Andy Lifschutz

...artisan style combines with raw elements

Now an esteemed jeweller, Lifschutz's exploration into metalwork began in Brooklyn with renowned designer Kristin Hanson, where his natural inclination for design and bursting expression finally found its discipline. It was under the tutelage of William ("Billy") Thomas King at the Sterling Quest School of Jewellery Design and Creation (San Miguel De Allende, Mexico) that Andy made his greatest strides in metallurgy, graduating in 2008. From his youth, Andy has approached history with imagination, romanticism, and caring, owing to the colourful and incredible stories of his own family. His tireless search for unique and meaningful items with which to make art is as much a characteristic of his work as the pieces themselves. It is this appreciation and awareness of the histories of his materials that enhance their efficacy as personal pieces of art. As his work progresses, Andy continues to discover new ways to combine his artisan style with raw elements such as reclaimed metals, wood, bone and stone. Comprised of these materials, his jewellery creates an appeal not solely focused on aesthetic value, but based heavily upon the indelible spirit of powerful organic forms. From more functional adornments to fashionable and thought-provoking ornamentation, Andy creates pieces that symbolise the force that is the natural world while articulating a balance between old and new.

Nothing inspires me like…
Getting on a roll. Sometimes I’ll get to the studio at noon and not get anything productive done until 8pm and then ‘snap’ it happens, the lights turn brighter and the creative adrenaline floods my brain. The music gets cranked up to full volume and my fingertips become translators for all that I have taken in since the last burst. That cute girl outfit in the East Village, the conversation I had with my father about moving at ½ speed, the bombings, the starving, and the lovemaking. It comes all at once and then at 4am when I can no longer see straight I turn off the lights, and walk home excited to come back at noon the next day and see what happened.

Fashion can sometimes...
Be ugly: designers’ ideas get ripped off, accounts don’t pay their bills, prices of materials going up, and the artist starves.

Fashion can sometimes…
Be beautiful. The most presently based representations of modern art, moments of sheer genius captured and then set free for the world to honour, represent and respect their individuality with.

I sense…
Change for the fashion industry is in the making. Craft is again becoming more sought after, carrying higher value and so is the respect for the people who create these beautiful things. Everything will be ok if we keep working and keep talking honestly.

I scream when….
Listening to Sticky Fingers by the Rolling Stones. When I was learning to make wine in Oregon with Michael Stevenson he would put this album on during clean up at the end of 18-hour workdays. I now put it on when I have a deadline to meet and tap my cowboy boots along Brown Sugar.

I dance like…
Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Rod Stewart had a threesome and I popped out ready to shake it.

Creativity come from…
Maintaining sensitivity to the world around you. To create I must be in tune with the streets that I walk, keeping my eyes open to trend and tragedy. It also comes from being hungry. I want to take care of my parents as they age, and I want to do this through my own means.

I once thought…
I would be an actor and may have another go at it once I get this jewelry business mastered. I think they can coexist really; I just need to add some more hours to the day.

I got where I am...
By hard work, staying true to myself, more hard work, and always aiming higher. I cannot wait around for someone else to raise the bar; I will raise it for myself. Also by being careful about where my work is going, it must be a good fit and not just a good order. I want to develop lasting relationships with the stores that carry my line, and to be helping each other to grow even if we are thousands of miles away.

Love is…
Not in this house at the moment. I miss it, the cuddle zone, what a great place. My work is getting all my love right now and there never seems to be the time for partnership & creative obsession to co-exist. Sceptically seeking.

My future is…
Building my business to a level where I can begin working with communities in underdeveloped countries, making life more liveable for people that deserve to drink clean water and breathe clean air. I plan to do this by collaborating directly with them on my jewelry collections. I will use my time spent in Africa to further develop these relationships.

Studios make me…
Inspired when done right. My greatest venture to date was the co-creation of Mercy Stuios in Portland, Oregon with Nialls Fallon. Our studio was comprised of a photo studio, jewelry studio, professional kitchen, wood shop, and event space. All built from reclaimed materials in an old warehouse.

There’s a new...
TV on the Radio album, more inspiration for late night creation. Buy it!

I hope…
The collective taste for clothing and jewelry continues to improve. Most of the world wakes up and says to themselves. “ I am going to put these hideous garments and these plastics on and go about my day.” Shouldn’t anyone who can, afford to look like royalty? I envision a world where everyone can be empowered by his or her own personal style. Everything else will benefit…ha. Good idea for a reality show would be 'Dress Better’- face lift someone’s wardrobe and see what happens I bet ya… better sex, less depression, more wealth, less fat.

Cultural Influences…
Ethiopian women, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Ludwig Von Beethoven, Jack Kerouac, Venice Biennale, Portland street style, New York street style, Berlin street style, London street style…and any other street as well where kids are breaking down barriers and exploring new forms of self expression.

My goal…
Is to let honesty, sensitivity, and grace, guide me. This is what makes me a better designer and person. If I lose sight for a moment shit hits the fan and I’m back in the quick sand.

I get bored easily…
And that’s why I love custom work with a connective theme. It allows me to experiment and expand on my designs. It’s more work for me, but it’s more fun for me too. Love what you do, don’t hope to love what you do someday.

I tried to live...
With a herdsman and his son in Kenya. Sleeping in the dirt next to their animals, waking with the sun and tending to the needs of cows & goats.

I like making...
Coffee