When we first met Erin Griffin we were immediately captivated, not only by the beauty of the delicate silver jewelry she creates but also by her genuine and open nature. We recently had the fortunate opportunity to visit Erin in her east Austin studio. It was my first glimpse into a silversmith’s workspace. The reflections on the silver from the warm, dust filtered light, the various antique looking tools that could, themselves, be displayed as art, and of course the lovely energy Erin herself brings to the room all contributed to the space having such a great feel. During our visit Erin gave us insight into her life and inspirations:
What made you decide to move to Austin?
I moved here in January of this year. My closest friend from childhood has lived in Austin for years and has always encouraged me to relocate here. After bouncing back and forth between Brooklyn and my hometown, Chapel Hill, NC, I finally decided to give it a whirl and boy, am I glad I did. Austin is like Chapel Hill on steroids, which is probably why I felt so immediately at home.
How did you decide to start making jewelry?
After being on a waiting list for three years, I was able to attend a fine furniture making program in western North Carolina. It was such an incredible experience that upon graduation I decided to immediately enroll in the jewelry program. I thought it would be ideal to not only be able to make wood furniture pieces, but to also be able to apply my silversmithing knowledge to craft my own hinges and clasps. However, I quickly became sidetracked by creating wearable art and ended up pursuing jewelry alone. I definitely think having experience with the two mediums has improved my craftsmanship a well as my designs.
What is involved when making silver jewelry?
A lot of hammering! I really love to see the process in the finished work, so hand fabricating all of the pieces is really important to me. I do a little bit of sketching, but usually I just have an idea in my head that I work from. I purchase my materials from a refinery in Michigan that recycles and refines precious metals, so there is no new mining involved. Using traditional fabrication techniques and an oxygen acetylene torch, I build each piece. It is amazing how much you can do with a hammer and a torch!
What are some of your favorite places in Austin?
Oh my gosh, where do I begin?! I have been in the service industry for years, so naturally I have been enamored by the food scene here. I love Justine’s, East Side King food truck behind the Liberty bar and Uchiko, of course. I am still new here, so I am really looking forward to continuing my research!
I would like to thank Erin for taking the time to talk with us. See a selection of her beautiful designs on blueZelia.com.