Texas native Sandie Zilker creates jewelry and has been doing that for the last 38 years. She first fell in love with jewelry making after taking an art class in college. Soon after realizing her passion for the arts she quickly switched her major from psychology to fine art. After earning her BFA in Design and Metalsmithing at the University of Houston, she later moved to Michigan to work on her master's at the Cranbrook Academy of Art.
Shortly after graduating in 1974, Zilker moved back to Houston where she taught jewelry classes at UH and later accepted a position at the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts.
What she does? Sandie Zilker is a teacher at the Glassell School at the MFA in Houston. Aside from the seven or eight jewelry classes she teaches, she is also a coordinator of events and student exhibitions; as well as head of the 3-dimensional design program at the Glassell School.
In her spare time Zilker likes to make custom jewelry or what she calls art jewelry. "I make jewelry that is really about an idea...It's really kind of my own personal expression."
She also does a lot of fashion jewelry and personal custom pieces such as wedding rings. Some of her pieces are then sold to places such as High Gloss, Goldesberry Gallery and Designworks Gallery in Galveston.
What inspires her? Materials inspire her.
"I look at everything in terms of shape, form, texture, pattern and how that might translate into something you would wear. I think color rules. Most everything I do involves color and I surround myself with color. I wear color...so color sometimes inspires me."
She says she also likes to look at everything around her and use that to inspire her creations. "It's just the way I look at the world. Everything is a possible idea or project. You never know what your going to see that might be inspiring."
She says oddly enough she is also inspired by architecture.
"One of the things I like to do with jewelry is put a lot of dimension in it and I think that's why I find buildings interesting. Its not that I look at a building and say oh I could make that a small piece of jewelry. It's just the more inventive architecture in buildings, the dimension that I like."
If not this, then what? She has several thoughts. She might have finished her psychology degree, but she adds that she also might have gone into set design, an interest of hers in college. She had also came close to having a degree in interior design so she might have ended up doing that professionally.
If not here, then where? Zilker says there is a part of her that wants to live in New York.
"I've always loved the energy of that city. It's the vortex of so many creative activities. " She appreciates the visual arts of the city...the museums, the theater, the writing...basically everything about the city. "I love the sense. The energy alone...just walking around the streets. That lively street activity. I've always felt very at home there. "
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What's next? Zilker still feels very committed to the museum and sees herself continuing to teach at the Glassell School and says she's excited about being part of the schools growth and development.
She would also like to see the art jewelry scene grow in Houston and sees herself doing more with that.
'I feel there are a lot of young people here now that are out of graduate school. People have been residents at the craft center. So there is a lot good energy in the art jewelry world now. I see myself involved in that...I just want to make things happen."
More Creatives for 2012 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page). Philip Hayes, actor Patrick Palmer, painter Ana Mae Holmes, Jewelry Designer John Tyson, actor Jerry Ochoa, violinist and filmmaker Raul Gonzalez, painter, sculptor, photographer Roy Williams, DJ of medieval music Laura Burlton, photographer David Peck, fashion designer Rebecca Udden, theater director Donae Cangelosi Chramosta, vintage designer handbag dealer Paul Fredric, author John Sparagana, photographer Damon Smith, musician and visual artist Geoff Winningham, photographer Johnathon Michael Espinoza, visual artist Jaemi Blair Loeb, conductor Katya Horner, photographer Johnathan Felton, artist Nicoletta Maranos, cosplayer Carol Simmons, hair stylist Joseph "JoeP" Palmore, actor, poet Greg Carter, director Kenn McLaughlin, theater director Justin Whitney, musician Antone Pham, tattoo artist Susie Silbert, crafts Lauralee Capelo, hair designer Marisol Monasterio, flamenco dancer Carmina Bell, promoter and DJ ReShonda Tate Billingsley, writer Kiki Lucas, choreographer and director J.J. Johnston, theater director Mary Margaret Hansen, artist Richard Tallent, photographer Viswa Subbaraman, opera director Emily Sloan, sculptor and performance artist Sonja Roesch, gallery owner Enrique Carreón-Robledo, conductor Sandy Ewen, musician Camella Clements, puppeteer Wade Wilson, gallery owner Magid Salmi, photographer Carl Williams, playwright