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A swap with Karin Roy Andersson

A swap with Karin Roy Andersson

The swap with my gorgeous friend, jewellery artist, Karin Roy Andersson was a serious one, because we both had quite concrete ideas of what we wanted and we were both anxious to meet the other’s anticipation. Karin was already part of the Karma Chroma’s post “Why are so many artists wearing black?“ and her fondness for the colour black is not limited to her wardrobe alone. She also really loves black jewellery. So her wish was that I would make her a necklace only with black graffiti scales. I immediately told her that it would take me a while, but only now, around two years later, I finally finished the piece for her and we could undertake the swap.

Karin Roy Andersson (born in 1983 in Umeå, Sweden) is promoting the field of art jewellery in various ways: as an active maker, as the manager and co-owner of gallery Four in Gothenburg and the a co-initiator of diagonal/ art projects, an online platform for contemporary jewellery. Her current jewellery series, Catching Big Fish, is mainly made up of reclaimed plastics from everyday products like shampoo bottles, ice cream boxes or oil cans. Not all plastics are suitable for this work, as they need to have a very specific thickness and texture. From these collected plastics, Karin is punching out circles and milling in structures from toilet paper (yes, really!) or tea bags. The oval textured scales, which are generated from this process, are then stitched together into flowing arched shapes, which then evoke images of a winding fish or the sleek shiny coat of a bird. Despite her own preference for black, Karin not only creates black pieces, and so she is always on the hunt for beautifully coloured plastics. At times this leaves her stuck in using a hygiene product for a while, she normally would not buy for herself, for instance a shower gel for men, which comes in dark grey bottles. Karin most likely could buy the perfectly proper plastics in sheets in a specialised shop, but she would never do that, she said. Considering the worldwide issue of plastic pollution it is important to her that she uses only reclaimed plastics, and like me, she likes the idea of giving the material a second life.

A swap with Karin Roy Andersson

A swap with Karin Roy Andersson

I especially love the bracelets of Karin Roy Andersson’s, Catching Big Fish– series, because they snuggle to the wrist so naturally without even the need of a locket. Firstly, I asked her to (re)make me a bracelet with a colour gradient from blue to beige, but the lovely shade of blue she had used for this piece originated from a single old oil bottle her father had given her and was not available anymore. So I chose a bracelet in shades of beige and light gold and I think it is really stunning too:


Over the last few days, we had a little written chat about our work:

Carina: Karin, I am sorry that it took me so long to make this black necklace for you, I think we started talking about the swap two years ago, no?

Karin: Yes – I think we started planning the swap when Attai [Chen] had his exhibition at Four. I was actually happy that it took some time for you to collect the scales and I very much appreciate your effort! I also had a process of emptying shampoo and soap bottles for your bracelet, so it also took a long time to finish.

Carina: Same here. There is so little black in my graffiti sheets. I think the graffiti artists mainly use it for the outlines and not so much on bigger surfaces. So it took me half a year until I had collected enough black scales to even get started. But then I kept stealing again and again from my black box for other pieces, because I realized how amazing the black scales work to give a piece contrast in colour. A few months ago, there was a point when I thought I would never be able to finish your piece. This was when I asked you if all scales really needed to be black… an act of slight despair, because of course I knew the answer already. Luckily, I finally found a piece of graffiti sheet this summer, which generated a lot of black colour, actually even several layers of it. That felt like the gold digger hitting a gold mine! Now I still have so much black, I could make another one or two totally black pieces…
For some reason, making a really black piece is kind of difficult for me. I might have smuggled in a bit of colour unconsciously. So here is a funny but almost genuine question: Is it black enough?



Karin: First of all, I have to say I love my new Shoshtary piece! I love it when I see myself wearing it in the mirror and I love watching it closer. I realized that I keep on seeing new details until I bring the piece so close to my eyes that I can’t see anything at all. In my eyes it is quite colourful. You have seen my suitcase, Carina, if you would put it there, it would be sparkling with colour, but on the other hand – I’m sure it would be very black like yours. So I guess my answer is that it has a lot of colour, but that it’s absolutely black enough!


Carina: I also totally love the bracelet I got from you! And now I am actually happy that it didn’t work out with the blue piece, because the beige and gold colours of the bracelet you made me fits with both of my favourite colours to wear, blue and red.

Karin: I was very nervous about the colour for your bracelet. I got to know your excellent eye for colour when you helped Attai choose a background colour for presenting his pieces. I remember that you sort of looked at the collection – ranging from almost black to red and green and white – went out and came back with a lilac nuance that made all the pieces pop out from the wall. Your bracelet is made of scales of recycled plastic. I have to find a container with a specific colour tone, in other words I can’t colour the scales afterwards. I like it when the bracelets have two or three different nuances, but with the beige one like you wanted, it is hard to find colours that match, and I knew you wouldn’t be happy if it wasn’t right. Usually, I try to take away the background from the photos of my pieces, and to be honest, I’m not always too careful that the colours come out exactly right, but when I sent the picture to you, I almost didn’t dare to do anything.

Carina: What I find really special about this series of yours is that you managed to transform the impression of the reclaimed plastics so well. There are many artists that work with recycled plastics, but mostly the plastic keeps its characteristics, which I often find is not so attractive. When I look at your pieces and touch them, I would still guess that they are made from some kind of plastic, but this is more because of the weight and the touch. The cheap looks which normally come with using used plastics is totally gone. On the contrary, the pieces have a very precious, almost glamorous appearance to them. I think it must be the subtle textures you mill into the scales, your sensitive choice of colours, and also the smooth way the piece connects to the body.
You told me that before you made these pieces from the collected plastic bottles etc., you made similar pieces from metal. Was it difficult for you to make this change? Did you immediately “respect” the plastic?


Karin: I’m so flattered and glad to hear how you describe my pieces! Getting away from the “plastic look” was something I aimed for. I tried to also make pieces with scales that still had the shiny plastic surface of the original material, but that just looked trashy. For me, working with textile techniques came before I started using metal, and switching between or mixing metal and other materials has never been a problem. But conquering a new material is always difficult. I think you have to reach a point when you can appreciate and make use of a material’s qualities. For example, the way the plastic scales got a bit curved when I milled them was a problem at first since they made the sawn material curl together. But in the end, that makes the bracelets close without a locket, which turned out to be very practical. 
How do you feel about working with metal, or maybe how it is NOT to work with metal – how has the “material hierarchy” affected your work?

Carina: I work with metal too, mainly as a second-rank material though. For the places where the jewellery piece lies on the body, connects to the clothes or to another material, metal just has unbeatable qualities and so I often use it for this purpose. I use the graffiti sheets because I wanted to bring colour into my work and I use the wood because it is easy to shape and it is light in weight. Each and every material brings its own advantages and disadvantages and I totally agree with you, that only when you know about them and learn to channel them can a material really unfold its potential for a successful creative process. In this sense, all materials are equal, a very liberating notion I find.


Karin: Yes, to me too, all materials are equally precious and not precious. It’s factors like the circumstances, the environment and the work you put into it that decides the value. I work with garbage so off course I see great potential in some things people throw away, but I also sometimes work in a pawn shop where gold and diamonds can be treated quite disrespectfully, and to be honest – gold in the shape of fat neck chains weighing over 500 g is as much trash to me as the material I find in the streets.

Carina: I would like to know a bit about your work as a gallery owner. In 2010, you founded the contemporary jewellery gallery Four with three friends and colleagues of yours, Hanna Liljenberg, Linnéa Eriksson and Malin Lövgren. This was only one year after you graduated from HDK, Academy of Design and Crafts, Gothenburg, which I find to be a really courageous and determined move. How has the gallery work influenced your view on contemporary jewellery or your personal creative work?

Karin: The work with Four is really something I enjoy a lot and that gives me both inspiration and time for my own work. Of course, I put a lot of time into making the exhibitions, inviting artists, trying to get attention from the media etc, but I really enjoy meeting all these fantastic people and to show their work to the audience in Göteborg. This might sound a bit childish but it makes me so proud when people from outside the jewellery bubble come into the gallery and discover what amazing work we are showing. We are right now setting up a show with Jiro Kamata and had a journalist there yesterday. She asked me why I had invited Jiro and I just felt that I could talk forever about his work; his materials, his personal expression that you can follow through all of his career, the flawless finish and technique, and not least the thoughts and genuine love he puts into the work.

When I keep the gallery open and we don’t have visitors, I have time to do my own work (there is a workshop behind the showing room). I have been running the gallery over the last years and lately, I have mostly been there by myself. I’m not a person, who likes being alone for too long so the gallery is also a sort of a social refuge.

Carina: Thank you, Karin!

Karin Roy Andersson

1 left: Karin Roy Andersson: Catching Big Fish, bracelet, 2014; Recycled plastics (from soap- and shampoo bottles) thread; Photo: Attai Chen; Model: Carina Shoshtary; 1 right: Carina Shoshtary: Nymphaea 3, necklace, 2016; Graffiti, glass, silver; Photo: Lasse Karlsson; Model: Karin Roy Andersson
2 Karin Roy Andersson: Dove, necklace, 2016; Recycled plastics (from snuff boxes and soap bottles) thread, steel, silver; 18 cm x23 cm x 5 cm; Photo: Karin Roy Andersson
3 Karin Roy Andersson: Catching Big Fish, bracelet, 2014; Recycled plastics (from snuff boxes and motor oil bottles) thread; Photo: Karin Roy Andersson
4 Karin Roy Andersson: Catching Big Fish, bracelet, 2014; Recycled plastics (from soap- and shampoo bottles) thread; Photo: Karin Roy Andersson
5/6 Carina Shoshtary: Nymphaea 3, necklace, 2016; Graffiti, glass, silver; Photos: Mirei Takeuchi
7 Karin’s suitcase; Photo: Karin Roy Andersson
8 Karin Roy Andersson: Dove, brooch, 2016; Recycled plastics (from snuff boxes and soap bottles) thread, steel, silver; 13,5 cm x 11,5 cm x 4,0 cm; Photo: Karin Roy Andersson
9 Carina Shoshtary: Carnivore 2, brooch, 2015; Wood, graffiti, glass, silver, stainless steel, paint; 10,7 cm x 7,2 cm x 3,7 cm; Photos: Mirei Takeuchi
10 Karin Roy Andersson: Backupfront, earrings, 2015; Recycled plastics (from snuffboxes and motor-oil bottle), silver, varnish, steel, textile; Photo: Karin Roy Andersson

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A swap with Eva Burton

Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton

Last autumn I met jewellery artist Eva Burton (born in1984 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) in Barcelona, when I had an exhibition with four colleagues in gallery Amaranto Joies during Joya. In a separate exhibition in the same gallery Eva was showing pieces of her series  The Backyard of my House is special. At once I could see that Eva is also a colour-loving person like me, when we got chatting about this and that we found out that we have more in common, for instance a profound liking for extensive breakfasts or alternatively a hobbit-like second breakfast. Regarding our work, Eva and I are both working with reclaimed materials, which we collect in our immediate surroundings. In Eva’s case it might have been her first education in art restoration, which left a fondness and curiosity for broken old things with a history. When Eva was living and studying jewellery in Barcelona at the Escola Massana, she was gathering pieces of broken furniture, musical instruments, etc. on the streets, which she deconstructed, altered with colours and textures and then rejoined in some kind of bubbly optimistic assemblages with an ethnical touch. The constructive streak in her jewellery work leads back to her first studies, as she was working in the restoration of buildings and architectural drawings.

bacon twist

After finishing her B.A. in Barcelona, Eva went to Germany to begin her master studies in the Department of Gemstones and Jewellery Design in Idar Oberstein, from which she will graduate in one year. Eva chose to study in Idar Oberstein, because she was very much interested in learning stone carving and cutting techniques. She told me that her fascination with stones grew into a kind of obsession over time and she recently even started an apprenticeship with a professional stone cutter. To gain experience with carving stones on a big scale, Eva will take a four week course in the Salzburg International Sommer Academy of Fine Arts with the Greek sculptor Andreas Lolis. However, with the course fee, board and accommodation these kind of summer courses are costly and so Eva came up with an idea:

In the next month Eva is selling tickets of 10 € each for a tombola, where you can win a pair of Eva’s Blossom- earrings. One in 10 tickets wins. In this video she explains the details:

I like the idea that a group of people who share a similar passion can help to make it possible for someone to create special experiences in order to enhance his/her skills or simply broaden one’s horizons. So if you feel like 10 € is not a huge amount to spare for you now, please consider to take part in Eva’s tombola. The drawing of the tickets will take place in the end of August. Here are some of the earrings of which you might win a pair:

Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton

I bought a ticket for the tombola too, but Eva and I decided to make an earring swap nevertheless. When we were choosing a pair from the other, it was mainly about the colours, naturally. Eva told me her favourite colours are hues of green and turquoise and she decided on a wing shaped pair of the Karma Chroma - series with graffiti in those colours:

Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton

And this is the pair of Eva´s Blossom - earrings I chose:

A swap with Eva Burton

Eva and I then began a written dialogue:

Carina: Tell me a bit about your fascination regarding stones. You said your reception of the stone as a material completely changed since you are working with it. In which way?

Eva: Since my earliest memories, I have been attracted to stones because of their appearance. I have always been amazed by what Mother Nature is able to do and I just could not believe the colours and the inclusions that some stones have!
By looking in architectural ornaments or sculptures I wondered how a human could relate to this material and create a form out of it, especially in the most ancients cultures like the Pre Hispanics.
And when I began to work with this material I realized that stone demands full concentration and respect. You involve with the materiality in a very intimate way. Very, very slowly you start to understand the silent language of stones. There is a point where you start to communicate with it. It can bring the best and the worst out from yourself. When you reach a point, where you feel you are making the right movement it is so fulfilling! But when it breaks you can be very much disappointed. So it is also some kind of self- understanding, you want to reach balance to use your hands in a way that the stone will feel grateful...

Carina: I was also always attracted by stones and have collected them since I can remember. Some of my work is clearly inspired by the shapes, patterns and structures of minerals. But I have never worked with the stone itself as a material, it somehow never even occurred to me to try. They often seem so perfect how they are. And then there is the hardness of the stone, which discourages me. I prefer softer materials, which don’t give so much resistance to shaping them. This makes me have all the more respect for your decision to make this workshop and try out working with big scaled stones. Living for a month in a stone quarry and working there on solid large-sized stones sounds to me not merely like a small adventure, but like a physical and mental challenge. Do you get in any way prepared for this? What attracts you most to trying this?

Eva: This experience that I am about to gain makes me feel so excited! I love the sensation of approaching the gate of the unknown, I just can’t wait to wake up every day in these surroundings and to meet a lot of people from different parts of the world with one main aim: carving stone.
I am sure my body will end up quite smashed but I am always ready for pushing myself in mind and body for my work. To feel physically exhausted because of working is satisfying for me, I think that as long as I can use my body in this way I want to do it. I want to climb, jump, kick, hammer, grind... And I am sure that after a long day I will find my moment of quietness with the nature around the quarry...
And coming back to your perception about stones, I can definitely see the shape of crystals in your series What’s left of Krypton! These pieces make me wonder if the stones in outer space would look like yours because they have a sort of meteorite appearance... Have you ever felt in outer space while working ? Are you a spacey person who travels with the mind to far away planets and lands…?

A swap with Eva Burton

Carina: You’ve got me there, I always hope it is not too obvious, but I am probably wandering around more in imaginary places than I am present in the real world. I have more imagination than is good for me, which makes me a terribly impractical person. That is why I had to become an artist I believe. On the whole, our world doesn't have much room for dreamers, but as an artist you have a free ticket to be moony or quirky in other ways. When I am working on my pieces I can immerse for hours in whatever I like and I consider that a big privilege.

Eva: It is indeed a big privilege! I also have the same feeling and I enjoy so much to be able to travel in my mind to eccentric imaginary places and to come back to reality with my backpack full of inspiration. And sometimes confusion...

Carina: Coming back to the workshop in Salzburg: You already made some larger scaled toys for children from carved and reclaimed wood. Now you are going to learn how to carve big stones. Do you need this larger scaled work to keep a balance with the small scaled jewellery making?

Eva: Well I guess somehow yes... I started to have the urge to jump out from the typology of jewellery into something else. I am comfortable with the idea of not fitting my work in one single medium. I started my MFA with the idea of enlarging the scale of my work. Right now I need to involve my body in my work, even if I feel totally smashed after long hours of wood and stone carving. It is an amazing feeling! It makes me feel confident with myself and strong as a woman. And I guess I am always seeking for the feeling of balance, but since I am a very hectic person that is definitely not easy...

Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton
Karma Chroma- A swap with Eva Burton

Carina: Finding balance is no walk in the park, especially not for artists I think. The thing is, I love to plunge into my work and meanwhile drift around in other spheres, but I also need the feeling of a down-to earth order and regularity, otherwise I feel I get lost. That is not so easily juggled and I am still figuring it out. My dog Lola helps me a lot with that, because every few hours on time she is demanding attention and reminds me of her and my ordinary needs. I think we found a good rhythm together, which enables me to keep my days more in a balance. And there is nothing like a walk or jogging in the forest after a few hours of having persisted in a cramped working position. How do you relax after a day of carving wood or stone?

Eva: I have to say that for me it is very difficult to slow down… It is really hard and I am working on it. Since I moved to Idar Oberstein, a walk in the dark through the forest after a long day in the workshop is something I enjoy a lot! When it is snowing I love the sound of my feet crumbling that shiny landscape and in the summer the amazing voices of the birds play the most beautiful songs! It is my way of enjoying the right here-right now moment…
Another silly way of slowing down is my ritual of a Seinfeld episode before falling asleep, next to my cat Tilo. It is a way to disconnect my brain from the making-thinking and just laugh for 20 minutes without any more expectations than that!
But my favorite way to slow down is when I allow myself to take one day off and visit friends, gather and cook together, listen to music, talk about life, just see their smiley faces make me feel happy and the fact that I live far away from my homeland, my friends are very important. They are the family I choose, so this coming together is very necessary to feed our friendship. I am such a lucky person to have so many lovely people around!


 rocket piano_frontrocket piano_back 

1 left: Eva Burton: Blossom, earrings; Wood; enameled copper; silver; Photo: Attai Chen; Model: Carina Shoshtary; 1 right: Carina Shoshtary: Wingshaped Karma Chroma-earrings, earrings, 2016; Graffiti, glass, silver; Photo & Model: Eva Burton
2 Eva Burton: Chair, necklace and object, 2015; died agate, crisopras, reclaimed metallic pieces from furniture, old toy, silver, gold, acrylic paint, paper; Photo: Eva Burton
3 Eva Burton: Bacon Twist, necklace, 2014; Pink opal, enamel, wild boar teeth, silver, copper, patina, resin
4-15 Eva Burton: Blossom, earrings; Wood; enameled copper, silver; Photos: Eva Burton
16/17:Carina Shoshtary: Wingshaped Karma Chroma-earrings, earrings, 2016; Graffiti, glass, silver; Photos: Mirei Takeuchi
18: Eva Burton: Blossom, earrings; Wood; enameled copper, silver; Photo: Eva Burton
19: Carina Shoshtary: Black 2, brooch, 2011; Graffiti, silver, stainless steel, Photo: Mirei Takeuchi
20/21: Eva Burton: Drifting Chair, brooch, 2013; Piano and skate woods, acrylic paint, antique paper, nickel silver, patina; Photos: Eva Burton
22/23: Eva Burton: Rocket Piano, brooch, 2013; Piano and furniture woods, nickel silver, antique paper, acrylic wood, patina; Photos: Eva Burton

Text edit: Hayley Grafflin

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A swap with Märta Mattsson

A swap with Märta Mattsson

Maker of art jewellery, Märta Mattsson and I recently made an exchange of pieces: I received from her a pair of earrings which belong to her Wings series. They are made of cicada wings, resin, crushed stone, glitter and silver. Märta received a pair of my Karma Chroma earrings which are made of graffiti, glass, almond peel and silver. We then wanted to know more about each other´s work and so we began a written dialogue:

A swap with Märta MattssonA swap with Märta Mattsson

Carina: Looking at your Wings series, Damien Hirst´s kaleidoscope butterfly pieces come to my mind. I saw some of his butterfly mandalas in the museum and was emotionally torn between the incredible beauty of them and a feeling of repulsion to see death put on display like this. I know that you, too, are a great lover of all living creatures. How do you feel about working with dead animals? And is there a line you wouldn’t cross?

Märta: Well my main motivation for making my work is that fine line that exists between attraction and repulsion. I am very interested in the human mind and psychology. The animal instincts that drive us versus our common sense and the rules we have been taught to follow by society and by other humans. We are I would say, both scared and intrigued by the idea of dying and death. There is something terrifying about the idea of decaying and fading away, even though it is the most natural thing in the world. A swap with Märta MattssonI feel that we are drawn to looking at death because we are somehow trying to understand our own mortality. I am a huge animal lover and a vegetarian of fifteen years. The line of how to use animal materials in an acceptable and also respectful way is very important to me. For me personally I don’t feel bad about using materials from animals that were once alive (as long as they are sourced in an ethical way). I see it as a rebirth. I give the ‘shell’ the animals leave behind when they die a new meaning and a new life. I am an atheist and I don’t believe in a life after this so I guess that makes it easier for me in a way to see the dead bodies as materials. However I do feel quite repulsed when I work with, for example, dead insects. I used to have a phobia of them and working with them making them into intriguing objects and jewellery was a way for me to conquer my fear. I am quite squeamish so I am not sure where my line goes… I would like to dare to try to work with taxidermy by myself but I am not sure I could handle it. When I have been making pieces with taxidermy I have been working with trained taxidermists who have created the pieces for me. I would not kill an animal; I only use ones that are already dead. The insects I use are all non-protected insects and I only use one dealer who I trust. My main goal with my pieces is not at all to push people’s buttons or cause reactions. It is simply an investigation of my own ambiguous feelings towards life and death and beauty and decay.

A swap with Märta Mattsson

Carina, you use pieces of graffiti and you mix it with natural branches. When you are creating these hybrids of nature and artificial materials is your goal to make the pieces feel natural and alive? Your thought process behind this contrast and transformation intrigues me. Could you explain how the idea of mixing the two worlds developed?

Carina: Until now almost all of the materials I have worked with were literally found materials from my immediate surroundings- found in my parents’ cellar, found in the plastic waste, on the street or at the beach… I almost never go and buy my materials. A swap with Märta MattssonI pick up something that intrigues me, and start playing and experimenting with it. Then the goal is to conquer the material, to make it truly mine. For me this means that the material is being soundly transformed. Some major characteristics remain of course, but the origin often becomes unclear. I want the material to speak my language, not the other way round.
My main source of inspiration surely comes from nature, but also from books I read, music I listen to, dreams and thoughts I had, etc. The materials I use- no matter if natural or artificial- become part of a kind of parallel phantasmagorical nature.
Just yesterday I was writing a blog post, where I explain how the graffiti paint came together with the natural materials, so I will answer this question in more detail on the blog soon. However, two years ago we moved from the city to the countryside and after that my work changed almost instantly. I didn’t want to let go of the graffiti yet, and so the newly discovered materials quite naturally found their way into my work. Of course, the graffiti paint is artificial and the wood is natural, but both materials grew in a kind of natural way, or unnatural way, depending on the angle from which you look at it. Graffiti paintings and tags are an integral part of our city scapes. The material I work with is composed of hundreds of layers of graffiti, which grew thicker and thicker on this wall over a long period of time. The wood parts come from a forest which has been purposefully planted. Often I hear woodworkers cutting trees or see them mark trees, which are either allowed to stay or will also be taken down later. So from this point of view: What is truly natural and what is truly unnatural?

A swap with Märta Mattsson

Märta, I think what we also have in common is a strong love for colours. I like the colour combinations of your Wings- series, for example. Can you tell me a bit about your relationship with colours and how you choose them for your work?

A swap with Märta Mattsson

Märta: I am very specific when it comes to colour combinations. I try to make my pieces have a ‘natural’ feel to them. I want the pieces to look like something that could have been found in nature. I use colours and hues that I think blend well together, colours that create more of a symbiosis rather than compete with each other. For instance with my electroformed beetles I have chosen only to use cubic zirconia’s in 7 colours even though you can get them in 200 different colours. It is hard to put words on how I chose my colours but they have to ‘taste’ right/have similar flavors. I actually love most colours. I am not a fan of black and brown but with the right combination of sparkly and popping colours I use them too. I know instantly after creating a piece, if the colours are right. I have quite a few pieces at home in my studio that I will never show because I feel like the colours are not completely right. Other people who see them might not feel the same but they need to taste right to me otherwise they will remain hidden in a drawer.

A swap with Märta Mattsson

How do you choose your colours? And are there any colours you would not use? Do you feel more connected to some colours and if so why is that?

Carina: My choice of colours is dependent on the series I am working on, but also on the stage I am in at the time. For the pieces of the Karma Chroma– series I used a much more subtle and muted range of colours until now than for the very poppy bright colours of the What´s left of Krypton– series. Having finished my studies and left the city, in the last few years I was in a phase of my life which allowed a lot of self-reflection and reorientation. The Karma Chroma- series are strongly connected to this, which naturally is also visible in the selection of colours. Now I feel that something is changing again, but I cannot quite put a name to it yet.

A swap with Märta Mattsson

When it comes to the choosing of colours for a new piece, sometimes I act on impulse, sometimes I have a quite clear image of what I would like to achieve. At times this whole selecting colour business gets overcomplicated for me, because I have an intense connection to colours. With the graffiti paint, I sometimes do something I find very helpful, a kind of loosening-up exercise: I don´t choose the colours anymore, but use whatever comes out of the graffiti plate… It does not always work, but often this leads to very exciting effects and to combinations of colours I would have never picked normally. I like that.
There are no particular colours I’d say I would never use. There are also no particular colours I am more connected to, not for my work at least. Ultimately, I can say that I still wish to be bolder with my choice and the use of colours in my work.

A swap with Märta Mattsson

1 Märta Mattsson: Wings, earrings, 2015; Cicada wings, resin, pigment, glitter, silver; 4 x 2 cm; Photo: Märta Mattsson
2/ 3 Carina Shoshtary: Karma Chroma, earrings, 2015; Graffiti, glass, almond peel, silver; 2,7 x 2,2 x 2,2 cm; Photos: Carina Shoshtary
4 Märta Mattsson: Crash!, brooch, 2011; Taxidermy, walnut wood, silver; 17 cm x 10 cm; Photo: Anna Larsson
5 Märta Mattsson: Beetle Juice; brooches, 2010, Beetle, silver, lacquer, resin, cubic zirconias, 9 x 8 cm; Photo: Märta Mattsson
6 Carina Shoshtary: Auburn & Blue; brooch, 2012; Graffiti, silver, stainless steel; 12,5 x 7,0 x 6,9 cm; Photo: Mirei Takeuchi
7 Carina Shoshtary: Confused Branches 3, necklace, 2015; Wood, graffiti, silver, paint; 33 x 25 x 9 cm; Photo: Mirei Takeuchi
8 Märta Mattsson: Wings, necklace, 2014; Cicada wings, resin, crushed stone, glitter, silver; 18 x 25 cm; Photo: Märta Mattsson
9 Märta Mattsson: Swarm, brooch, 2012; Cicadas, crushed copper ore, resin, glitter, silver; 10 x 10 cm; Photo: Märta Mattsson
10 Carina Shoshtary: Where blue hides after dark, brooch, 2014; Graffiti, glass, silver, stainless steel; 12,7 x 4,3 x 2,3 cm; Photo: Mirei Takeuchi
11 Carina Shoshtary: Fiery Orange, brooch, 2012; Graffiti, silver, stainless steel; 7,5 x 5,5 x 3,0 cm; Photo: Carina Shoshtary

Text edit: Hayley Grafflin