I met Thea Izzi last summer and her signature fan earrings have been stuck in my mind ever since. She creates small, wearable sculptures and mixes metals so beautifully. Get to know more about Thea below!
I started very young, actually. I used to buy decorative beads and findings at a local shop and then make earrings and stretch bracelets to sell to my friends in high school. I would make money to buy Christmas gifts for my family. An entrepreneurial beginning! Creating metal jewelry came as a result of joining the Jewelry and Metals department at RISD. We began jewelry design very early on in the program and even though I didn’t start my business until several years after graduating, I created my first collection around a necklace that I had designed that first year in the program.
So much of what I make comes from the process of creating at the bench. One idea leads to the next and then again, to the next. Some ideas come from the necessity to do something with the excess from one design; the leftover parts can be a whole other collection. Sometimes I dream ideas. If I’m lucky enough to remember the dream I might make a rough sketch I’ll also sketch when I have a technical challenge. The rest is intuitive.
My creative process is a combination of instinct, discovery and letting the things that inspire me percolate and come to the surface as I work.
When I lived in Italy I studied classical sculptures and paintings and how they represent the various roles of women. My studies of the Divine Feminine resonated within me and have been a continuous source of inspiration.
The act of creating jewelry in itself is often where new ideas are born. The spark can come from something as simple as folding a washer or cutting a circle. I am drawn to geometric forms that are balanced and still retain a feeling of joy. I look for balance in the form while paying attention to contrasts in color and the play between positive and negative space. My hope is that when women put on one of my pieces, they will tap into the divine feminine within them and find inner strength and outward beauty.
My favorites come and go but the one that I consistently go back to as a favorite for dressing up is either the double fan or triple fan earrings; the triples for a dressier look. I wear them in either silver or gold depending on my mood. I never get bored with them! For a more current favorite design I love the silver square ring with the rainbow moonstone marquis set in gold. The balance is perfect and embodies everything I want my jewelry to express: clean modern design but with enough curve, color and warmth to allow a feeling of inner strength as well as outward beauty. Square rings are uniquely comfortable as well.
Favorite artists and designers: This is sort of like asking a foodie what’s their favorite food! I like GOOD design. Great design. Whether its clothing, jewelry, accessories, products, interiors or architecture - If it works well, functions seamlessly without a lot of extra and unnecessary details but is also beautiful and makes the person experiencing it feel joy, I like it. As far as antique or retro design I definitely have a thing for Mid Century Modern.
Other than jewelry: I’m primarily parenting my 10 year old son but also love to sing although I don’t get much time for that these days. I used to sing in a three part harmony Swing band and also with my own Jazz Trio. Now I’m very in to a broad range of global rhythm infused electronic dance music.
I’m a dancer, DJ and facilitator/founder of a monthly “Ecstatic Dance” event. I live DJ music sets in a wave format to create a dance and movement experience for a roomful of barefoot dancers in a dance studio type space. Freeform dance came in to my life after years of doing Salsa, samba, and Swing dancing in clubs in San Francisco all throughout the 90’s. My work is definitely influenced by rhythm, motion, flow, kinetic movement and balance.
Currently listening to: Rita Lee singing the Beatles song “In My Life”