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Metalworking, with Erica Sperrazzo!

I don't know that much about metalworking, but I do know that my friend, Erica Sperrazzo, who I met through the magic of last.fm and Edinboro University, is very good at it! SEE FOR YOURSELF

You can see more of her stuff here on Tumblr



recently, Erica announced her work will be available at Glass Growers Gallery, which is a pretty awesome local place. A big deal? Definitely. I've noticed Erica's art on and off the past few years I've known her and decided to ask her about things that I do not understand aka art and metalworking. Here are her very eloquent, and very verbose, answers! 


When did you start making metals?

Erica:  I took my first metals class sophomore year of college, round about six years ago, and it was definitely love at first sight. Prior to signing up for the class I wasn't even aware that my school offered metalsmithing. I was clueless! Jewelry design was something that had always fascinated me, but at the time I was actually a graphic design student. One of the requirements for my major was a 3D design course, and by some chance, a friend of mine had recommended a casting class to me. I signed up, not entirely sure what to expect, but by midterms I was brainstorming ways to completely rearrange my entire curriculum to fit as many metals classes into my education as I could before I graduated from college! I picked up a metalsmithing minor and took every single one of them.

Where do you derive your ideas or get inspiration from?


Erica:  In recent years, the content of my metalwork has been a bit more about abstract narratives drawn from personal experiences, beliefs, attitudes… For that reason it's always been a lot more cathartic than my other artistic endeavors. I derive inspiration from a number of different things -- passages I've read in books, observations made in my everyday environment, personal headspace, conversations I've had, various art movements…


As far as my aesthetic, I've always been really drawn to the natural flow of organic forms. I also really admire the cleanliness of the Bauhaus, a significant design school from Germany back in the 1920s, and this definitely stems from my graphic design background. So I often try to think about how my work is going to interact with the white space it will occupy as I'm designing it.

How did you get involved with the gallery? Is your work currently available anywhere else right now?


Erica:  I've always really enjoyed Glass Growers - the environment, the people, the artwork. Since high school I've been known to kill an entire afternoon in that place. Now that I'm really seriously trying to pave the way for myself as a metalsmith, it seemed natural to reach out to them about displaying and selling my work. I'm looking into selling my jewelry through other galleries in the area, but first, I'm in the process of setting up my own Etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/TinyErica. It should be up and running by mid-February. In the meantime, if you'd like to view my current work, you can find it at http://ericasperrazzoart.tumblr.com/.

What other forms of art are you involved in?



Erica:  Right now, jewelry design and metalworking are the dominant art forms in my life, but I also like creating illustrations by layering watercolors and fine tip markers on different kinds of paper stock. I've been approached by different people to do commissions with these illustrations in the past, and that's something I've always enjoyed. I also really love experimenting with typography, both hand-done and on the computer…I used to spend a lot of time designing books, and I'd absolutely love to get back into that eventually. 

What's your opinion on the local art scene?


Erica:  I have a lot of really talented friends local to the area who are paving the way for themselves as artists and entrepreneurs. It's really exciting to see, and we all support each other in our endeavors. Having that support system is more valuable than I can articulate. As far as the general art scene, I'm beginning to find ways to become more involved, but I'm exited to see how the arts are being embraced by more and more local businesses. A lot of places appeal to slightly different demographics yet they all have the same goal in mind: to support and promote art, artists, even musicians in many cases. It's great. We have a lot of fresh, young talent in the area, and that's really encouraging. It also still tickles me pink to spend time in the Erie Art Museum since it's been renovated. It's quite the lovely space!


thank you to Erica and best of luck to her! be sure to check out her art on ETSY, TUMBLR or- fairly soon! -at the Glass Glowers Gallery. 


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