AVA Studio Chat: Paulette Werger and Leo Reinhard
Paulette Werger makes jewelry, vessels, and flatware that draw upon botanical imagery, mythology, and folk tales. Her metalwork relates to abstracted botanical form and line drawing. The work is intentionally spare and evokes the first forms of spring or the last of winter. Whether macro or micro in focus, the emphasis is to strip away the excess and get to the core of the image. Surface and the intricate mechanics of her work are unique. She works with a variety of materials like gold, silver, hand-cut gems, pearls, and enamel. Her interest in working with tools was influenced by her father who was a mechanic. She has many childhood memories of spending time with her dad in his garage where they made drawings together and she helped him with fixing things. Werger is originally from rural upstate New York. Her great-grandfather was a painter trained in the Hudson River School who supported a family of ten with his artwork. As a child, she was surrounded by his paintings and the landscape that had inspired him. She spent many hours outdoors rambling through fields and woods, building tree forts, and drawing pictures; the importance of the natural world has persisted in the narrative of her work. Paulette Werger is a studio jeweler and educator living in New Hampshire. She received her B.S. in Painting and Sculpture from the College of Saint Rose and Skidmore College, NY, and her M.F.A. in Art Metal from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Leo Reinhard is a college student studying bio-chemistry as a duel citizen, living between Switzerland and Sunapee, NH. Presently Leo is in Lebanon, refining his metal crafting skills by working with Paulette Werger. Leo was originally inspired to make artwork while he learned about beekeeping, as he became fascinated by hive structures. Now, he makes unique wire sculptures that incorporate marbles which actively roll through the works. He hopes that his sculptures bring out childlike wonder and whimsy as viewers interact with his work. He has been a part of the League of NH Craftsmen Next Generation artist group since he was ten years old. He recently became a juried member and will have his own booth next month at the Annual Craftsman Fair.