Talk Crafty to Me – Nicole Jacquard & Anne Fiala

Talk Crafty to Me — An inside look into Arrowmont instructors’ connection to craft, Gatlinburg, and studio practice. 

Metals Artist-in-Residence Maia Leppo interviews Nicole and Anne during their time at Arrowmont.  The two met when Nicole was Anne’s professor in graduate school at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.  They recently co-taught “Alternative Materials Inventive Solutions” during week 4 of the summer session, June 19 – 25, 2016.

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Nicole and Anne recommending books to their students.

The title of your workshop is titled “Alternative Materials and Inventive Solutions,” can you tell us more about it?
Nicole: Given the nature of contemporary craft as well as the culture of innovative technology and the presence of smart materials, our workshop aims to blend the border between technology and craft using high and low tech solutions to create art.

What is your connection to craft?
Nicole: It’s the basis of making all of my work. For me, craft is a verb, not a thing.

Anne: I’ve always been a maker – I love making things from all sorts of materials and problem solving in the process. To me, craft is embracing the history and present cultures of making – and taking pride in making something that is beautiful, functional, or something you are totally passionate about.

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Anne and Nicole’s mechanism samples.

Tell us a guilty pleasure or secret hobby of yours.
Nicole: Nascar and Fireball. Fireball pancakes are my specialty, but I also make Fireball salmon – ask me for my recipe!

Anne: The Bachelor and Bachelorette. Terrible awesome.

What are you currently listening to in your studio and why?
Nicole: Brandie Carlisle, Martha Scanlan, John Prine

Anne: Audiobooks and Podcasts just finished A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson on the Overdrive app (free audiobooks using your local library membership!)  Really enjoyed that book – and the author notes. Currently listening to Girl on a Train while I am waiting for Life After Life.

Nicole: I read books too! I am reading The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flannigan, a Tazmanian writer. Just heart wrenching. I haven’t read a good book like this in such a long time.

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Some of the books that Anne and Nicole brought to show their students. 

You can find out more about Nicole’s work at and follow her on Instagram @nicolejacquard.

You can find out more about Anne’s work at and follow her on Instagram @annefiala or Facebook at Anne Fiala Jewelry Objects.


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