By Amanda M. Grosvenor
Thea Izzi set out to make jewelry that, using only metals, would create the effect of “a light coming from inside.” To accomplish this, she chose to work with bimetal – a combination of 22k gold and sterling silver fused together. She shapes and sculpts the material into different shapes, often employing rounded-yet-angular geometrics that fall into fluid cascades. She describes it as ancient and tribal, yet modern at the same time, and seeks to capture the power, strength and beauty of the divine feminine and divine geometric design.
A native of Brookline, MA, Thea will celebrate her 25th RISD reunion this fall, and as she approaches this milestone, she is also introducing some major new dimensions in the scope of her design portfolio. Although she still works primarily with metals, Izzi is now incorporating precious stones and gemstones into her pieces: necklaces, earrings and bracelets housing labradorite, calcedone, onyx and raw sapphires. The colors provide harmonious or bold accents and tones to the luminous metal shapes.
“It’s a wonderful challenge,” she notes. “Everyone loves ‘bling’ right now, and I’m having fun combining new materials.”
Thea started her career working for businesses in the jewelry industry. She still does some freelancing, but she mainly focuses on her own line, founded in 1995 and now crafted entirely at her studio in Pawtucket’s Hope Artiste Village with help from her assistant, Christina Pabon.
Following her years at RISD, Thea lived in the Bay Area, only to return to Providence in 2010 with her now nine-year-old son. After the economic down turn, she struggled like many other business owners and workers in the industry during a time when most consumers scaled back on purchasing fine jewelry and other luxuries. Moving back to Providence and getting involved in the RISD Craft sale was one of the things that “kept her going” through those challenging times.
“I considered many options before deciding on Providence. It was a soft landing,” she notes. “It’s close to my family, it’s an affordable and good place to raise children and there are a lot of great resources for artists here. There’s also a camaraderie with local RISD grads that I really enjoy; many are still locals.” She finds the Hope Artiste community very welcoming too, and overall, “being an artist in Providence is awesome.”
Thea’s work is typically limited edition, and several pieces are one-of-a-kind. It can be purchased on her website, at some craft shows and through select galleries and boutiques around the country. Locals can meet Thea and see her designs in person at the upcoming RISD Craft show, taking place October 8 as part of RISD Weekend. RISD Craft is a juried sales exhibition of the works of RISD alumni and happens twice a year on Benefit Street.
Studio hours by appointment
October 8, 10am-5pm
Benefit Street (between Waterman and Hopkins Streets)
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