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Maker Moment: An interview with jewelry designer Lauren Passenti

Posted by Melissa Massello  April 17, 2013 12:00 PM

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Mass Art grad Lauren Passenti has a bit of a dark side. At least her jewelry does. Striking a balance between industrial decay and the natural world, Lauren's pieces are crafted of materials some might call strange, like coral, horse hair, and fur, and antlers. Even the jewel-like quartz is rough. Her pieces are tough yet elegant — you can check them out in person at CraftBoston this weekend:

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What's the first project you remember making/crafting?
The first thing I can remember making are birdhouses with my dad. I loved my mini tool set.

Most successful project? Biggest fail?
My biggest fail is underselling my jewelry for so long. It's a mistake every artist makes. I feel most successful when I finish a piece of jewelry that I struggle with and have doubts about. I always end up loving it.

What do you DIY the most?
My jewelry! It is so satisfying when I finish a piece at 1AM and wear it the next day.

Favorite tools/materials?
My favorite tools would have to be a hammer and an anvil.

Has a project outcome ever surprised you?
I shoot from the hip when I make work, I rarely sketch out designs. So I always surprise myself when I finish a piece of jewelry, put it on my body and look in the mirror.

What's the best advice you've ever received?
When I was at Mass Art, a professor said, "If you want to keep making work after school don't get a 'real job.'" I was like, I can definitely do that!

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What's your top tip for first-timers?
Take initiative yourself and finish what you have started. It took me at least two years after art school to feel confident in my collections.

Anything you DIY now that you never thought you would?
When you are an artist people are always telling you what to make. I never thought I would end up making bangle bracelets and loving them. It's funny to think about what you once used to resist.

What won't you ever DIY/when do you call in the experts?
My beer. I will definitely leave that up to the brew masters.

"When I'm not making stuff, I'm..."
I am currently studying the art of palmistry.

Thanks, Lauren!

Visit Lauren at the CraftBoston Spring show, Friday, April 19 through Sunday, April 21 at the Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Blvd, Boston.

~Tara

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the Authors

Melissa Massello is a newspaper journalist turned startup junkie and lifelong Bostonian who prides herself on her do-it-yourself attitude. From making her prom dress out More »
Tara Bellucci is a Boston-based writer that lives for fonts, food, and flea market finds. Whether decorating jars of her homemade jam for The Boston More »

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