100 Creatives 2012: Sandie Zilker, Art Jewelry Maker & Glassell School Teacher
Texas native Sandie Zilker creates jewelry and has been doing that for the last 38 years. She first fell in love with jewelry making after taking an art class in college. Soon after realizing her passion for the arts she quickly switched her major from psychology to fine art. After earning her BFA in Design and Metalsmithing at the University of Houston, she later moved to Michigan to work on her master's at the Cranbrook Academy of Art.
Photo by Jack B. Zilker
Shortly after graduating in 1974, Zilker moved back to Houston where she taught jewelry classes at UH and later accepted a position at the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts.
What she does?
Sandie Zilker is a teacher at the Glassell School at the MFA in Houston. Aside from the seven or eight jewelry classes she teaches, she is also a coordinator of events and student exhibitions; as well as head of the 3-dimensional design program at the Glassell School.
In her spare time Zilker likes to make custom jewelry or what she calls art jewelry. "I make jewelry that is really about an idea...It's really kind of my own personal expression."
She also does a lot of fashion jewelry and personal custom pieces such as wedding rings. Some of her pieces are then sold to places such as High Gloss, Goldesberry Gallery and Designworks Gallery in Galveston.
What inspires her?
Materials inspire her.
"I look at everything in terms of shape, form, texture, pattern and how that might translate into something you would wear. I think color rules. Most everything I do involves color and I surround myself with color. I wear color...so color sometimes inspires me."
She says she also likes to look at everything around her and use that to inspire her creations. "It's just the way I look at the world. Everything is a possible idea or project. You never know what your going to see that might be inspiring."
She says oddly enough she is also inspired by architecture.
"One of the things I like to do with jewelry is put a lot of dimension in it and I think that's why I find buildings interesting. Its not that I look at a building and say oh I could make that a small piece of jewelry. It's just the more inventive architecture in buildings, the dimension that I like."
If not this, then what?
She has several thoughts. She might have finished her psychology degree, but she adds that she also might have gone into set design, an interest of hers in college. She had also came close to having a degree in interior design so she might have ended up doing that professionally.
If not here, then where?
Zilker says there is a part of her that wants to live in New York.
"I've always loved the energy of that city. It's the vortex of so many creative activities. " She appreciates the visual arts of the city...the museums, the theater, the writing...basically everything about the city. "I love the sense. The energy alone...just walking around the streets. That lively street activity. I've always felt very at home there. "
Zilker still feels very committed to the museum and sees herself continuing to teach at the Glassell School and says she's excited about being part of the schools growth and development.
She would also like to see the art jewelry scene grow in Houston and sees herself doing more with that.
'I feel there are a lot of young people here now that are out of graduate school. People have been residents at the craft center. So there is a lot good energy in the art jewelry world now. I see myself involved in that...I just want to make things happen."
More Creatives for 2012
(In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
Philip Hayes, actor
Patrick Palmer, painter
Ana Mae Holmes, Jewelry Designer
John Tyson, actor
Jerry Ochoa, violinist and filmmaker
Raul Gonzalez, painter, sculptor, photographer
Roy Williams, DJ of medieval music
Laura Burlton, photographer
David Peck, fashion designer
Rebecca Udden, theater director
Donae Cangelosi Chramosta, vintage designer handbag dealer
Paul Fredric, author
John Sparagana, photographer
Damon Smith, musician and visual artist
Geoff Winningham, photographer
Johnathon Michael Espinoza, visual artist
Jaemi Blair Loeb, conductor
Katya Horner, photographer
Johnathan Felton, artist
Nicoletta Maranos, cosplayer
Carol Simmons, hair stylist
Joseph "JoeP" Palmore, actor, poet
Greg Carter, director
Kenn McLaughlin, theater director
Justin Whitney, musician
Antone Pham, tattoo artist
Susie Silbert, crafts
Lauralee Capelo, hair designer
Marisol Monasterio, flamenco dancer
Carmina Bell, promoter and DJ
ReShonda Tate Billingsley, writer
Kiki Lucas, choreographer and director
J.J. Johnston, theater director
Mary Margaret Hansen, artist
Richard Tallent, photographer
Viswa Subbaraman, opera director
Emily Sloan, sculptor and performance artist
Sonja Roesch, gallery owner
Enrique Carreón-Robledo, conductor
Sandy Ewen, musician
Camella Clements, puppeteer
Wade Wilson, gallery owner
Magid Salmi, photographer
Carl Williams, playwright