First Friday Santa Cruz



Evelyn Markasky

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Evelyn Markasky lives in Aptos, California, but started her life in an edgy little steel town with a large immigrant population in Youngstown, Ohio. Life in Youngstown was shaped by steel and she is left with the image of the nighttime sky glowing pink from the blast furnaces 24 hours a day. It is this image she has subconsciously recreated in her studio with her torch; heating, soldering, coloring, and melting metal, not quite 24 hours a day, but close.

Markasky works in various metals and uses vitreous enamels sometimes for their colors, but mostly as a patina adding texture and an aged effect to her pieces. Her first foray into enameling was torch firing complex-formed metal shapes and problem-solving how to enamel them without them collapsing or falling apart. This curiosity eventually led to experimenting by adding and embedding many unusual things into her enamels like foils, salts, glass, steel, wire, graphite… and finding ways to incorporate the images she has been obsessed with for many years. She uses these techniques with her metalworking skills to create artful jewelry, sculpture, and wall pieces.

That obsession plays a strong part in Markasky’s work, after all, what is art if not obsession? Old family photos and photo booth images are a constant that always returns somewhere in her work. One form this takes is spoons. She makes spoons and particularly spoons, not forks or knives as there is something whole and complete about a spoon, the circular bowl that can be filled or empty, the curves and all the variations that can be made. Some are made from one piece of metal with figures on the end of the handle. These images were taken from street photography. She initially started with a street photo of her mother that is found in much of her work from spoons to tarot cards to jewelry to wall pieces.

Markasky has work in the 2020 book, Coveted, by Melanie Grant, as well as in the 2013 Lark Book, Showcase 500 art necklaces; 2014 Behind the Brooch by Lorena Angulo; the 2014 pictorial survey, Foldforming at 30 by Rhoda Weber Mack; 2017 Narrative Jewelry: Tales from the Toolbox by Mark Fenn; and several issues of Belle Armoire jewelry magazine. She received the Jurors Choice award in a Charles Lewton Brain annual fold forming competition. Markasky has had pieces in the Enamelist Society’s traveling exhibitions Alchemy 1, 2, and 3. She has also exhibited in shows with the Northern California Enameling Guild, the Enamel Guild North East, and several online shows with The Ganoksin Project. She was involved with a Flickr group called Ring A Day (RAD) where she made a ring a day for a year. The group exhibited at the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) conference in Seattle in 2011 and Lark Books has published a book about RAD.

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