Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Paradise Metal Art

Q: Tell me a little about yourself! Where are you from? What are your hobbies? Do you create jewelry full time?

A: I am Diana Ishimizu, owner of Paradise Metal Art. I was born in Japan but raised in the US. I have lived in Long Beach for nine years. Aside from making jewelry, I also like to paint, go to shows, get tattooed and run. I work as a jeweler and custom fabricator full-time.

Q: How did you get in the jewelry business?

A: I have always been an artist, but I have been making jewelry since I was 14. I learned traditional techniques by Native Americans from Arizona. I decided to major in metal-smithing at El Camino College in Torrance, Ca. and I obtained my BFA from Cal State Long Beach in 3D Media-Metals. I started my business, Paradise Metal Art in the beginning of 2012. I started at Patchwork Festival in Long Beach at an $80 booth and the next year was in the Pool Trade Show/Magic in Las Vegas selling internationally.

Q: Do you have a favorite metal?
A: Silver is my metal of choice, but I also enjoy working with gold.

Q: How do you come up with pieces? What is your inspiration?
A: My inspiration for Paradise Metal Art is West Coast Native American symbolism. I am especially drawn to Zuni artists and in particular the artist, Effie. I enjoy researching iconography and symbolism and Native American culture and incorporating traditional aspects into my contemporary pieces.

Q: How did you come up with your label/brand/name?
A: It was Jorge Luis Borges that said, 'I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.' My paradise has always been jewelry and fabrication.

Q: Any special instructions or tricks people wouldn’t normally know? Storage? Care? Cleaning?
A: A trick to keeping your silver jewelry clean is to wear it a lot. Normal wear keeps the piece from oxidizing as fast. Buying a 'sunshine' cloth at a local bead store will also help clean your pieces without scratching them.

Q: What do you dance to by yourself?

A: Everything! I like a wide variety of music and I have no problems dancing like Elaine to any song.

Edited by Toni Mathews

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