Friday, March 1, 2013

Contemporary Florence: An Interview with Kenneth Peter Scott

As an artist and designer one of the most important influences for me are other artists and designers. I believe that having a community of like-minded people who share  the same ideas and passions is essential to creativity. Art in its many forms is a language and I am continually fascinated by the message that other artists aim to communicate though their work
The ideas of the Renaissance masters was not to continue repeating the same ideas and methods but rather to continue pushing forward and create the new and unexpected and to challenge the perception of what art is while paying tribute to those that came before them.  Contemporary art aims to push the boundaries of these accepted ideas and move away from the past to create the present.  With this in mind,  I will be conducting a series of interviews here on my blog to highlight the artists, designers and creative minds of present day Florence
In conjunction with our facebook group Creative People in Florence, I will be conducting these interviews with our group members. In the coming months I hope to be able to interview each member who is currently living in Florence as a way of highlighting their wide range of talents. The questions will be exactly the same for each artist/designer and creative person, what is fascinating are the similarities as well as the differences in the answers.

Happy Friday everyone! My apologizes for not being incredibly active this week. I have been organizing, cleaning and priming walls for paint in my soon to be studio! Its almost ready! Almost! But enough about me, today is Friday and of course that means another creative Florentine artist is amongst us. This week I have Kenneth Peter Scott, a jewelry craftsman and teacher. I hope you will enjoy getting to know a little bit about him and his designs. You can find more information on his website including courses if you are interested in learning to make jewelry yourself, as well as follow him on his facebook page

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I have been living and working in Florence for 14 years. I am originally from New Zealand and was invited to Italy, on a 6 month, contract to take up the position of designer/model-maker in the design and development department of a major jewelry manufacturer in Florence, a position I held for 5 years.
In 2000 I initiated my own manufacturing business, a fully equipped professional studio that continues to operate from an important Design Academy in Florence , “Art Studio Fuji” where I teach and create collections for my own range and commissioned pieces for private customers.
I have 35 years f experience in the craft of Jewelry and Art History which has led to invitations from various Florentine Universities to teach Advanced Jewelry Techniques and Design, positions I still hold to this day.

I was born in New Zealand, and took a boy-hood interest in collecting and polishing stones and eventually became a Jewelry apprentice under one of New Zealand ’s foremost master craftsman, I also continued to study Art and Art history, as well as sculpture and bronze casting methods. This training and study period led me to open my first Jewelry Studio which I operated for 15 years, distributing my collections through out New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Basin . Both my Jewelry and Sculpture have been featured in many exhibitions in Group and Trade Shows as well as in One person gallery exhibitions.

Why did you choose Florence or did Florence choose you?
My last apprentice was living and working in Florence, her employer asked me to come to Florence as a consultant, so Florence chose me.

What is your favorite thing/place/sight in the city or all of the above?
My favorite sights would be the Arno on a misty evening, Piazza Santa Croce, Piazza Santo Spirito on a market day, dining at the many Trattorias in Florence(The Fagoli) and the view of Florence from Fiesole

Was there a defining moment when you knew that you wanted to be an artist? If so when and what was it?
I have never considered myself as an “Artist” I practice my craft therefore I consider myself a “Craftsman”. There was never a defining moment as such, I have always worked with my hands as I came from a background of sculptors and artisans

What or who is your greatest inspiration and why?
Natural forms will always inspire me, other Artists I respect would be Klimt, Bernini, Lalique and of course Michalangelo

What is the best thing about being an artist? What is the most difficult part?
The best thing about being an Artist is not being one, to have the freedom to ply you trade and craft is to me the most enjoyable---there is no need to live up to the perceived label of “Artist”

What is art/design to you? How would you define art?
Oh Dear!!!! That is an impossible question to answer..Define ART ???

Do you listen to music when you work? If so who or what?
Yes I will listen to any music that suits my mood from baroque to the Tango. I love operatic tenor voices and Bob Dylan still talks to me as well as Tom Waits. So my taste in Music is really broad—I do though take exception to Rap music –UGH !!

If you could go back in time 10 years knowing everything that you know now what would you change and why? Or what would you tell yourself?
I would tell myself to carry on the path you have chosen, do not change one thing –you are a very lucky person---celebrate it!!!

How have your two cultures affected your work?
I am still very much influenced by my Maori heritage in New Zealand, living here in Florence has reinforced my love for sculpture, I also admire the Florentine methods of Jewellery

Who is your favorite artist/designer/writer/performer?
Artists---Repin, Gianbologna,Klimt,Michalangelo
Designers—Erte,Lalique and Mucha
Writers—Chekov, Marques,Ken Follett, Anias Nin,Katherine Mansfield ,Stienbeck and countless others ---I devour books!!!
Performer---Anthony Hopkins .Johnny Depp, Daniel Day Lewis

What is your favorite movie?

What is your favorite book?
The Pillars of the Earth

Describe yourself in five words.
Tall, moody, weird sense of humor,--the rest I would leave to others.

When you’re not being creative what do you do?
Read, listen to music or stroll around Florence , people watching

If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
Home to New Zealand, but After 17 years Florence is now my Home.

Is there anything else that you want people to know about you?

Not really, if anyone is interested you can find me on facebook

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