INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST: KARLA MOCK


Jewelry Designer Karla Mock will be one of the four featured artists for our October Second Saturday Soiree.  Read her story and learn about her art below.

Question: Tell us a bit about yourself--where you grew up, things that you like to do when you are not doing art, interesting tidbits.
 I was born and raised in Galveston, Texas, got my BFA in Graphic Design from Texas Tech University and my MFA from University of Houston in Jewelry & Metalsmithing. When I'm not in the studio, I love softball and I play flute in the Galveston Community Band.
Question:  Did you start art as a kid or do other creative things like music or dance?
I can't remember a time without some form of art. My mother was a member of the Galveston Art League and my sister and I would watch her paint and show her work at their outdoor shows.
Question:  When did you start to make jewlery?
At Texas Tech University, the graphic design program required hours in 3D classes. Jewelry and Ceramics were my choices and that was it. I really fell in love with both mediums and am still working in both.
Question: How did you come to choose your medium?
Jewelry pretty much chose me. Once I'd graduated from Tech, I moved back to Galveston and began casual jewelry classes at Galveston Community College where the instructor was so encouraging. She's the one that recommended me to the University of Houston graduate program and the rest is history.


Question:  Who was your most influential mentor?  Why? How?
My most influential metalsmithing mentor was my professor at University of Houston. His approach was to teach a wide variety of techniques and allow you to be creative with how you used them. He never really guided you in a particular direction but always helped you along your journey with a "but what if you tried this" question. I learned from him that if you can't find the right tool for what you need, just make it.
Question:  Who is your favorite artist? 
I don't have one favorite artist but absolutely love the group of Bauhaus artists. Their principles that there is no border between artist and craftsman and that what they created was intentionally of simple design, made to be accessible by all people, really made an impression.
Question: Where do you get your inspriration for your work?
The stones I use are my inspiration. Mixing and matching stones until I get a beautiful combination is how I create my pieces. The more unique the material, the more exciting and inspiring.
Question:  Tell us a bit about your process?
All of my work starts from scratch: sheet silver, bezel and round wire, and the stones. Stones are chosen and bezels are hand-soldered by me one at a time in a sort of assembly line process. I have multiple pieces, in various stages lined up on my bench at any given time. It's hard to say how long one pair of earrings would take me to make but at the end of the week, I may have a variety of earrings, rings, necklaces ready to buff.