Rosalie DeAstis // Features editor
“My love of nature has definitely influenced my pieces. I’ve always loved the ocean and the Islamic patterns of North Africa.”
Rezac discovered her adoration for jewelry making while at the Rhode Island School of Design. Originally, she was a graphic design major.
“I ended up hating it. It was too stiff. I needed something looser, so I tried painting, and that was too loose,” said Rezac about her endeavors until visiting her school’s art gallery one day.
“I came across the jewelry exhibition there, and remember saying ‘oh my God!’ I want to do that. I was just so fascinated.”
Rezac then begged to be accepted into her school’s metal-smithing/jewelry program and eventually earned a spot. In 1981, she had completed her Master of Fine Arts.
Since then, Rezac has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Raphael Prize, the prestigious Dr. Herbert Hoffman Award and she was the winner of the 2001 Society for Contemporary Craft Founder’s Prize.
She also had her own jewelry gallery in the late 1980s in downtown Chicago called Rezac Gallery. Today, she remains a passionate studio jeweler, working from the comfort of her own home.
“If I didn’t believe jewelry was art, I wouldn’t be doing it,” says Rezac, whose work can currently be found in galleries from Massachusetts to Barcelona.
It takes her up to 10 weeks to finish something as simple as a necklace, but she admits to loving the precision this craft requires.
“These days, people want easy. I tell my students they have to persevere, because this requires so much patience.”
Rezac has been working at the college for eight years now and says she has gone to many different facilities, but feels that COD offers the best.
“Every student has their own torch, flex shaft.. etc. It’s really a great space to teach.”
Today, Rezac finds inspiration not only from nature but from her existing work;
“Often when I’m working on a piece, one thing leads to the next. There’s never just once source of inspiration.”
When she isn’t spending endless hours perfecting and creating her art, Rezac enjoys gardening, as well as scuba diving, sailing and kayaking when she travels.
It’s evident that Rezac’s unquenched curiosity in nature’s culture is constantly evolving her art.