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Artist Profile: Lorena Angulo

Artist: Lorena Angulo
Lorena Angulo

Lorena, when did you become interested in art?
I was born in Mexico, and due to my father’s job in public works we had to frequently move from state to state, what gave me the unique opportunity to grasp the various cultural and artistic expressions of the different regions of Mexico and our Spanish and Indian heritage. That unique experience help me develop my deep love for Art, and to see all the various types of art created by different artisans was amazing. Mostly for me the traditional jewelry wore by the native Indians in South Mexico, Chiapas and Oaxaca, are my favorites.

How were you introduced to metal clay?
I was introduced to metal clay by a wonderful Artist Jeweler and Teacher in San Antonio, Claire Holliday, in 2006 at the Southwest School of Art. Since that day I fell in love with this great medium. Metal Clay opened the door to a lot of people without silver smithing background to create jewelry.

Metal Clay gives me the freedom to create a piece in such a short time, for me that is incredible, it is like magic!

How would you describe your art work?
My art work is a one-of-a-kind jewelry that transmits a feeling and a story, mostly influenced by my Mexican heritage. It is simple, but at the same time is full of delicate details that enhance the beauty and uniqueness of the piece.

Every piece has its own personality. My work is very artisanal and folk art influenced.

Is there a tool or material that you can’t imagine living without?
Working with Metal Clay (Precious metal clay or Bronze clay) the needle tool is something that I can not live without. Most of my work has a lot of detail that I created using the needle tool.

Where do your ideas come from?
From my cultural heritage and influences from Mexico. I really like to create art that represents my culture and that gives people a story in every piece I make. I’m very influenced by all sources of folk art that express a cultural heritage giving me the opportunity to add “soul” to my work.

Would you tell us about your creative process?
My first step in creating something is to draw it in my design book as soon as I have an idea. I always carry my book with me because I never know when an idea may pop up. But most of my creating happens in the moment I have the metal clay in my hands. I let my feelings take over and I do not stop until my piece is finished.

Sometimes I start with an idea but while working with the metal clay the original idea may be modified, and I end up with a piece totally different than the one I was planning to do. In my case the creative process is very magical and natural. I loved to listen to music while I am working on my studio. The music is usually a mixture of latin american artists, folk Music and english singers ;-}.

What has been your favorite project, to date, in your career?
Wow, that is hard to say. I always think that I have the “favorite” piece but as soon as I make a new one that feeling changes. Every piece to me is special, but if I have to say one in particular, it will be my first Milagro Heart pendant I made last year. It was my first big piece and when I finished it I fell in love with it. It was very hard to let her go to her new home when it was bought at a gallery in Kerville, Texas last year, but it was very comforting to know that the new owner happens to be a
person who really appreciates artisanal works and its uniqueness.

What certifications/honors have you received?

Rio Grande Master Artisan Certification, my work has been featured in the “2008 PMC Guild Annual II , Exceptional work in Precious Metal Clay” book and in the coming book from Barbara Becker Simon, “Metal Clay Beads” that will be publish in April 2009, one of my pieces is going to be on the Gallery section of the book.

What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?
Knowing that at the end the work will be finish and more beautiful that I ever thought.

Sometimes the pieces that get tough end up being the best pieces. It is like we always said in Mexico:
“Cuando te caen limones acidos, ponle azucar y haz limonada”
“When you get sour lemons , mixed them with sugar and make lemonade”

What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry
To not be afraid and enjoy doing what you are doing. Be the best cheerleader of your work.

Everything that has been made with your own hands deserves respect and a lot of love and confidence.

Since the moment you created something with your hands, you have to consider yourself an artist.

Art does not have limits. Reading books and looking for new techniques all the time it is also very important.

We need to be open to learn new things and experiment.

What takes up the majority of your time besides your art?
My two beautiful kids, Christian (10) and Veronica (6), and my awesome husband Jorge who supports my art a lot and has been the best cheerleader of my work. He was the first one to tell me that what I was doing was beautiful and that I needed to promote my work and called myself an artist.

I am blessed to have the family I have and very fortunate after all we went through with our beautiful daughter that was born three months early with only 1 Lb 11 oz. She is our miracle baby and the best teacher we all have that perseverance paid off very good at the end. Both my kids are my inspiration to always move forward and enjoy life at its best.

What are some of your other favorite things, including your favorite comfort food?
Of course, Mexican Food!!!! But the real Mexican food not the tacos with lots of yellow cheese and sour cream. ‘-}

The authentic Mexican food takes me to my childhood and I am happy to feed my kids with the same foods I used to eat.

I loved the food that my husband makes too!!! He is from Argentina and makes amazing things that our kids enjoyed too.

Book: Right now I am reading, “Three cups of tea” by Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin. This is for my personal reading ;-} I love to read anything but lately I have been buying a lot of technique and workshop books relate it to silversmithing, jewelry making, enameling, Precious Metal Clay, Resin, Mixed media jewelry and I am waiting for the first book about Bronzclay ;-}.

Color: I am a rainbow person. I Like all the colors of the rainbow ;-} and if they are bright better for me.

Other hobbies: I make Folk Art and metal embossed pieces.

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