When an artist works their medium, they enter into their own world - Interview with Macaria Patapoff

how do you Describe your craft?

I am a fine art silver Jewelry Maker. I make jewelry pieces in a variety of sizes as well as large statement pieces. I do unique seed bead jewelry that are also statement pieces and each is a one-of-a-kind original.

Describe one of your favorite moments as an artist.

When a Customer came rushing over to my booth at the Farmers Market. She said she saw the piece from the street and she wanted to look at it. I suggested that she try it on and it fit perfectly. She had 2 other necklaces on and it fit right between them. She handed me her debit card and I asked if she wanted to know the price but she said it didn’t matter. She wanted it and was really pleased with it. I was happy and it was so cool for that to happen. My second favorite moment was a few days later I was accepted to put my jewelry into the Blue Whole Art Gallery. That was an awesome Summer.

What inspires or Motivates your work currently?

Custom work. I love doing jewelry specifically for a person. Yes, it is good to have pieces to place in local art galleries, (Blue Whole Art Gallery in Sequim and Harbor Art Gallery in Port Angeles), but working directly with an individual really inspires me. Jewelry is a personal thing and so When I get to make a one-of-a-kind piece for an individual it is so satisfying to be able to include their personalities in the design making process. Some of my work may be similar in design but no two are exactly alike.

What artists or people have influenced your practice?

Mother nature is my muse. I have had instructors and on-line videos shape my techniques, but it is Mother Nature that inspires all of my design elements. I show my appreciation for her fleeting but beautiful gifts by capturing them in silver, stones and bead work.

At this Moment with COVID-19, how can the arts help?

Art is an individual thing. When any Artist works their medium, they enter into their own world and isolate themselves from all else. Artists are creating during this pandemic, possibly even art pieces that reflect the times we are in now. Many may find their way into the public’s eyes once the quarantine is lifted. These new pieces share what has been the artist’s world.

how has this situation hit your craft and how can we help YOU?

Actually this time in quarantine has given me time to do more detailed work. I don’t feel so pressured to provide pieces to keep up with Gallery demand. I can make art. It has let me relax and play again. I feel more freedom to explore new designs and re-do past “hurried” partially finished pieces that never made it off the work bench.

POst COVID-19, what do you hope changes in Sequim ? what role do you think the arts might play to support our Sequim?

I hope people will appreciate other people more and realize that life is precious. I am sure that Artists will reflect how COVID-19 has affected them. I know that art is not classified an essential product, but down the road, it may capture a tiny bit of history for further generations to reflect and learn from. As Artists, what we have gone through because of the stay-at-home order and travel restrictions, many Artists and Patrons of the arts in our community will be looking locally for artistic inspiration and art that represents Sequim.

What is ONE Creative Practice for any level artist that you recommend for our readers at this time?

Art demands real passion. Any art one must want to do it. When I was younger (a long, long time ago) an Alaskan Native Elder told me “when you make something with your hands and your heart is in the making of it, a part of you will always be in that piece”. So loving what you do will give that piece life and it will speak to the appreciator. Being passionate about what you do is your first lesson. If you keep the passion you felt on that first day of working your craft, it will live on, and you will always love it.

What were you concerned about 3 weeks ago that you’re no longer worried about NOW?

My biggest concerns have always been the same and that is the health of my Family. I just wish this virus would go away and there would be no more deaths. Our world may never be the same, but hopefully it will be better in hindsight.

anything else you wish to add?

Please support our local Artists! Many of our local Artists need the income because our tourist trade has been greatly reduced with COVID-19. it helps keep our monies in our community. Thank you for the opportunity. It has been a real privilege to live in Sequim and be an artist among so many other wonderful local Artists. I learn more and more from them when I get the opportunity to see, talk and enjoy their work and passion.