Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nina Dinoff

Long time Etsymetal member, Nina Dinoff creates metalwork that focuses on the interplay of simple, geometric form with the complex, organic nature of the body. Her work is bold, yet elegant; minimal in design, yet substantial in impact.
1. Where do you live, and where are you from?
I live in Brooklyn, New York and was raised just over the East River in Manhattan.

2. How did you get started working with metal?
My professional background is as a graphic designer, mostly interactive and web design. I worked in the interactive agency world for many years and craved something more tactile, less client driven, and just fun! I tried a lot of different things including hand painting a childrens' book and silk screening. After doing some assembled jewelry I finally took a metalsmithing class and it just stuck. It really suits my ADD personality. I always have about 5 projects going on at once and jump from station to station, but at the same time I love hours of uninterrupted activity concentrating on one thing.
Sequin Necklace by Nina Dinoff
3. What are a few of your favorite pieces at the moment?
I recently had the opportunity to spend some time at a workshop doing some experimentation and I really love the work that evolved out of that. Specifically, I started experimenting with using a type of paper called abaca that can be molded to an armature. I plan on doing a lot more with that. I also recently finished a necklace in my Sequin line that I had on the back burner for a long time and I am really happy with the results!
Shrouded Pendant: pot metal pendant wrapped in abaca paper on a handmade silver and gold chain

4. What inspires you (artists, objects, interests)?
Simplicity. My main inspiration is pure form and shape. Sometimes I will just see a shape in something and think, how can I interpret that? My mother is a big fan of Ellsworth Kelly and I think that had a certain influence on me. I remember once seeing a retrospective of his work and being stuck by how he would just distill forms from things as basic as a newspaper or a window and derive such bold images from them. I definitely strive to do that in my work. I always cite Modernism as a huge influence on my and my work but then I find myself really attracted to things like Victorian mourning jewelry. But I always look at things like that and think, how can this elegant form be whittled down to the basics? Another big influence on my recently has been the work of the jewelry designer and artist Tone Vigeland, who interestingly enough started out as a modernist and moved later in her career towards more complex kinetic work, yet it always maintains that simplicity.

5. Do you have any other artistic interests?
Oh of course! I just wish I could do it all. I used to draw and paint, but not really any more. Over the past few years I have been really working hard to hone my skills as a jeweler so I've really been focusing on that. But I plan to take a class in either flameworking or blacksmithing this fall. I also studied film and art history in college---I used to be a huge film buff so that sticks with me quite a bit. I also love to knit and cook.
Orecchiette Double Drop Earrings
You can find more of Nina's work on her website and in her two Etsy shops: ninadinoff and swizzlet.

1 comment:

Judy said...

What a very talented gal! Thanks for sharing.

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