As a child, staring at photographs of Egyptian metalwork, I couldn’t look at them without imagining the artists of those pieces working and putting their very souls into their creations. I felt connected to them through the tangible artifacts they left behind, and my passion for that style of art inspired me to become a metalsmith. Other influences that have come to inform my work include Middle Eastern, Scythian, Indian, Japanese, and Art Deco art, as well as cosmology and philosophy.
Much of the iconography in my work symbolizes the play of masculine and feminine forces. I’m fascinated by religious architecture, both eastern and western. The onion dome and the minaret are obviously phallic, yet when created in the negative as in a Gothic arch or a Moroccan keyhole, they are yonic. I see these shapes as essentially tantric, simultaneously embodying emptiness and form, spirit and matter, and use them frequently in my work.
Because of my obsession with metal techniques, I have been called a pyro, fearless, and, more appreciatively, a fire goddess. I bring objects into being using a force normally perceived as destructive. I feel an intuitive connection with the flame and the metal, and the fire becomes an extension of my hands.
I’ve never thought of myself as a jeweler. My work isn’t about rocks. It is sculptural, and the stones I treat as found objects that bring contrasting color and light into my pieces. I prefer to use stones that are environmentally and politically ethically mined, and hope one day to make a difference in the procurement of precious metals as well.
I love working on a small scale because it's art you can take with you. You can take your favorite painting to lunch, but, depending on the size of the canvas, the experience could get a little awkward, maybe even messy. Art you wear, however, can go anywhere. I take it all, and I wear it all. Evening wear or overalls, it doesn't matter. I'm constantly opening the lockets or spinning the rings with flipping bezels. They are my talismans, the prayer wheels of my ideas and experiences. My work isn't only about how the pieces look when worn. Equally important is how they make the person wearing them feel.
- Victoria Lansford