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Five for Friday with Laritza Garcia

Five for Friday with Laritza Garcia

Featured Artist:
Laritza Garcia
Austin TX

Where do you tend to find inspiration for your work or passion projects?
My Hispanic background shapes the notion that folklore has regenerative powers that can assuageemotional woes. Celebrations, songs and poems from my upbringing use humor and spirited attitudesto cope with troubling situations. I guide my jewelry designs with a similar focus on liveliness. My
collections present different graphic patterns like Garabatos (scrawl marks), Spirographs and recently Botanical Illustrations as a kind of visual antidote to the seriousness of the adult landscape.

Spun brooch trio
Copper, Sterling Silver, Powder Coat, Steel

Urban Scrawl
Copper, Sterling Silver, Powder Coat, Steel
How would you describe your personal style?

Characteristics of my visual vocabulary are bold tones and the conversion of linear drawings into three-dimensional objects. I create wearable objects that project colorful tones onto personal appearances in efforts to positively alter mood. Powder Coating is an important component of my process, it facilitates
the infusion of a wide range of tones into my jewelry work. Each piece starts with an original drawing and is hand sawn. The decorative craft Papel Picado, or “pierced paper” is the technical inspiration for showcasing pierced metal shapes. This technique involves cutting out elaborate designs from brightly colored tissue paper using stencils and small chisels. I love to combine new techniques like powder coating and traditional craft to create bright, bold new work.

Midday necklace
Brass, sterling silver, powder coat

Who would you say has been your biggest influence- style wise, personally, or
My grandfather, Maestro Jesus Hurtado, is an instrumental figure in expanding my understanding of color’s ability to modify mood. He has dedicated his life to the investigation of form and color and has been a deep personal source of inspiration. His painting studio, which housed a couple of young apprentices and his sons, was the backdrop of my childhood education. By watching him paint, I developed true respect for the rigorous absorption that craft skill requires. My love for step-by-step
process is rooted in the afternoons of my early childhood spent in the painting studio with my family.
His mentorship taught me to focus on color’s physical presence in the world around me. I learned that the physical presence of color is so intoxicating that it can help re-define the emotional landscape.

What is some professional advice you received that helped you navigate your current artistic projects + career path?
Learn to say no, so that "yes"es are stronger. As creative individuals we often juggle
multiple creative projects in addition to full time jobs and family life. This advice was
given by a wise friend when I was in grad school 10 years ago. I still have to remind
myself of it daily. Sometimes it is easier to follow than others.

Pictured with Texas State Metals alumni Josie Mayes and Charity Ridpath
What is your favorite piece of jewelry?
My favorite piece of jewelry is my engagement ring made my mentor at East Carolina University, Robert Ebendorf. It features a Mexican silver coin with an inset Yogo Sapphire in the front of ring and a steel spiral with a diamond inset in the back. It was a great treat to have Ebendorf come by my home to fit my ring size and pretend it was for someone else. Well done, husband!

Queen Bee
Brass, sterling silver, powder coat