Shop Talk: An Interview with Matt Swope of Jewelry by Matt


Circle and Square: What made you decide to become an artist?

Matt Swope: Nothing. There was never any decision. It was completely intuitive, instinctual… there was no form of conscious or intellectual reasoning behind the fact, it just happened.

CS: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work

MS: My work is very eclectic. I love purity and simplicity, materials like wood, bone, and stone, but I also appreciate kitsch and psychedelia, and so too enjoy using things like plastics, neon colors, and rubber cord. These two aesthetic poles are always explored in what I make.

CS: Which products are you most proud of?

I recently made a shopper style tote bag from collaged pieces of leather and antique Indian textile. It took several days of labor to compete. I had never made this model of bag before, so I didn’t really know where it was going while I made it, but in the end I was pleased with the results.

CS: Your idea of perfection?

MS: A pure piece of rock crystal.

CS: What puts you in a creative mood?

MS: I am extremely prolific, so I am always in a creative mood, constantly. I have so many ideas of have to write them down or I will forget them. If I am not making jewelry I will make a wall hanging, or paint a tee shirt or make a basket. I also write.

CS: What is something about you that nobody would guess?

MS: Well, going by appearances, perhaps that I went to an Ivy league school and graduated near the top of my class?

CS: Favorite indulgence?

MS: Hot baths.

CS: Your most annoying habit

MS: Too quick to assess and to judge (others).

CS: How would you like to be remembered?

MS: For my work.

Shop Matt’s work here

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