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Life & Work with Shana Kroiz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shana Kroiz.

Hi Shana, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start, maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I am a native Baltimorean who went to Baltimore School for the art class of 1985. I then studied in New York and Parsons School of Design, where I discovered Jewelry Making as an artistic expressive form of art and creativity that really suited me. After graduation, I returned to Baltimore and founded and ran the MICA Jewelry Center, which offered classes, workshops and lectures in all areas of Jewelry making. I was extremely dedicated to the program and our students and helping to advance contemporary art jewelry as an art form and skills.

During my time at MICA, I also concentrated on my own Jewelry career, which focused on creating one-of-a-kind Art Jewelry Pieces showing in Galleries, Museums, and publications. I also taught workshops and lectured nationally and internationally. Throughout the early years at MICA, I could see that MICA was not ad committed our program as I would have liked, so I also took a job running the Jewelry Department at the 92nd Street Y, where I commuted between here and New York running both programs. In 1999, I was married and soon began a family having both a daughter and son. As my personal life grew in demands, I left the 92nd Street Y and stepped down as department chair at MICA. My focus switched to exploring my own work and concentrating on building my Jewelry business. Which was good because in 200_ MICA closed its jewelry program, though we did recover from that terrible blow by starting the Baltimore Jewelry Center where I still teach, I was glad to turn it over to a community of people who had the heart and energy to rebuild and start over. I gave so much to MICA and was not ready to do that again, though I am 100 percent supportive of the Baltimore Jewelry Center and thrilled to be on the faculty while not having the responsibility of running and developing another program.

Since 2008, I have been running my own Shana Kroiz Jewelry business. In this business, I create both one-of-a-kind art pieces of jewelry as well and a line of limited production jewelry and exquisitely sculpted fine jewelry pieces. I sell my work, mostly through the high-end juried Jewelry and Craft shows. Along with having worked in galleries and boutiques around the country and of course I website, which has gone through quite a transition. Throughout my career, I have experimented, the elite work of galleries, and academia, the struggle of crafts shows and being the direct retailer of my work. I have taught and educated hundreds of professional jewelers and people who just to learn to work with their hands. I have seen this field from many angles, and I have created with many different intentions. My work has evolved and flowed from very Avant- guard to pieces my clients will never go without wearing daily. This past year of the pandemic required my pivoting to an all online business and an engagement with social media I could have never imagined. It ought me the power of both imagery and relationships. Learning to communicate through videos on putting myself on display almost as the main event, instead of my jewelry speaking for itself.

I know still evolving my business and the world opens back up and shows are beginning to start again, I am trying to imagine and decide how Shana Kroiz Jewelry will move forward. I still love creating every piece I make and prefer to be in the studio creating. I love seeing and enjoying more pieces; I love how my work allows women to be seen as My work is bold and expressive, sensuous and elegant, giving ladies an opportunity to feel their full beauty. I will continue to make bold, colorful, luscious and sensuous sculptural pieces of wearable art both out of non-precious materials and materials as fine as Gold, Diamonds, platinum, and sapphires.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There have been many obstacles over the years. My two biggest challenges were balancing family life and studio life. When I first had my children, I realized I have to work in ways that allowed me more time at home. That is when I transitioned to electroforming from hand chasing and repose. I also started working in multiples and not all one of a kinds. My next big challenge was my lack of business, marketing, and overall computer literacy. I went to school in the 80’s when art school was all about creativity and developing jewelry making skills. Between a lack of overall marketing and business skills and being a bit slow to adjust to all the available computer programs and skills, I have always felt a bit behind my younger contemporaries. Overall, I have always struggled with the business side of art-making. to this day, I struggle to get that part of my business working. I will always defer to studio time over anything else.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am an art jeweler and educator and business owner.

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
I have had a lot of luck along the way. The luckiest moment for me was when I was selected to be published in Susan Grant Lewin’s Book One OF A Kind: American Art Jewelry Today. I was in my early 20’s and being included in this book exposed me and my work to countless opportunities included having work selected for the Museum of Art’s permanent collection, inclusion in other magazines, and being asked to teach and lecture around the country. Concurrently, MICA had closed its day school program and I was able to convince the continuing studies department to start a Jewelry Program which is where the Baltimore Jewelry Center got its start, as did I in both running and teaching in a program that became nationally recognized and produced countless working jewelry artist and designers.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
The 4th turquoise and blue necklace Marian Breitenbach.

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