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5 questions with Challenge winner Joanne Zammit

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joannezammit

We were so glad to talk to Joanne Zammit, one of the winners of our ASCEND Design Challenge in November 2016. Joanne lives in Malta, a very small Island in the Mediterreanean Sea.  Living on an island that is less than 17 miles long and 9 miles wide, the sea is never far away and is important to her not only for the inspiration that it provides, but also as a source of supplies.  

For ASCEND, we asked our readers to show us a piece of jewelry that represents a breakthrough in their skills, technique, or design aesthetic; a piece that climbed, moved or soared, sometimes literally and sometimes metaphorically. Joanne's piece, WaterFlow, was created in an effort to capture the feeling of moving water, and we think it was a stunning success. 

PinkSeaUrchinNecklace

WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN AESTHETIC?

I am a very no-frills person and I think this is reflected in my work. I favor clean design and tend to take things down to their minimum and add embellishments only as far as they are necessary, either structurally or aesthetically.  It’s not the first time that I remove elements from a work in progress to keep the design from becoming too fussy!  It’s not to say that all my work is minimalist, though. I like to design to “just enough”, which can vary from piece to piece.

ARE YOUR FAVORITE MATERIALS TO USE IN YOUR WORK?

Seed beads, glass beads, crystals, gemstones, I love them all, but my favourites are the natural sea urchin shells collected by my husband and sons during the Summer months for me to use in my designs.
Interlude

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN CREATING?

I have been beading for around 12 years but have been creating in one form or another since childhood.  I love to learn as an end in itself, and have studied Interior Design and taken courses in Decorative Painting and Pottery Throwing, among others.  When I discovered beading I was fascinated, and I knew that I wanted to learn more about jewellery making. I took courses in Jewellery Manufacture & Design as well as Silver Filigree, but beadwork is what I love most. I enjoy beadweaving and bead embroidery in equal measure.

BeadedBeadNecklace

WHAT IS YOUR WORKSPACE LIKE?

I have a very small room for my beadwork with all my supplies fighting for space alongside books, a filing cabinet, and a mannequin that I find indispensable for checking the drape and fit of necklaces and for showing scale in photographs.  When strengthening and varnishing my shells I work in the courtyard, any painting is done on the kitchen table and my sewing machine is in the bedroom.  My husband says I’m like a gas because I take up all available space!

Atlantis

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? ARE YOU WORKING ON ANYTHNG NEW?

I’m scheduled to teach in Italy and Germany in 2017 and would like to work more on tutorials and kits.  I’m also working on combining painting with beadwork.  I regularly paint my bead backing to match my beads and decided to take it a step further and make a feature out of the painted backing.  I plan on working on this to make handpainted supplies for bead embroidery.  

INTERESTING! WHERE CAN PEOPLE SEE OF YOUR WORK?

I can be found at  www.joannezammit.com

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