Interview: Auger + Ore

Meet artist Julia Lemke, designer of Auger + Ore, a 22 year old San Francisco resident, beekeeper, and pinball enthusiast. Finishing up her last year as a graphic design student, Julia works part time at Voyager/Revolver, and keeps our jewelry shelves well stocked with her handmade pieces. This past week Julia let us into her home/workspace to let us have a look around at some new creations and let us know what she has planned for her brand Auger + Ore.

Revolver: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you started Auger + Ore? 
Julia: "I have a graphic design background, and I think that has had the most profound influence on me. There are many opportunities in design to dabble, it has gotten me into photography, styling, marketing, packaging, product design, all relevant skills to developing a brand. I’ve always had drive to create, I think I got that from my parents. My mother is an artist, and growing up she taught me all sorts of crafts: Ukrainian eggs,  glass fusing, basket weaving, quilting, silversmithing. My dad’s influence was design. He is an industrial designer, we were always designing, and building things, tree houses, wooden toys, furniture. My aesthetic is a mix of both of my parents: Folk Art and Minimalism."

Revolver: What is your creative process like?
Julia: “It’s kind of a mess. Honestly, I can be scattered with my ideas, I get really excited about new ideas and projects and it can be hard to focus. My notebook is full of frantic scribbles, sketches for projects, and so many lists.  I tend to have ten projects going at once. Sometimes I will spend a morning working one idea, and than with other projects I can devote months to. I mostly like to learn new things, I tend to bounce around from project to project. I will be obsessed with ceramics, the next day textiles. It can be overwhelming,but it keeps me excited about my work.”

Revolver: What are your favorite materials to work with?
Julia: Texture is always the driving force. I am very tactile, mixing contrasted textures and weights. I like things that have a human quality to them, and don’t feel too polished: smooth, heavy ceramic, rough twine,raw wood, and hammered brass. I try to incorporate natural elements whenever possible, and lately have been experimenting with mixing moss or seaweed into my tapestries.”

Revolver: What are you looking forward to next? Any upcoming projects you are excited about?
Julia: "I’m really interested in weaving. I love kilims and dhurries, and I would be thrilled to make my own.I just started learning, but my next endeavor is going to be building my own loom."

Revolver: How would you describe Auger + Ore in four words or less?
Julia: "Organic, Primitive, Simple, Warm"

Revolver: What artists or designers inspire you? Are there direct influences to your jewelry?
Julia: "Doug Johnston, Cy Twombly, Ruth Asawa, Anton Alvarez, and Maja Ruznic are my favorites right now.Tribal art from around the world is an obvious influence in my work. Someone recently gave me this book of tribal decorations from Africa and it completely blew me away. It is truly stunning."

Revolver: How do you take your coffee?
Julia: "Tons of cream."

Revolver: Describe your perfect sandwich.
Julia: "Pesto, goat cheese, artichoke hearts & arugula on ciabatta." 

Auger + Ore is available at Revolver and Voyager in San Francisco . Also  check out her site here.

Julia is amazing!

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  • Lisa DeWilde on

    Impressive and so interesting Julia! I can’t wait to check out more of your work… very beautiful.

  • January Handl on

    Your work is so lovely and warm. I love the simplicity of design and the earthen feel to all of it.

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