First and foremost I am a metal artist, using sheet metal in bronze, sterling silver, copper and even gold. I have developed an original style that is recognizably Karyn Chopik. This metal art style has a balance of yin and yang, which I believe is at the core of what makes my art style so unique.
My metal work is bold and organic - it is the yang, bringing bold masculine energy to the piece. I like to mix this with beading, crystals and stones to add the elegance or yin. I have been doing this for 33 years and counting. That's a lot of metal!
The metal art myself and my team create is all hand crafted in our studio workshop outside Vancouver, Canada. Each piece is labor intensive, but we think the old world, artisan approach makes it worth the effort. We start out with a flat sheet of metal. After cutting out a shape with tin snips we texture the piece using a variety of hammers and other metal smith tools. The texturing of the metal requires good old fashioned muscle power, good hand eye coordination and a variety of techniques we have developed over the years. More than a few times a finger is bashed instead of the metal! Next we shape the metal into its form using pitch bowls, and the anvil. Then we grind off any sharp edges, solder the seams, bezels and add other elements to it. To finish we buff, polish and colour the piece to the desired patina. Customers who visit our workshop are always surprised at the many steps that go into the making of a piece.
I was one of the first jewelry designers to start working with mixed metals. I remember doing a trade show ( Vancouver Gift Show) years ago showcasing my beautiful new mixed metal collection. Some of the store buyers who came into my booth were actually angry that I was doing such a thing! One woman said you can’t do this. Please remember this was back in the day when your earrings had to match the hardware on your belt buckle, shoes and purse. I politely asked her “Why not?” I continued “Chanel was criticized for mixing semi precious with real pearls and gold… why can’t I think outside the box as well”
Mixed metals are now common practice in the industry today and I am glad people have given themselves permission to mix it up and have fun coordinating a style unique to their personality.