Brooke Marks-Swanson

October 06, 2021

Brooke Marks-Swanson-Pistachios

Brooke Marks-Swanson is featured in our 2021 Exhibition 'Reinventing the Pearl' 
October 1 2021- January 16 2022

Not your grandma's jewelry, artists take a classic material and turn it contemporary. Perfect for wearing next to the fireplace and adding a sparkle to winter. 


Q: Where did you study Jewelry/Metalsmithing and when?

A: BFA Indiana University Bloomington IN, MFA University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, IL


Q: What inspires your work?

A: repetition, seeking out new materials that fit the concept of my work


Q: Do you have a favorite piece you've made?

A: I keep learning and growing through each piece I make. As long as I have questions, I will continue to make jewelry.


Q: What made you want to start making jewelry?

A: I took my first metals/jewelry class at IU and was hooked.


Q: What is your favorite process? Why that one over others?

A: I enjoy the repetitive process inherent to jewelry.


Q: Who is your favorite artist/who do you wear?

A: I admire anyones work I find sensitive and thoughtful.


Q: Is there an artist on your personal wishlist that you hope to own one day?

A: Ceramic artist Bodil Manz, Photographer Lynn Davis, Hiroshi Sugimoto


Q: What is something you would want someone to know about your work that they might not know?

A: I make and think through many failures before the pieces arrive in the gallery. My hope is that they are perfectly executed and last a lifetime - and are passed down for generations.


Q: When you're not making jewelry, what are you doing?

A: raising our children ages 14 and 11. walking our labrador, tending to my massive perennial and vegetable garden. cooking, reading.

Q: Pearls are a widely recognizable material, what drew you to them specifically? 
A: I have always had a deep love for the water. Pearls emerging from the depths of the oceans is fascinating to me. I am also drawn to their opalescence and the avant-garde ones - the more unique in color and form the better! 
Q: Can you speak to the generational significance of pearls (either generally or in your work) as they are something we often see passed down as an heirloom. 
A: Pearls seem to bridge the gap between costume and fine jewelry. I have always admired this about pearls. 
Q: Have you always worked with pearls? If not, what pushed you to incorporate them into your work? 
A: Yes, I have worked with pearls over the years in my work.
Q: Can you speak to your 'Reinvention' of this classic material? 
A: For me, I took the idea of opalescence and plastic consumption littering our oceans. By combining the two, I hope to reinvent how we see pearls and what we may need to do to limit our waste on this planet.


Brooke Marks-Swanson

South Bend, IN

Click here to shop her collection 

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