Metal Atelier is the mark under which Anna Butwell has been making art jewelry since 2010. All work is designed and fabricated in the Volksluxus Goldsmith Collective in the Kreuzberg neighborhood of Berlin.
Anna spent large swaths of her youth stringing up beads and making various adornments for herself and loved ones. Although fascinated by the mysterious processes of making "real" jewelry, there was no immediate means of learning such, and the bauble creation was put aside to pursue a career in the film and television industry.
In 2010, after a decade spent working in the prop departments of major motion picture television shows and films, Anna took her first silver smithing class, and has yet to stop. She has studied at Fitzgerald School of Jewelry (New York, USA), The Jewelry Arts Institute (New York, USA), Penland School of Craft (North Carolina, USA), The Rio Grande Institute (New Mexico, USA), and Wolf Studios (Maine, USA). In 2012, Metal Atelier LLC was formed in Brooklyn, New York.
The grueling hours of film production proved a difficult challenge in also running a one woman jewelery operation. In January 2017, Anna packed up her studio and decamped for Berlin, Germany. She soon after joined Volksluxus, a goldsmithing collective and gallery in the Kreuzberg neighborhood, where she remains today.
Since moving to Berlin, Anna’s work has focused on more elaborately designed pieces of wearable art. She has participated in group exhibitions at The Kunstgewerber Museum (March 2018) and at AKA Berlin (June 2018), in addition to regular exhibitions at Volksluxus.
My work explores a perception of beauty that is imperfect and transient- essentially Japanese Wabi Sabi- with a modern punk rock aesthetic. Ideas and patterns from the natural world, such as animal print, have been co-opted in fashion for generations. I extrapolate these ideas into small scale metal work, creating updated pieces based on age old techniques. Most of my collections are left slightly rough, showing the imperfections of the hand of the maker.