style and develop into an artistic identity. Skill comes first, then, as fluency increases, individuality in expression follows.

where do you envision your work going in the next year? (artistic direction)
I will be teaching more advanced intensive workshops and longer programs at fewer venues. This will provide the opportunity to work with the participants at a deeper level.

anything else you would like to share?
Wherever a person works, it is important to think of that space as a studio. Whether it is just a kitchen table with a couple tools, a closet, a corner in a basement, or a well furnished room, the attitude and perspective of the practitioner is more important than the physicality of the environment. Thinking of the work area as a studio sets the right frame of mind and cultivates the intention to produce good work, regardless of how limited the facilities might be.

Many thanks to Michael David Sturlin for taking the time to give us a glimpse into his work and teachings- It has been a real pleasure to get to know him through Metalsmiths Unite and our mutual Arizona connections- I look forward to many more opportunities to converse and hope to see him here in Tucson during the Gem show! 

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed the interview, especially the comments about an artist's studio. I was really impressed by YOUR studio pictures on facebook. What a great place to work!