Featured Artisan, Britta Ambauen: Jewelry to Inspire, Returns for Summer Market and Shares Insights
In designing her uniquely beautiful jewelry, Britta Ambauen balances simplicity and intricacy, sophistication and youthfulness, drawing inspiration from art, music and the great outdoors.
FF: How did you begin your handmade journey?
BAJ: After finishing a BFA program in printmaking at UC, Boulder, I did an apprenticeship at Angie Star Jewelry on Pearl Street, where I was first introduced to silver smithing: cutting, forming, soldering, wire work, and more. I found I love working with metal, which is so malleable: it can be delicate or substantial, elegant or earthy, or a combination of opposites. Add gemstones and acid etching to metals, and the possibilities of expression are endless. I worked different jobs for a few years, but always came back to my little jewelry bench in the corner of the living room where I experimented with designs. I started my jewelry business in 2009, and the great adventure began... seven years later, I still feel that I'm just getting started!
FF: What lead you to your current line of goods?
BAJ: My jewelry has evolved over the years, I've learned new stone setting techniques, and started casting components which allows for a more sculptural feel to some of our new designs. However, there are a few originals that I still make, because people still love them, and I still love wearing them. Just like in life, it's important to always be trying new things, expanding, and learning... but hang on to your roots.
FF: Inspiration comes from where?
BAJ: The journey. Life leads us to places we never dreamed of, and sometimes our dreams lead our lives in amazing directions. I try to capture how I feel along the way, and use jewelry to keep in touch with my truest intentions. Special, beautiful little art pieces that rest against our hearts, or adorn our working hands, can help us stay connected to our beliefs, the people we love, or our boldest goals for the future.
FF: What excites you for the future?
BAJ: Anything is possible.
FF: Any advice for makers and biz entrepreneurs new to our creative community?
BAJ: I watched this video about 5 years ago, and it had a profound effect: "The Art of Pricing for Profit." One of the things Tara Gentile tells us is that there's a myth: you can do what you love, creating your art or craft, BUT you'll have to settle. It's the "starving artist routine." Instead, change that story. Know that BECAUSE you are doing what you love, creating what you're passionate about, you can be MORE successful than you would be doing anything else. There are no limits to what you can achieve. Decide to be a "successful artist."
Shop and visit with Britta Ambauen Jewelry at Firefly Handmade Summer Market, July 23-24, 10am-4pm, Twenty Ninth Street shopping district , 1710 29th St. (between Canyon & Walnut), Boulder, CO.