Andrea Bapst  |  Jewelry  |  Phoenix, AZ

Artist Statement

Aurelio (my guy) and I have been transforming vintage silverware into unique one of a kind conversation pieces since 2006! We were inspired by a man that we saw making it in San Fransisco when we were there on vacation. So when we came back home we began to search for silverware locally. We broke a lot of stuff in practicing because it's not really a craft that people are willing to trade secrets! The most common question asked is if we heat it when making it. We use zero heat. We beat it to death with a hammer, so it's very caveman style. This gives each piece a rough, tough, organic, and raw look. We wire brush every (front side of the) pendant to allow the original patina to streak through. The back side never gets cleaned because we want show what a rough life it lived. Our work is perfectly imperfect. We have up-cycled 100's of custom pieces for families all over the valley that want to carry a memory of a family member. We love seeing people smile once they've seen their great grandmother's old silverware transform into wearable conversation pieces. It's super sentimental. Our best seller hands down is the Elefork. All of their trunks are up for good luck. They symbolize loyalty, friendship and strength. Their bond is like no other. No two are ever alike, so it's really about finding the one that speaks to you. To this day, we still hunt for every piece locally. This is the Best. Craft. Ever.

Q&A with Andrea Bapst

What process/materials did you use to create your artwork?  Blood, sweat, tears, and an ancient Chinese secret.

What inspires you to create and what inspires your work?  What keeps us doing it is the thrill of the hunt. We rummage garages, we sit at strangers dinner tables, we get to work with all this unused and unloved silverware and bring it back to life. No one does formal dining anymore. The patterns and the history is inspiring. The look on people's faces when they see their great grandmother's spoons transformed into wearable memories. It's really sentimental and sweet.

If you had to describe your artwork in 5 words or less, what words would you use?  Antique spoonsenforksen ringsen thingsen

What other artists inspire you? What's your favorite art work?  The old man hammering spoon rings on the street corner in San Francisco. All of our local creatives keep me stimulated and motivated. My favorite medium is ceramics. If I weren't a spoon bender, I'd be a potter. My favorite artist is Judith Amiel-Bendheim, a local ceramics artist. 

What do you want your viewers to know about you as an artist (if anything?)  We like what we do and love how huge handmade and local has become over the years. We appreciate our growing following.

What is your favorite artist tool?  Hammer

What is your dream project?  One in which I can utilize all the spare parts that I have.

What do you like about your work?  Like being able to connect with people and the story telling from each generation we meet. Something so simple connects people and brings back memories.

How has your practice or process changed over time?  We break less things now!

What memorable responses have you had to your work?  "Oh, a forktopus huh? Don't get me started!", "These are not fucking made from spoons!",  & all the shocking facial expressions from small children

Why art?  Why not?