Artist Shu-shia Chow Carefully Engineers her Jewelry
Who would have thought that a career as a hardware engineer and chip designer in high tech would prepare Shu-shia Chow to become a jewelry artist during retirement?
“I treat every jewelry project as an engineering project,” she says. “I first come up with the idea for a piece of jewelry, make a drawing of it, and then create a three-dimensional model in paper to make sure I have the most efficient design.”
Shu-shia, who will be selling her jewelry for the third year at the Studio Holiday Sale at the Art Center on December 1, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., has created more than 100 pieces of jewelry over the past two years.
“I used to create mainly ceramic pieces,” she says. “One year, I was attending an open studio event at Cubberley Community Center and saw a wire sculpture that I really liked. I asked the artist where I could take classes in ceramics and jewelry at the Art Center, and I fell in love with it.”
She now works mainly with sterling silver and creates necklaces, rings, bracelets, and pendants.
“I really like making geometric designs,” she says. “Some of my jewelry pieces are, in fact, smaller versions of my larger ceramic pieces.”
Shu-shia says that she grew up in Taiwan where a lot of the jewelry features precious stones and diamonds. While her pieces do not incorporate many precious stones, her jewelry does feature some traditional Chinese elements such as figures of people and characters or symbols.
“I like to create jewelry that shows the relationship between all the design elements,” she says. “I enjoy how everything fits together and compliments each facet. “
Once in a while, Shu-shia will use a polished stone in her work, citing the fact that she admires the colorful process of enameling.
“If you want to create wearable art, I think the jewelry class at the Art Center is a great place to start because we inspire each other,” she says. “I am very precise in my approach to creating jewelry, but you can make a simple design and it can be wonderful—it doesn’t have to be complicated.”
The Art Center’s annual Studio Holiday Ceramics and Jewelry Sale takes place at the Art Center on December 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free. An exclusive members-only preview will be held on Friday, November 30 for Activist level members and above from 6-7 p.m., and for all other Palo Alto Art Center Foundation members from 7-9 p.m.
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Last Updated: November 14, 2018