Randi Chervitz, a metalsmith, a jeweler, an artist. It is not hard to define who she is, it is clear in her jewelry.
Studied in Parsons School of Design and later transferred to the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, which is considered the “Harvard” of metalsmithing, under the teaching eyes of Richard Mawdsley, an American artist internationally known for his work in metalsmithing, who has exhibited his work at the Vatican Museum in Rome and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Randi graduates Cum Laude with a double major in Fiber and Metal; the two tools she will embrace to reach what is known as her signature work.
In 1991, Randi begins selling her work; jewelry pieces that explore fiber techniques in metal. As she continues to grow, she finds herself working in leadership roles in national and local retail stores, attending to arts, crafts and jewelry shows. These experiences taught her to respect the consumer, as well as created an understanding of how high-end, one-of-a-kind objects influence the mass market. Developing this knowledge has given her a unique perspective and understanding of how various market segments influence each other, and the impact that can have on artists choosing to make their livings through their art.
She says to be influenced by couture fashion, its history, expressiveness and relationship to everyday life, and seeks inspiration from fashion trends, media and interior design. “As silhouettes change, new jewelry shapes become important. Sometimes I try to follow the trends, designing jewelry that “works” for a season. But more often, I aim for pieces that respond to subtler cultural cues. Soft shapes, hard lines, and sizes of the work speak about how we feel in our lives at any particular moment. It is my job as an artist to reflect these feelings.”
Randi feels privileged to make her own living through her art-making, and is constantly exploring new ways to create texture through metal. Her crocheted surfaces are her trademark, and hammered and soldered linear techniques constantly reveal new directions. “Through my techniques, I examine formal artistic concepts such as line quality, pattern, composition, and wearability in jewelry. Lately, I lean toward symmetrical, graphic pieces with obvious pattern references.”
Chervitz begins the fabrication of each piece using traditional metalsmithing techniques such as sawing, filing and soldering. Then she finishes by crocheting stitch patterns that determine whether the piece has a soft or linear character. “I first picked up my grandmother’s crochet hook while taking a metal-smithing class in college. She taught me to knit when I was a child, and I always had good feelings about the individual stitches that make up a larger whole. Crocheting silver to make wearable objects quickly became my signature. From that exploration, I have continued on to add hammered metal, and a soldered, linear technique to my repertoire, as I continue to explore how assembling lines creates something significant.”
This artist assists to, and participates in, several shows every year, like the NY Gift and Philly Alternative. November 7th and 8th mark the dates for the second annual Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show. Twenty five of the country’s finest contemporary jewelry artists will present exciting handcrafted work at the Defoor Centre in Midtown Atlanta. Randi will be showing together with artists like Lena Marie Echelle, Ben Dyer, Thomas Mann, Lee Marracini, Helen Blythe-Hart and Danielle Miller, amongst so many other talented artists.
Randi Chervitz lives in St. Louis, Missouri.