I am in love with Angela Monaco’s Concrete Polish line of jewelry. It’s so raw and organic, yet strikingly elegant. Seemed like a no brainier that I should interview her for this week’s Wednesday Indie Artist Fixx.
What’s the name of your business, what do you create and sell and how did you get your start?
My jewelry line and boutique is called Concrete Polish. The name Concrete Polish sprung to me one day when I was thinking about what my jewelry represents. The pieces I design and make have a balance of a rough and refined line, but with a feminine touch. It is a balance of sculpture that creates an edgy yet sophisticated piece of jewelry. Concrete Polish represents that idea of balance.
Please share some of your artistic, culinary, and musical inspirations.
I am highly influence by crystals and the sculptural formation of them. I have been collecting gems for many years. The way I design and produce jewelry changed after I took a casting class at the Maryland Institute College of Art. I have also been vending at many music and art festivals since I was 22. Selling my jewelry at these events has always been very inspiring for me. Being a part of such a large creative atmosphere is so much fun! I love music and dancing. I have seen many different bands and DJ’s including Daft Punk, LCD Soundsystem, Little Dragon, Phish and many more!
Who are 3 of your favorite artists of all time?
Do you have a mentor? If not, who would your dream mentor be?
My mentors are all of my friends and teachers who are artists. We all help each other grow and learn new techniques. It takes a team of artist to really get yourself out there. It’s all about collaboration and making the world know who you love.
Has the draw to jewelry as artistic expression always existed for you, even as a child?
I have always loved jewelry. I think the attraction to jewelry and creating it began with my mother. She has always worn a ton of Native American Jewelry. I was always asking to borrow it as a child. Now she calls me to borrow jewelry, I of course make her anything she wants! 🙂
What are the best and the worst things about being an independent maker/creator?
The best thing about being an entrepreneur is seeing the progress you have made over the years. I also love how happy it makes a customer to have a piece of jewelry that makes them feel confident.
The worst thing about owning your own business is that sometimes it is very hard to see the progress you have made because everything is always evolving. The infamous To-Do list never ends. BUT…I create my own to-do list and I am very fortunate for that. I keep a journal and I record my accomplishments in it as well as other thoughts and ideas from my life.
We love the combination of rugged organic metal and refined sculpting that your pieces reflect. Can you tell us a little bit about creating this dynamic and how it makes unique jewelry?
My process of making the Mineral Massacre Line is a fun medium for me to work with. It is a combination of using actual organic crystal growth and wax carvings for me to come up with the designs. When I sit down to design new pieces I usually start with an idea and make a few spin-offs of that concept to create a few different designs. I have many molds of rings and pendants I have created. I love taking the wax injections of them and chopping up different parts of them and creating something new.
How does your studio and/or creative process change as your prepare for the holiday season?
I recently opened up my own boutique in Philadelphia called Concrete Polish. When I opened the Boutique, I started with only jewelry that I designed or Linda Smyth formally of Topstitch Boutique. As I got the hang of things, I started to incorporate a few other jewelry artists. Everything is handmade and I feel we have a great dynamic of jewelry in the shop. I recently purchased new merchandise for the holiday season, including: a great variety of natural gemstones and candle holders made from Quartz, Amethyst, and Selenite. The shop has a great new look and every empty space is filled with a fun gift that is glowing. We have many events planned for the holidays, starting with a Black Friday Weekend Sale after Thanksgiving. We will be having sales up to 35% off of selected jewelry. Another fun holiday event I will be participating in is the Art Star Holiday Bazarre, which is November 19th & 20th in Philadelphia. I will also be at the Brooklyn Artist & Fleas December 10th & 11th in Williamsburg. Both are great events with tons of handmade art for gifts. Hope to see you there!