Ft Hills Artists Gallery
Interview with Artist Julie Gilbert
What is your medium and why did you chose it?
I work with metal and stones to create wearable art and jewelry. I like the strength of metal and the beauty of the stones. The "building" process is often challenging and always rewarding when complete. I also like when my work brings joy to someone else.
How long have you been making art?
I was pretty young when I began creating. One of my first accomplishments was sewing. Home alone from school one day (I believe I was in third grade), I was bored and used my Mom’s sewing machine to make a pair of shorts which actually fit nicely. I began hair design school at the age of 17 and throughout my life have challenged myself creatively. I began making jewelry with wire wrapping and beading in 2009.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I see inspiration everywhere. Nature is a huge inspiration for me. I feel inspired by how the earth morphs minerals into beautifully colored gemstones. My Mom who is quite creative is also a big influence for me.
What does your studio look like?
My studio is a small room connected to my home. I have a nice large window overlooking our beautiful back yard. It’s such a peaceful and often messy space in which I find true solace.
What is your favorite time of day to make art?
Any time is great for making my art. I am more of a morning person so I usually begin early in the day. I am in charge of meals for my family so dinnertime is usually the end of the workday in my studio.
Do you listen to music or have complete silence when you work?
I actually have informative television on for background sound. I am more interested in history now than when attending school so I listen to a lot of historic programs that focus on how things work and how things are made. Travel shows are also exciting to me. I love game shows and often shout out the answers to the questions. Home and furniture renovation shows pique my curiosity as well.
Describe your creative process.
My process often and most likely begins with a sketch of an idea. From there, if I’ve never worked through the particular process I create a model with card stock or foil. I write the steps out on a file card before I begin and edit that info as I move through the process. The file card helps me create similar projects in the future - even if it is years from the first creation.
What else would you like people to know
about your art?
My art is not just for women. It is for anyone who enjoys wearing art. The pieces range from pendants, earrings and bracelets to bolos, belt buckles and cufflinks - all made to be worn by any gender. I show my work in this and one other local gallery. I attend and show my work in 2 local shows every November including this year, in spite of the current state of affairs. I competed in a contest in 2019 and 2020 in which I placed 2nd in my division and 3rd overall. One of the competition pieces is shown below.
Many Mines Cross
Large Turquoise and Chainmaille Bracelet