● By Style
Photo by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.
Her pieces are best described as “wearable art.”
Inspired by nature, modern urban design, and small details in the world around her, Qian Fang uses unusual stones and rare gems to create one-of-a-kind jewelry.
AB: What attracted you to the art of jewelry making?
QF: I can’t live without art. It is in my genes from several generations of artists. For me, applied art is more attractive than pure art. When people wear my jewelry, it brings it to life—[it goes from being] a part of me to a part of them. To beautify and brighten people’s lives is the force behind my work.
AB: You’re very knowledgeable about the mineral composition and quality of the rare stones and gems used in your pieces. How does this knowledge affect the way you design jewelry?
QF: This is an interesting question. In truth, when purchasing gemstones, I’m most often attracted to a particular pattern or texture, without regard for its mineral composition. Many times, I have been inspired solely by the story or uniqueness behind the gemstone. As a result, sometimes the artistic design of my jewelry is not very practical for everyday wear (because of the particular stone or setting), but I want to be as informed and knowledgeable about the piece as I can, so that I can try to inform my customers of the particular piece’s limitations.
Photo courtesy of Qian Fang
AB: Do you remember the first piece of jewelry you made? How has your work changed from that first piece and how has it stayed the same?
QF: When I was a teenager, I liked to visit jewelry stores. At that time, jewelry designs seemed incredibly old-fashioned and I thought it was just a rule: Jewelry must look like that. Even as a teen, I thought shiny metals and stones should be unrestrained, so one day I made a pair of very simple jade earnings. Of course, today I use more sophisticated techniques, both more complex as well as more refined. However, my vision has not changed: it’s unrestrained.
AB: Most of your pieces are made with sterling silver, but a few incorporate metals such as copper or gold. How do you know what metal is right for a piece?
QF: Different metals give me different feelings. Gold is elegant and mild, silver is bright and delicate, and copper can have many variations. When I want to express different feelings, I will use a different material, or mix them.
AB: Where can people learn more about your jewelry and buy pieces? Do you have any upcoming studio tours planned?
QF: I’m currently working on my 2014 collection and am excited about my first showing of that collection, which will be May 10-11 at the El Dorado Hills Art & Wine Affaire. A limited number of my pieces are also available online at etsy.com/shop/qianfangartjewelry.
Visit qianfangartjewelry.blogspot.com for more information.