Art student returns to school for metalwork & jewelry
Jacob Waring – Reporter
Anna Casa is not the typical undergraduate student. For one, the sophomore is 67 years old and majoring in studio arts with a concentration in jewelry and metals. She has always held had an appreciation towards art, but especially with jewelry and metals.
“Every time I go to an art show or whatever, the metals always attract me,” said Casa. “Plus, I love jewelry, I have a lot of jewelry and what kind of pushed me into it.”
The artists that she draws inspiration from are Picasso, and Van Gogh. She said she finds fascination in the motifs involving faces. She said she would lean more closer to Picasso’s style of art as she loves his sculpture work. She has a lot of masks, faces and art of that nature in her own home that she has collected over the years. She has yet to incorporate such motifs in her own artwork.
“I have not done that [make faces/masks] with metal work yet,” Casa said. “I am working on a piece in my jewelry & metal class, it’s going to be a necklace. It’s going to be
a face. It’s going to have eyes that drops down, a nose that drops down, a mouth piece that’s going to be with very different mandible pieces. That’s gonna be some of my face as my necklace.”
Metal work is a challenging art form due to the precision needed. Jewelry is difficult due to requiring fine details that come into play rather than something like welding would demand. She said that it is a delicate art form that requires ample focus to bring what she has in mind to life. What and how much to cut with the saw, or if you put a piece under fire for too long then it will melt and ruin the piece.
“I think the welding class is a little bit easier because it’s less delicate while that [metal work] is more refined kind of work but with welding you can do whatever you want with it, it’ll still be good and doesn’t have to be perfect,” Casa said. “But, when you do a piece of jewelry, it has to be perfect.”
One of Casa’s finished pieces takes on the appearance of an uprooted flowery plant complete with roots and a blossom. The idea took root with her stumbling across gardening sheers that she wanted to repurpose for her art. Originally it was meant to be a piece for outside but she has grown to like what she made to where she wants to hang it within her home. She did clarify that the stems, and flower portion of her art did not come from golf clubs.
“They do look like golf clubs, but they’re not supposed to be golf clubs. Everyone was laughing at me saying, ‘They look like golf clubs,’ but I was trying to make them look like leaves,” she said.
She did not envision how the art piece would end up. She said she is very happy with her piece and now adores it. She also showed a piece of art work on her phone of a sculpture that’s a wave from a sculpturing class she took. The wave is blue and is in motion cascading over a fisted hand, which was a cast of Casa’s own hand.
Now, she is working on incorporating objects of nature, and recyclable materials that her class collected at the Sandy Point Bird Sanctuary, a nature preserve in New Haven. The objects she had were glass, seashells, rocks, sticks and other miscellaneous objects commonly seen on beaches. The objective of the project is to incorporate such items with a metal sculpture. She was in the planning stage of the project to determine how it will all fit together.
“I’m an older person,” Casa said. “I never got my degree which I always felt bad about, but then I had gotten married and had a child. I always wanted to finish and get my degree. At first, I was going for business and that kind of stuff when I was a lot younger and was thinking about making more money.”
Now that she has gone back and gotten older, she said she loves art enough that she wanted to get her degree. Regardless of whether or not she gets her degree, she said she is still loving all the classes that she took in the past or is currently taking. Her life journey has led to being able to do what she loves now, and she probably would not have had the same opportunity years ago.
She said she hopes people take away something meaningful from her art, and elaborated upon what exactly that is, and how in turn, it makes her happy.
“I have a lot of his pieces in my house so when people come to my house, they feel like they’re in a museum because I have so much art in my house,” Casa said. “It makes me happy that people come in and there is always something different that they spot.”
Photo Credit: Jacob Waring