Wolfgang Vaatz

My career as an artist started in 1986. Throughout my exploration of different media over the years, starting with painting, followed by sculpting, finally designing and fabricating jewelry, the expression of my art remains the same – translating my experiences of natural landscapes. I feel privileged and grateful to have the opportunity to explore remote pristine places in nature which I then share through creating art.

I started working as a serious studio jeweler in late 2012, after moving to southern Arizona had rekindled my childhood fascination with gems and minerals. I drew from my previous sculpting and painting techniques to create unusual, scaled down works. My jewelry is collected and featured in exhibitions and galleries nationwide and abroad.

In terms of formal training, I shortly attended Munich’s Kunstakademie after finishing high school in Germany; however, I soon left unsatisfied with what the art institute had to offer. Instead, I looked to the Namib desert – Namibia as my country of birth – in search for my voice as an artist. Thus, my art career started, leading me back to Germany and then to the US. Since 1996, I have been a proud, yet lately, rather concerned US citizen.

Over the few years, my wearable art work has been prestigiously recognized. In three consecutive years I have been a Saul Bell Design Award winner (2016 – 2nd place, 2017 – finalist, 2018 – 1st place). I have been a Niche finalist (2016), was named Centurion’s Emerging Designer winner (2018) and was published in SNAG’s (Society of North American Goldsmiths) first JaMS publication (Jewelry and Metalsmithing Survey). Last year, I won 1st and Honorable Mention in the 2018 MJSA Vision Awards.

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