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Interviewing Asimi - Anna Butcher

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Interviewing Asimi - Anna Butcher

Her jewelry is inspired by the fluid forms and granular textures found in volcanic rock and eroded limestone. Reproducing these in precious metals using controlled melting, she adds an array of precious stones. Born in England, she trained as a goldsmith in London and Athens, and now works in rural Greece.
- When did you start dedicating yourself to the world of contemporary jewelry?
All my life I have loved and admired jewellery, and started collecting interesting ethnic pieces from my travels from a young age.  In 1992 I began studying jewellery making at an art school in Athens, and then returned to the UK to follow an intensive technical course in traditional jewellery making course at Guildhall University.  From there I worked for a short time training with contemporary jeweller Malcolm Betts, and then went on to set up my own business designing and making contemporary jewellery in 1997.  
- What do you take inspiration from when you start creating a new collection?
Primarily I am inspired by nature - organic forms and shapes I see in rock formations (in particular volcanic rock), seeds, flowers, fruits and small pieces of driftwood.  I try to reproduce these in metal using various techniques.  
- What kind of work or material do you prefer?
I prefer to work in gold and silver, embellishing these with small high quality precious stones.  I like to make pieces which are wearable for every day, something which becomes a personal expression of the wearer and which people will associate with their image.  For this reason, once someone chooses to wear my work, they often then build up a collection of similar pieces which they can mix and match.  
- What are your points of reference in the world of contemporary jewelry and art?
A style which speaks to me on a personal and emotional level, be it through beauty or meaning or relevance to what I am feeling at that point in my life.  This is changeable according to my mood and therefore can change and develop over time.  I admire any artist who has a style that is unique and courageous and does not necessarily fulfil the expectation of the masses.  
- Three words with which you would describe the Artistar Jewels project.
Bold.  Enlightening.  Breaking down boundaries.  
- What do you think of the jewels that were on show this year? Have you been fascinated by any particular creation?
I thought they were varied, unique, in some cases beautiful, and in many unwearable.  These features all together made for a fascinating and varied exhibition which challenged the viewer’s expectations.  There were several artists and techniques on show which fascinated me in different ways.  Most particularly though I loved Shahpari Sohaei’s work.
- How would you define the atmosphere created on the 22nd and 23rd February nights of Artistar Jewels 2018?
Welcoming, inclusive, inspiring and supportive.  For me meeting the other designers was an absolute highlight, given that most of us work in such isolation.  But also the Artistar staff were fabulous - thank you for everything! 
- Would you recommend to other artists to take part in Artistar Jewels?
Absolutely.  Though I learnt that to be more visible, you have to make pieces that are big and bold and make a statement, even if they are unsaleable on a daily basis!  
- What were the services / opportunities that most pushed you to participate in the event?
The volume of promotion, the location during a week of maximum exposure and the chance to meet other artists and share ideas.  
Discover her beautiful creations here:

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