Edgar Lopez

Hi Edgar, Can you tell us about your background:

I was born in a small town in the Dominican Republic. I lived there until I finished my schooling and then I moved to Santo Domingo, the main city of the country to study at college. Here I studied architecture and then fashion jewellery and design. I currently still live in Santo Domingo with my family and I have a design studio where I work making my designs and teach. I’m very lucky as jewellery is my full time job and my passion.

What materials and techniques do you commonly use in your work?

I really love to use crystals and semi precious stones. Larimar is my favourite because it is from my country and has a combination of blue shades, sometimes with a little green, white, even red who fit with almost everything. I’m mostly known for my beadwork, but I do a lot of different techniques. These include metal work, resin jewellery (one of my favourites), wire, polymer and metal clay.

Mostly I really love and enjoy beading because it includes lots of interesting techniques, which give you the opportunity to build any shape you want and add colours and textures. One of my favourite techniques in beading is Cubic Right Angle Weave (CRAW). Making jewellery gives me the chance not only to make beautiful things, but also to express myself as a designer. Often designs tell stories with the colours or shapes without the need to speak. Jewellery has its own voice.

Have you taken bead making or jewellery classes?

First I studied architecture and then I realised that I wanted to learn more about design, but in a different area. From here I moved into jewellery design. First to
study metalsmith and goldsmith, and then I studied fashion jewellery design for two years. Finally I learnt beading and other jewellery techniques, sometimes taking classes, but mostly by myself. Learning jewellery/beading helped me to improve my patience.

What would you say you are most known for, and do you have a piece that you are most proud of?

Each of my designs are very special to me, but I think the most special to me (up to now) is my first big necklace named Caribbean Dreams. It was a tribute to the colours of my country and it uses Larimar. It took me almost three months to finish. I am mostly known for my body jewellery or big and colourful pieces.

Caribbean Dreams

Do you make mainly finished jewellery or any handmade beads?

I make fashion jewellery and fine jewellery as well, I don’t make beads but sometimes I make other the colours and the shapes. I also take inspiration from the street, looking at the people and houses. Here in my country the people are very colourful and cheerful, that gives me inspiration.

Do you teach and what do you enjoy about it?

Part of my work as an artist is teaching others to make their own jewellery. I have
been teaching for 15 years and normally I teach in my studio in the Dominican
Republic, but I have also travelled around the world teaching workshops and master classes for bead shops. Sometimes I’ve taught as a guest pro-
fessor in universities and design institutes.

What I most enjoy when teaching is to share with my students and learn from
them. The students are not the only ones who learn in a class, the teacher also
learns a lot from them.

Have you written any books or been published in any magazines?

Actually I don’t have any book written by me, but I’m currently working on a compilation of my work to write a book. I have had my work published in many other books including; Marcia Decoster Presents, Showcase 500 Art Necklace and Iberoamerican Design Biennial. I’ve also had tutorials and interviews in many worldwide magazine publications.

Do you work by yourself or have you collaborated with anyone else?

As a jewellery designer I work mostly by myself, but sometime I have collaborated with fashion designers for their collections - making jewellery for the clothes. Other times I’ve been part of art exhibitions.

Are you working on anything exciting at the moment?

I am currently in the process of a new project designing an entire beaded dress. It will take me a long time to finish it because I like to put a lot of detail in to my work, but that excites me a lot and it will be more like a piece of art.

Do you have any goals related to designing that you would like to see become a reality within the next five years?

Well, I am very passionate about teaching. In the near future I would like to have an art school, where I can teach different things to children and young people who do not have the economic resources. I believe that by educating the new generation we can build a better society. I’m working on trying to find a sponsor for the resources.

What have been your biggest personal challenges, and accomplishments?

My biggest challenge has been to devote myself full time to my work as a jewellery
designer and not to see it as a hobby, but as my way of life. I think that my greatest
accomplishment has been earning the respect of people in terms of my work as
an artist.

What advice would you give to other beaders?

I would advise people to always look around them. We can always learn a
lot by looking at our environment, nature gives us beautiful and unusual combina-
tions of shapes and colours. We should not feel afraid to experiment, or think we
already know too much because we can learn new things from many different

BEADLINK: www.facebook.com/Edgar-lopezDesigns/