Astari G. Swatantri

Hello Astari, and congratulations on your Gran Prix prize winning piece for the Silver Accessory Contest last year (2013). I am sure that the trip to Japan for the prize ceremony and meeting other prize winners from  around the world that day was a fantastic experience for you. Can  you tell us a little bit about your experience?

Thank you! To be in Japan and received the Grand Prix was an amazing  experience. There were so many fantastic pieces displayed at the  Silver Accessories Contest exhibition and I enjoyed meeting other  artists. The party after the award ceremony was heart-warming. It was  an experience of a life time, I am deeply grateful.

Has anything changed for you as an artist since then?

This was like a confirmation that I should keep doing what I do,  developing my style and experimenting with new challenging design  ideas even though sometimes it really requires lots of efforts and  patients.

What inspires you to keep working and creating with Art Clay Silver?

Its versatility. I could create any shapes from a lump of clay. This  fits me as I like to express my thoughts and ideas with unique shapes  and combine these with materials such as glass and stone. The New  Mokume Gane technique also offers me even more possibilities to push  the limit and make my ideas into reality.

For those people who are just starting out with metal clay, and those more experienced artists and instructors that feel that they have reached a plateau with their work, do you have any words of advice for them?

I would say keep creating and developing your own style, don't compare  and take your time. Especially when someone is just starting it could  be overwhelming now to see other artists' works. However everyone  started from nothing at one point and you just have to be yourself  along the way.

It seems that the quality of work in Europe has improved rapidly over the last few years. What do you think is behind this rapid change?

Metal clay is a very approachable material. Once you get a hold of the  basics, you can go really far with your creativity. Many European  artists that I know are actively taking classes, showcasing their work  and communicate, which creates a great creative vibe.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, and we look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.

Thank you for interviewing me, it's a pleasure!

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