Artist portrait of Nisa Blackmon

About me:

I am an enamellist and metalsmith who used to be a biologist. I feel strongly that artists and scientists are basically engaged in the same type of endeavor, so now I’m just entering a new phase as a full-time artist! I try to make work that is stimulating, unconventionally beautiful and unique and that challenges conventional ideas about jewelry. Recycling and repurposing is very important to me, so I’m trying to incorporate those kinds of materials into my work whenever possible. Currently, I’m making large, oversize brooches and neckpieces composed of steel wire frameworks adorned by swatches and fragments of found materials. I l would like to start incorporating that medium into these pieces as well.

Where do you feel most creative?

I feel most creative…. all the time!! I am constantly thinking about things I can make and designing new pieces or bodies of work in my head. It doesn’t seem to matter what time of the day or year it is, my creativity fountain is usually bubbling away! I probably work best in the afternoons & at night, but I’m always thinking about making.

What do you need to be effective?

What I need to be effective is: better time management skills! I am easily distracted, so a calm environment that lets me focus is important, too. Listening to music, or a book on CD helps me concentrate or churn through tedious tasks, respectively.

What do you do when you are stuck?

When I’m stuck, I usually try to do something different for a while. Work on a different project, or do other studio tasks that are not demanding, so my brain can work on the “stuck” issue.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I find my inspiration…everywhere!! (See #1) Seriously, there are a million different things that get me excited and give me ideas. All the amazing phenomena in science and nature, stuff I pick up off the ground, dance, politics & social issues, other jewelry & art, cool non-traditional materials, ordinary household items, museums of all kinds, etc., etc. I was peeling a label off a magazine one day and the barcoding on it gave me ideas!

Who’s your favourite artist?

My favorite artist: waaaaayyy too many to name just one. But here are a few whose work really inspires me or has been a big influence on me: Joseph Cornell, Martha Glowacki, Maria Phillips, Chris Ramsay, Ramon Puig Cuyas, Mirijam Hiller, Billie Theide, Elizabeth & Jessica Turrell, Sarah Perkins… I could go on.

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