Marta Sanchez is a jeweler, gemologist and blogger who was born in Vic (located just outside of Barcelona), Spain. As a child, Marta enjoyed working with clay. When she got older, Marta created toys and furniture in her father's wood shop. At the early age of 18, Marta knew she wanted to make jewelry, and enrolled at Escola Massana in Barcelona to study jewelry making. She earned gemologist titles from the University of Barcelona and the Federation for European Education. She has been creating jewelry for more than 5 years in her Barcelona studio, which she displays on her MSO Joies Website and on Etsy.
Marta began 18kt, her blog which features the work of contemporary jewelry artists, in August of 2006. What led you to create 18kt?
My boyfriend had a design blog, which I visited and collaborated with him on. At the same time, I often looked for jewelers on the Internet but didn't have a place to store all the work I found. So, I decided to create a blog for the jewelry. After a few months, I saw that there were lots of people visiting my blog and that there wasn't a site quite like mine. Now my site is open to jewelers everywhere. I love to receive comments and works from them. The blog has evolved into a meeting place for jewelers from around the world. (Turquoise and silver ring is from Sanchez's Geb collection.)
I see that many artists on 18kt are from the U.S. as well as Europe. What kinds of similarities and/or differences do you notice between the jewelry created by artists from the U.S. and Europe, if any?
Difficult question. Some differences may be that European jewelry is more conceptual and comes from an experimental form of thinking. European artists use new materials and have different concepts of jewelry; they often view jewelry as an art object. U.S. jewelry is more fashion oriented and uses more traditional metals and jewelry making techniques. (Amethyst and silver ring is from Sanchez's Isis Collection.)
What are some of your favorite contemporary jewelry artists and why?
I'll try to choose some - here goes! Michael Zobel (The Wearable Art Blog has featured the work of Michael Zobel), Riera Gasso, Charles Codina, Fabrizio Tridenti, Sarah Hood, Abigail A. Percy, Katja Prins, Elaine Cox, Christine Brandt, Elizabeth Galton and Kelvin Birk. I don't know why, but when I see the jewels of some of these artists, my heart jumps! (This ring, made with African Black Ebony and Vanadinite, is by Christine Brandt.)
In addition to being a blogger, you also produce beautiful jewelry. Please tell me about your work and how it may be evolving.
I use traditional techniques like Kum Boo (adding gold as a final enhancement to a cast piece of sterling silver), forging and some special patinas (changes in the coloring of metals resulting from oxidation). I like to use natural, large stones, which I often buy in Germany because the stones are plentiful there. I am featuring 5 collections now: Aton, Geb, Nut, Isis and Flor de Lotus. All my pieces are inspired by ancient Egypt and antique jewels. I love to work with gems and enjoy creating custom designs on request. (Black silver ring with 24 carat gold and 7 diamonds is from Sanchez's Geb collection.)
Where do you see art jewelry headed in the future?
I think and hope jewelry will be more personalized in the future. People want more unique pieces that are hand made to their liking. I hope jewelry in the future will have the same stature as other arts (sculpture, paint, architecture, music, etc.) and be appreciated more by the public. (Black silver pendant with 24 carat gold and sweet pearl is from Sanchez's Nut collection.)