The Artist's Studio Series: Curtis Arima

Curtis Arima (Jewelry / Metal Arts 1998, now Jewelry / Metal Arts faculty)

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My studio is in the Sawtooth Building in West Berkeley. It is a historic structure, built to house the Kawneer Company factory in 1913, and then later home to the Sealy Mattress Company.

I specialize in ancient jewelry and metalworking practices that are no longer in widespread use in industry because of their time-consuming nature. I want to honor their history and continue their legacy while having a contemporary conversation.

Even though my studio is divided into a retail space and a making space, the "threshold" is transparent; the intent is for people who visit the retail space to be able to see and connect with my processes of making and understand more about what they are looking at and buying.

The studio is definitely an extension of my artistic brain. The aesthetic and functional aspects are totally intertwined. This is also exciting when clients and the public come in, as it allows them access to parts of my artistic process that they'd otherwise never see.

The Artist's Studio

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Photography by Andria Lo