Terhi Tolvanen, is one of the best contemporary jewelry designers, with many exhibitions around the world, she is an expert in this field. I am honored to know her.
Usually when someone thinks about wood, visualizes a massive, heavy material. But you, Mrs Terhi, succeeded to change the perception about wood. Your jewels are really interesting and definitely original due to the combination with other materials. We want to know more about your work.
Please, tell us more about yourself. Who is Terhi Tolvanen, both personally and professionally ?
Jewelry artist, born in Helsinki, Finland. I studied both in Finland and the Netherlands. After 20 years of Amsterdam, I’m living now in the countryside in the middle of France. With my boyfriend, who was the reason of moving to France. Love having my two dogs and a cat, which was not possible in the small apartment in Amsterdam. It is very quiet and good for concentration where I live. But I also like very much to travel which I do regularly for exhibitions.
How did you discover your love for jewelry crafting?
That was rather late in the end of my studies in Amsterdam. I did study at the jewelry department in Amsterdam but did a lot of other, also experimental projects at school which was great at the time. Jewelry making was however the most direct and fastest way to exhibit my work right after the studies. It was very motivating to be asked to make an exhibition, and ever since I’m concentrating on jewelry!
Why did you choose wood in the first place?
I had worked with plastics and came to a point where I wanted to make my own. I found out it to be too toxic, dangerous. So I decided to go to another direction and work with natural materials like wood, textile, sand etc.
What other materials do you use for your creations?
Different minerals, semi precious stones, mother of pearl, pearls, textile, paint, silver.
Are you a self taught artist?
No (and yes). I was at school for a very long time! And I would also say yes, after school/studying one has to find his /her own way; develop artistic and technical skills. Then you are more or less on your own.
Can you describe in a few words, your creating process?
I’m very material oriented; I collect materials I find will fit to my concept. I’m inspired by shapes, colors or surface structures. Often chosen just by a feeling. Then I make elements or I could say parts. In the end these elements very often end up being put together totally differently than what I thought in the beginning of the process.
What is your inspiration source?
The base is the relation between nature and culture. Different encounters, situations where these two come together. For example, the way different types of gardens are taken care of. See the gardens of Versailles in France as one extreme example of total control over nature.
I also get a lot of inspiration from at fine art, architecture, fashion, furniture, plant books, interior design magazines.
What accessories do you like to create the most?
I like the necklaces the most. Very challenging puzzle to get a necklace together.
Do you have a favorite item among all the pieces of jewelry you`ve created?
Not really, it is changing all the time.
What are you future plans regarding jewelry making?
I will continue making and I hope to develop artistically still for a very long time.
Thank you for sharing your art with us. 🙂
If you want to find out more about my activity, here is my website.