Today we’d like to introduce you to Anne Wolf.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Anne. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Although both my parents were computer engineers, I knew early on that I would have a different path. I’ve always loved making things – getting my hands dirty and watching an object from my imagination take shape and become real. My first exposure to the crafts was when I was 14, watching my babysitter make ceramic bowls on the wheel. I was mesmerized, and from then on took every crafts class I could find, first in ceramics, later in textiles and metalworking. Fast forward 15 years, and I was graduating from San Diego State University with an MFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing, looking for a way to make a living. Eventually I came across an ancient metalworking technique called mokume gane. Mokume gane refers to fusing different colored metals (gold, silver, brass and copper among others) together in layers, then creating patterns in the layered material. The patterns are organic, unique, bold and somewhat tribal. I was hooked! The technique combines my love of craft with some of the precision and math skills inherited from my parents. I’ve been working in the field of mokume gane for over 10 years now, creating custom wedding rings, bracelets and other jewelry, and even vessels in mokume gane.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I soon learned that the best way to make a living in the field would be to concentrate on custom wedding rings. This was tricky for two reasons – first gold is expensive! And second my attitude toward marriage wasn’t great, since at the time it wasn’t legal for a lesbian like me to get married! I overcame both of these challenges in 2008, a brief window in which gay couples in CA were allowed to get married. During that time, two guys in my running club approached me. They were getting married quick before Prop 8 might pass, and they wanted me to make their rings. To make it easier, they would buy the gold for me. It was my first time working in gold, and thankfully it went well. I also got to see how much I enjoyed working with engaged couples – helping them design their perfect rings. So, my business started out in the gay community making rings for friends, but has grown to nationwide over the years even as marriage equality has grown across our country. LGBTQ couples still seek me out and I remain thankful for and connected to that community, but really I make rings for all types of couples.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Anneville Studio – what should we know?
I specialize in custom wedding rings using the rare and specialized ancient Japanese technique of mokume gane. The word mokume gane means ‘woodgrain metal’, referring to the organic patterns created. It is closely related to Damascus steel, the technique used to make patterned swords and high-end kitchen knives out of steel.
I am proud that my products are the highest quality possible – this is due in large part to my training under the amazing Helen Shirk, Professor Emerita at San Diego State University. She taught me to have the highest standards and to take professional-quality photographs of my work.
I’m also proud to offer jewelry made from all recycled metal – no new gold or silver is mined for my rings, and all stones I use are ethically sourced.
Another point of pride for me is that my rings are gender-neutral. When you look at most wedding ring websites, the absolute first thing you need to decide is whether you want a man’s ring or a woman’s ring. What’s up with that? We all have round fingers! At my site and in my studio, you just look at rings and pick the style you like. No preconceptions. And no hard sell either! You get to meet and chat with the artist who will make your rings from scratch.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I think knowing my limitations has been the key to my success. I keep my business small so I can pay individual attention to every piece of jewelry I make. That means limiting the number of pieces I make, and turning down custom orders that don’t fit with my aesthetic or area of expertise. I don’t want unhappy customers, so I stick to what I know I can do well. And what I enjoy doing!
- Address: 2750 Historic Decatur Road #209
San Diego, CA 92106
- Website: http://www.annevillestudio.com/
- Phone: 619-488-7540
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: annevillestudio