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Metal and Glass Art Jewelry Interview

Adrienne Warber
Ring by Angela Alberto

Jewelry artist Angela C. Alberto expresses her thoughts on life through her metal and glass art jewelry. She shares her vision of the world through her art.

About Artist Angela C. Alberto

Angela C. Alberto is a Philadelphia-based jewelry artist who works primarily in metalwork and glass. She received her BFA from the University of Arts in Philadelphia, PA, in 2007. Angela also has art teaching experience and has shown her work in many exhibitions.

Metal and Glass Art Jewelry Interview

Angela always loved art and adornment, but she was surprised when her educational path led to jewelry design.

Early Inspirations

LoveToKnow (LTK): Did you always know that you would pursue jewelry design as a career?

Angela Alberto (Alberto): Jewelry was such a huge part of my life. In high school specifically, I wore bracelets up to my elbows and five necklaces at a time, with fingers full of rings. The art of adornment was alive in me before I knew I wanted to make my own jewelry.

So I went to University of the Arts in Philadelphia Pa. My intention was to become a photographer, but then I took an elective in jewelry making.

I remember thinking to myself that the process of jewelry making was so foreign, so other worldly, so full of tradition and history, that I wanted to conquer it. I wanted to learn all there was. So my journey with jewelry began then and still continues today. I do not consider jewelry as my career; it is just another thing that I feel passion towards. It is just another part of me that makes up my creative being. The process of making becomes more important than the actual selling or outcome of a piece. To me, it's about the energy I am putting into the work, and that piece then becomes a sentence of a specific time period in my life's journey.

Angela Alberto

Style and Techniques with Meaning

LTK: What type of jewelry techniques and materials do you use in your work?

Alberto: I have a huge love of silver; it is a very forgiving material and is rich with history and meaning. The fact that is does not tarnish while worn on the body and becomes more polished as it is worn just astounds me. I recently melted down my old [gold] baby charms and chains and drew it down into wire to use in my work. To add a small piece of gold in a piece is to add more history, more value, and since it's from my old charms and chains, a piece of my past. To use both these materials is a joy.

While I work, I try my best to place my entire concentration on what is in front of me. Filing, sawing, piercing, soldering, it all is a working meditation of movement. My most recent joy has been pushing myself to see how small I can pierce out a design. The design is not pre-planned. It is also a part of my working meditation.

LTK: How would you describe your jewelry style?

Alberto: I am very influenced by other cultures' adornments, specifically Thailand, most Middle Eastern jewelry, and Eastern European [pieces]. Nature is a huge part of my life, so I feel that those influences can be seen in my work. I see it as organic with tiny hints of various cultures.

Alberto Necklace

A Passion for Jewelry

LTK: You state in your blog artist statement that, "My jewelry is a piece of me, a small fragment of the passion that I possess for life and adornment." In what ways does your jewelry relate to your life?Alberto: I can look at a piece and place myself right back into where I was at that point in my life. I can think of the joys and sorrows that were going on. Again, the meditation of movement in my work is how I place a piece of myself in whichever piece I was working on at that moment. I have to make the time to center myself if I truly want to finish a piece. This concept is also prevalent in other aspects of my life, and I practice yoga and horseback riding, both which require present moment awareness.

Symbolic Jewelry Collections

LTK: Could you describe the glass and copper Desire of the World and You necklace? What techniques did you use to create it?Alberto: The Desire of the World and You was created my senior year of college. I was working between the metals studio and the glass studio. I became heavily influenced and involved with cold stained glass work. I used a technique called electroforming, which is the process of plating metal onto a copper paint solution using electricity, acid, and copper bars. First I carved the glass pieces, then lined them with copper foil, connected them to the electroforming tank, and plated them over a period of days. You have to start the electricity slowly to create a strong layer of metal, then speed it up to create the bumps and lumps, then slow it down again to strengthen the piece once more.

LTK: What inspired the gold and silver Sleep When You Die ring and bangles series and the Urgency of Life series? What is the message behind them?

Alberto: I began a small experiment. I wore so many of these [bracelets], 15 at a time on each arm. My goal was to give a piece of myself [through the bracelets] to people or places that inspired me or moved me in some way. At one point, I kept track of how many I gave away. I believe the list was up to 37 people and 2 countries.

To give a bracelet was an act of giving a piece of myself to whomever I thought worthy to deserve it, especially if I felt moved by an act they made or if I saw that were giving a piece of themselves to me.

Angela bracelets

Reactions to Angela's Jewelry

LTK: What do you hope people will see in your art jewelry and feel when they wear it?

Alberto: I expect people to see whatever they want to see with my work. I do wonder though, if people can feel the energy in my work, feel my sense of self. I try to bless each piece and send joy through it for whoever the wearer is.

For More Information

To learn more about Angela's metal and glass art jewelry, visit her website and blog. Angela does her work on a commission basis. Inquiries can be made at her website. Her jewelry can also be found at the following galleries and boutiques:

  • By Hand Gallery, in Haddonfield, New Jersey.
  • Mar Mar Jewels in Block Island, Rhode Island
  • ZUZU Gallery in Collingswood, New Jersey
  • Hemporium in Bar Harbor, Maine
Metal and Glass Art Jewelry Interview