Alexes Bowyer is truly a striking young woman. She is lean, tall and has an armor of beautiful metals stacked around her slim neck and long fingers. She has an air of mature agelessness that many of our mutual friends talk about and yet still captures a coquettish youth and drive. She is in many ways an embodiment of her work, which encapsulates both modernity and a detailed old craft. And on top of that, she is a blast to dance with.
Born and raised in California, Alexes discovered her love of metal work as early as high school and spent her college years studying Art History by day and working on metals at night. Currently Alexes has a studio in San Francisco where she is focusing on her jewelry collection.
Here is an interview we had with this talented woman about her craft, her Columbian heritage and what's to come.
You recently moved from SF to Oakland right?
I recently moved from San Francisco to Chinatown in Oakland last year, but still have my jewelry studio based in San Francisco. Though having grown up in both San Francisco and the East Bay they don’t seem so separated in my head.
How did you get started working in metals?
My mother, who is obsessed with jewelry, asked if I wanted to take a metalworking class with her. From the first moment I got metal and the tools in my hand it felt like the medium I was just waiting to work in. I have since pursued metal arts as my medium and much more recently a line of jewelry to share with others.
What inspired you to start your own line of jewelry?
I have many inspirations in my work with jewelry. Understanding jewelry as an historical artifact has definitely shaped the way in which I engage with jewelry as my art. Jewelry is something that can be gifted or passed down, or buried with you, and more likely than not, treasured. The human body is an inspiration to me. A beautiful and fascinating thing in itself I try to make jewelry that accentuates this fact and finds life on the wearer. The materials themselves also inspire me! Metal, gemstones and their specific properties endlessly fascinate me in the way they can be manipulated and combined.
How would you describe your collection?
I would describe my collection as ornamental, personal, and timeless.
Your collection seems to encompass a streamlined modern look but feels heirloom. Your Colombian heritage inspires you greatly as well. Do you think that these are qualities that are encompassed in your collection?
I do. A lot of the jewelry that I make is very understated and modern in its shapes but is very much inspired by the symmetry and geometry in Pre-Colombian gold artifacts. As well as some of the motifs I work with like the serpent and coil. In some of the one-of-a-kind work that I do these influences are more apparent with big stamped and chased collars, more ornamentation, and accents in 24k which was what these cultures worked with mostly.
You recently came back from an amazing trip to Europe and Morocco. Has it inspired you to look at your work differently or to try something new?
Travelling somewhere new always gives me so many new ideas! I saw some incredible Berber jewelry in Morocco and think it would be amazing to make some pieces to be worn on the head and on your clothing. Copenhagen has all of these stark black buildings that I want to translate somehow to my jewelry.
Who are some people have influenced you and your work?
Alexander Calder, Constantin Brancusi, and countless jewelry artists whose work I only get to see in history books.
Are there key pieces that you find yourself wearing constantly?
Pendulum Neck Ring, Barbell Neck Ring, Selene Ring, T Bracelet, Barbell Bracelet and Floating Orb Ring are in heavy rotation right now.
Are there any designers that are blowing your mind right now?
J.W. Anderson and Jacquemus.
What are some new developments that you are working on now?
Right now I am working on some one of a kind pieces to go up on my website and find their way into stores also in the works is a small collection of fine jewelry, which I am very excited about.
Thank you Alexes! Shop her wonderful collection here.