Updated: Jun 27
This is a new column that we'll be posting semi-regularly to highlight our members and their work. First up for this column is our long-time member, Alan Bremer.
Tell us a little about yourself
I love the sculptural quality and scale of jewelry. Jewelry is body ornament and talisman, personal but public. It is a work of art that is chosen to be displayed in public on the body. It is in motion--not static in a case or on a wall. As simple as a bobble or as complex and meaningful as any art, jewelry is personal and public for the creator as well as the wearer.
How did you get started in metalsmithing?
I became attracted to the craft of jewelry in my early twenties. Through my father’s medical orthopedic appliance business, I was familiar with machinery, hand tools and metal. I had always been interested in the arts and had worked in a jewelry crafts store in a tourist area of Florida. As stimulating as the Florida crafts community was, I was attracted to other forms of expression and commerce and moved to New York to study as a photographer and later as a videographer.
Over the next two decades, I built a career in photography and video, got married, and started a family. During all that time, I kept a small trunk with some of my jewelry equipment and tools--thinking that someday I would make jewelry again, if only as a hobby.
The opportunity came when our family moved to Atlanta with a transfer of my wife’s job. Out came the jewelry tools and this time, with more formal training through classes and workshops, I was able to put my full energy and heart into exploring the potential of the jeweler’s art.
Which materials do you create with most or which techniques do you use most? What do you like about these materials/techniques?
I create hand-crafted jewelry and decorative objects using silver, gold, and other metals. I also incorporate found objects and precious/semi-precious stones. I am inspired by learning, observing, and incorporating new techniques in my work.
I like to develop series of designs—exploring a new idea until I understand the technique and have taken it as far as I can. I often return to a series, adding new pieces and touches, after I have gained new competence and understanding.
Do you have any tips or tricks you'd like to share?
For several years now, I have been teaching jewelry making at Chastain Arts Center, creating and exhibiting my jewelry at shows and in galleries, and working with the Metal Arts Guild of Georgia to enhance opportunities for people to grow in their skills, engagement, and excitement with hand-crafted metal arts. I love sharing my knowledge and collaborating.