13 Questions with Lauren Pollaro, Jewelry Artist


Born in Brooklyn, NY in 1962, Lauren Pollaro comes from a family of accomplished artists. She earned her degree in Fine Art from the University of New Hampshire and soon after graduating became involved in the graphic arts as an art director for several magazines. She has been working as a jewelry artist for over twenty years, evolving to include wall sculpture in the past ten years.

We wanted to get to know her better so we asked her a few probing questions. You can meet Lauren in person at the Art Providence Show in the Rhode Island Convention Center November 8-10.

What do you love most about making your work?          
I love that my pieces are one-of-a-kind and mixed media. This allows me so much freedom in designing my work. I love color, pattern, texture, form, line, etc, and to be able to combine these elements in a piece is inspiring to me!  

Tell us about your creative process. How do you decide what to make/do when you go into your studio?

I first have to decide which "category" I'm working in on a given day. Is it a day to fabricate metal and create the basic forms of the pieces whether they be earrings, brooches, necklaces or is it a day just for enameling in order to make the enameled elements that go into those metal forms. And then there's the assembling day when everything comes together (my favorite). On this day the pieces come to life and are completed.    

Who or what has had the most influence on your work?
I have to credit the art jewelry movement as a whole. I feel empowered by the so many innovative approaches jewelry artists have to their work, the risks they take and the unexpected materials that are used. 

What sets your work apart from that of others in the same category? 
It's very important to me to create work that is original and expresses my "voice". Though I'm inspired by what others are doing (in all mediums actually) my intention is to translate what influences me into my own, recognizable design. 

Current Playlist - what do you listen to while making your work?
I've become crazy about podcasts!! The conversations keep me company and I don't need to respond! I've made "friends" with the podcasters and I learn so much. Of course, I love the favorites "Fresh Air", "How I Built This,” etc. but I especially love podcasts on knitting and "making" in general. Those that talk about living a creative life. P.S. Audio books are a close second to podcasts.    

If you had to have a regular job what would it be or what is it?
I've been working on my own for 30 years and built my business from nothing, really. And art has always been a part of my life. That's not to say I haven't had a real job (art director for a mag). So.....if I had to go back to it, it would be in the arts. Working in a gallery?   

What are you binge-watching at the moment?
British mysteries all the way!       

What’s your favorite travel destination?
Cities of Italy and/or Amalfi coast. Also love Canada....nearby Quebec City and Montreal. 

Who is a famous artists dead or alive that you’d like to meet? Why?   
Bob Ebendorf is very much alive and I could meet him! He seems to have a kind spirit and he's one who launched art jewelry (IMHO) 

What’s your philosophy on keeping craft alive?
I think that it's important for all of us who are craftspeople to be advocates for what we do. Social media is a tool that we have now (especially since it's geared toward the younger generations). And not only the nice images of what we do but why we do it.  

What’s your favorite beverage to enjoy when the show is over?

What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you at a show or in your studio?
Something flying out of my hands while sanding and landing directly in a cup of tea… 

What’s the biggest honor you’ve ever received related to your craft?
My work being published in Art Jewelry Today.



Laura Burkett