Foxy Fridays Artisan Series: Bri Bol

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Flash Foxy: When/why did you start making jewelry?

Bri Bol: I started making jewelry this January! I studied art in college and had some time off this winter, so naturally had an existential crisis and woke up one morning and thought, ‘I’m going to make jewelry’. I was headed to Baja on a surf trip for a few weeks, and not being the greatest surfer I needed a creative outlet during the big swells. I forced my boyfriend at the time to spend three hours at the gem and bead mall in San Diego the day before we left. I earned the nickname Bam Bam early in the trip after I smashed my thumb with a hammer while drinking tequila and making my first pair of earrings.

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It’s felt really right since then. It combines my passion for art and expression with my daily lifestyle. I love creating work that finds its owner along the way. It’s this really sweet moment when the work you make allows someone else to feel beautiful. There’s definitely some magic in it.

FF: How long does a single pair of earrings take to make?

 

BB: Anywhere from 4-12 hours

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FF: How did you learn to make jewelry?

BB: I took a jewelry-making class in college, and I studied art so a lot of the fabrication process translated. Also, YouTube always comes in handy if I need to figure out a technique.

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FF: Are you going to focus on earrings or do you want to start making other forms of jewelry?

BB: I would love to make it all, but as a climber I find other jewelry hard to wear. I’ve lost too many rings along the way.  Earrings are my go-to, they are the most functional for me, and I don’t think I’m alone in this.

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I wear earrings constantly. I don’t wear makeup, so they’re my form of…adornment. As I get older and settle into myself I’m learning how to embrace what it means to be a woman, how to embrace our own stereotypes, to take them back in a sense…like being “crazy” or emotional. I think these are really beautiful qualities of the feminine, because we are all these things and not at the same time.

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Lady-mobbed up the third Flatiron on a sunny day in Boulder, CO.

One of my all-time favorite quotes is by Walt Whitman. He said, “Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.” That resonates a lot with me. Jewelry is a way of celebrating yourself, of celebrating our multitudes. Basically…being a woman is awesome and we should feel good about wanting to feel beautiful, while also wanting to be tough and adventurous.

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FF: What is your inspiration for your work? 

BB: The work is inspired by someone who plays fiercely but embraces fragility. Most of my painting and photography work focuses on abstract mountain landscapes, and trying to communicate vastness and the shock of being human. I’ve continued that with my earrings, creating relief topo maps in my metal pieces and abstract colorfield beadwork pieces.

 

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Hueco Earrings. Available at brianabol.com

I’m inspired by artists like Louise Bourgeois, Frida Khalo, Rothko, and the art nouveau era. When I make work, I imagine myself living in the mountains in a cabin filled with candles and books and working in my garden. I love the romantic and the minimal.

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The Torreya earrings

My materials are all selected consciously. Most metals are made in the US, and I often find bizarre local bead stores in my travels and covet super old strands of beads. A lot of my work incorporates African trade beads dating back to the 1850’s. Or vintage Czech beads. The seed beads are Japanese glass beads.  I love the idea of wearing a piece of history, carrying  part of humanity’s story in a way that celebrates it.

You can find Bri’s work on her website at brianabol.com. She will be updating soon, as she just made a whole fresh batch of pieces! So check back for new earrings in the next couple of days! Direct inquiries for custom work and collaboration to brijosina@gmail.com
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