a little about Karen Vanmol...

Born/Raised: born in Leuven, Belgium, raised in Meldert- Hoegaarden in Belgium

Current Location: Antwerp, Belgium

Education Major: Master in Fine Arts, Jewellery design

How did you come to jewelry:

I always had a lot of attention for jewelry. When I was 8 years old, a teacher at school wore a ring with pink and black stones, I recreated that ring with wire and beads. All the time I was making these kind of jewelry, but I was not happy with it because it was not 'real' I thought it was childish. Later I heard through a friend of my mother, about a goldsmith training in evening school. I did that for 2 years and then took the leap to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. My teacher of evening school graduated from there and supported me in my decision.

Where do you gather inspiration:

For me the starting point is being raised where I was. Everything I see around me, I project these experiences onto it. I believe everybody does that. In reality that means that my eyes are attracted to architecture, natural materials, home interiors, traces left by people, ways of protecting materials. Color contrasts are an important part and you find that everywhere, like clothes hanging mismatched in your closet. But sometimes I don't have to look for it. When I work very focused for a while, I see shapes or colours when I blink my eyes.

Does creativity run in your family? Is it supported?:

My godfather is a sculptor, he only works in a locally found sandstone. Also my father makes stone sculptures, mostly ornaments. And my mother paints. But that does not mean they were really happy in the beginning, they had to grow into it. But they never interfere with my decisions.

Jobs before you got into jewelry:

I did all kinds of things. As a student I have worked for 'eurostar', that is the train that goes to Londen. We had to do the check in, give information, rebook tickets. One day the queen came to Brussels by train, the British travelers were very understanding about the delays associated with that. I also worked in a toyshop, I was mainly responsible for multimedia, but I only knew titles and the picture on the box. After my degree in Jewellery I did an art teacher degree. I teach all kinds of ages and classes.

Do you do other types of art, besides jewelry:

I do a lot of things, I am interested in a lot. Living in Antwerp, there is much going on in the arts, but I feel attuned to jewellery. I believe that you have to know your art form, making a painting is not per se art.

Favorite trip you have taken:

That would be Turkey, when I was 21. With a friend I travelled with a backpack through the country. We did not take our cell phones but once a week we emailed home. We tried to stay away from the big tourist places and travelled only with local transportation. It is maybe not so far, but, oh so different. Especially Cappadocia in the central is fantastic. 

Do you have any ideas or concepts for your next body of work:

No, I can never say that. The next always comes from the last. So I concentrate on the now.