ELIZABETH TOKOLY | Hoboken, NJ
“I think finding a connection is something that we all look to do in life. It was during high school years that the seed of my artistry was planted. I found that the class I was most interested in was art. It was there I discovered that using my hands gave me a sense of purpose. Through the guidance of my art teachers, my own art jewelry journey began.
I began my formal education by attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and completed a two-year Jewelry Design Program. What intrigued me the most from what I learned there, was fabrication. It was so satisfying to see a piece of sheet metal or wire turn into an actual object or piece of jewelry. The experience at FIT allowed me to refine and develop my technical skills. Upon completion of the program, I needed to find what inspired me.
It was at the University of Arts in Philadelphia that I began investigating math and nature. I found that multiples and repeated patterns really piqued my interest. After graduation, I worked for both an art jeweler and a commercial jeweler, but knew deep down that I wanted to submerge myself in developing my art. I was honored to be accepted to Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. It was there that I discovered my unique, artistic approach for designing art jewelry.
My artistic approach is through math and nature. I love to break down the raw beauty of nature into simple elements. I manipulate the forms of nature by forging, forming, replicating, growing and simplifying to create intricate designs. My pieces use simple lines, primary shapes and structures in which the growth of these forms create original and unique pieces of wearable art. I use traditional techniques and contemporary ideas. I handcraft pieces in precious metals and use only ethically sourced gemstones and diamonds. My edgy, classic and timeless jewelry is my fine art of design.
Many teachers helped me through my art jewelry journey. I think that is why it felt very natural to want to teach. After receiving my Masters Degree in Metalsmithing, I began teaching at the 92nd Street Y in New York and I have been teaching jewelry design and metalsmithing since 2000.
During my journey, to create EatMetal, I opened Studio No. 159, a full service interior design firm that specialized in decorative painting, faux finishing and space planning. My belief is that you need to live in a visually stimulating environment to be successful.
Although Studio 159 was thriving, I needed to find a balance between making art, teaching and operating an interior design firm. All my education and life experiences led me to creating EatMetal, Inc., which has evolved into a gallery and metals studio in the Monroe Arts Center Building in Hoboken, NJ. It is a beautiful space where my art jewelry is made and displayed. Here, I conduct jewelry classes, intense workshops and fun, DIY jewelry workshops for small groups.