Secrets Slideshow: Studio Visit with Annika Kaplan

Annika Kaplan has been designing jewelry for years — and has a beautiful collection to show for it. Annika was trained  at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and then received an AAS in the technical jewelry program at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College . You can find Annika’s originals at Honeycomb Salon and the Wedge Co-op; you can also take a day trip to the Walker Art Center this Saturday May7th,  from 11-5 for the Walker Shop Jewelry Mart event where she’ll also be selling pieces.

View the slideshow here on Flickr

Photos and interview by Kelsey Johnston

Secrets: Where are you from?
Annika: I am from here. I grew up in St. Louis Park.  My folks moved our family there from South Minneapolis when I was about 5, but we all have since moved back to the city.

Secrets: Tell me about your recent work.
Annika: I have been working on a collection of silver and gemstone jewelry.  My new work is finer and more subtle than previous work I’ve done.  I guess in the past I was interested in big, loud, statement jewelry.  Right now I’m really into the idea of jewelry that draws people in for a closer look.  I’ve always been more attracted to oxidized silver than bright shiny metals, so my jewelry tends to have a dark, tough look to it.  However, I also use some dainty chains and gemstones which tend to soften the effect somewhat.

Secrets: What is your favorite material to work with?
Annika: I’m starting to work in gold a bit more, for commissions and some higher end pieces.  I’ve found that the cost of the material forces me to take more time with a piece.  Gold just demands a higher level of concentration I guess, and right now I appreciate the challenge.

Secrets: Fantasy dinner party of four. Who are your guests?
Annika: How about 3 people?  I’m around the age my parents were when they got together and started thinking about having kids.  I am really close to them now, and I often wish I could have met them when they were young.  So I guess my fantasy dinner would be with my parents in 1982.

Secrets: What is the best part about Minneapolis?
Annika: I love my community here.  Honestly it is a really exciting time to be in Minneapolis.  I know graphic designers, woodworkers, farmers, other jewelers, herbalists, welders, artists, hair stylists, seamstresses, bike mechanics, cooks, weavers, musicians, salmon fishermen, wild rice harvesters, bakers, gardeners, basket makers, a calligrapher…  I could go on and on.  There is a real sense of respect for craft and tradition, and a sense of pride in having a trade.  People are excited about learning and sharing talents.  I get a lot of help and inspiration from the people around me.

Secrets: What is your favorite establishment in Minneapolis?
Annika: The Modern Times!  I am lucky enough to have studio space adjacent to this cafe, run by my friends Emily Temte, Dylan Alverson, and Darah Lundberg.  The space is beautiful and sunny and features art and custom tables and booths made by friends.  The food is good and there is always someone interesting to chat with.  I look forward to spending lots of time there this summer.