Meet the Maker: Featured Artisan Magali Wuarin of Fifth Element Jewelry
Handmade jewelry for the minimalists, adventurers, kooks and characters out there! Magali of Fifth Element Jewelry creates pieces that people are intuitively drawn to and feel connected with.
Let's start at the beginning. When did you discover you wanted to be a jewelry designer?
I’ve been drawn to creative and tactile activities for as long as I can remember. Growing up I loved playing with clay and Papier-mâché as well as hemp, yarn, and wire. I made dozens of hemp necklaces and wire wraps as a kid and my mom, being the angel that she is, was always taking me to Michaels and to the bead store to wander around for my next inspiration. It wasn’t until college, however, that I took my first metalsmithing class and that’s when I truly fell in love with the art form. I was immediately drawn towards the juxtaposition between the process and the final product. The process involves saws and torches and hammers and dangerous chemicals; all that just to make these amazingly beautiful and delicate little pieces of jewelry. I’ve been a woman possessed ever since.
You say your style is largely based on intuition. Can you tell us more about this?
All I mean by an intuition-based process is that I go with the flow throughout the process of making rather than having a set plan to follow. It’s usually very free form and the image in my head of the final piece will continually evolve until the piece is finished. I really enjoy working long hours late into the night because that’s when the flow really begins to take over, and all of my inspirations (Eastern art, nature, balance) so naturally begin to take form in the pieces. This is especially true when stones are involved! They have as much of a voice in the outcome of the piece as I do. I know a lot of jewelers who wait for a stone to “speak” to them before deciding how to use it in a design.
You have mastered the look of sterling and copper together. What are your favorite stones to work with?
Thank you! Moonstone and opals are some of my favorites because they have such magical qualities to them, but other than that I love anything with a nice earthy tone to it: turquoise, moss agate, Moldovite, fossilized coral, tourmaline, etc.
Do you have a process by which you begin a piece from start to finish?
Everything pretty much starts out as a sheet of metal or a plain wire. Those are my blank canvasses and from there it’s just a lot of sawing, filing, sanding, hammering, and soldering until I’ve reached the point where a piece looks good enough to be shared.
What is your favorite thing about your workspace?
I like how minimal my workspace is at the moment because I already feel like I can do so much with what I have, yet with every new tool there is so much potential for growth.
What characteristic do you admire most in other makers?
The jewelry industry is so saturated and you’ll see a lot of talented makers that are just banking on trends, so I have the most respect for artists who stay true to themselves and their own authentic style. Artists like my friend Ace McCasland out of Colorado Springs whose work just oozes authenticity and creativity, or Hayley Josephs from Fort Collins whose work is so deeply personal it’s like you get a piece of her soul when you buy a piece from her. These are characteristics that I think are worthy of deep respect and admiration.
Clearly, this is something you too have made a habit of doing and your authentic style shows in your beautiful designs. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Meet Magali in person at our Spring Market this June 9th and 10th at Embassy Suites, 6201 Canyon Blvd., Boulder!
See more Fifth Element creations here: