This article first appeared in The Independent Newspaper
Hamptons resident and German native, Sylvia Witzenmann, creates wearable art tailored for clientele. A classically trained goldsmith, her jewelry collection has gained popularity. It has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she also designed a collection for the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s 50th anniversary celebration, the exhibit traveled throughout the United States.
Witzenmann is also a painter. Her oil on canvases depict an array of global, human experiences, with titles such as Danger 911, Monsanto, Background Radiation, and Abu Ghraib. Each image features an underlying message about the interconnectedness of humanity.
What can guests expect at ‘Exploration of Gold’?”
Excitement. To learn about the formation of the element of gold in the universe and its appearance on Earth, along with the cultural history of the art of goldsmithing. There will be some examples and an exercise.
Why did you choose to do this presentation?
Golden Eagle is becoming such a fine artistic community institution for the young and the old. I am thrilled to be able to contribute to this effort.
How do you find your restorative jewelry pieces?
I love to recreate from old to new if someone comes in with an heirloom and wants to change the form, but preserve the memory.
Is each piece one of a kind?
Yes. It is a thrill every time to sit down and brainstorm.
What inspired you to make jewelry?
Coming from an industrial jewelry manufacturing town [in Germany], I never wanted to become a goldsmith until I was presented with the breathtaking, groundbreaking goldsmithing impulse by Rudolf Steiner of the Dornach School in Switzerland. As I will try to present in my talk, goldsmithing was, and is, an art form.
Is there a piece that portrays your signature style?
Yes, my rings. My credo is ‘There is a ring for every finger/hand.’ Let’s be wild, exuberant or withdrawn, elegant.
How Do Goldsmithing and painting complement one another?
Painting was always in my system. In my case, goldsmithing and painting enhance each other. Experiences gained in one can be applied to the other.
What captivates you about the human experience?
I would say it’s the ultimate question of transformation. In addition to Flight TWA I have painted a large tritptych to 9/11, which dealt with the sudden transformation from one level of existence to another otherworldly level.
To learn more about the artist, visit http://www.sylviawitzenmann.com.