Studio Story: Iris Guy Sofer of Iris Guy Design

Iris Guy is a resident jewelry designer here in Seattle. re-souL has had the continuing privilege of carrying her work since 2003. Originally from Isreal, she studied at the Bazalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. Her work can be found in small boutiques, the Seattle Art Museum and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. We had a chance to visit her studio and talk to Iris a bit of what influences her and drives her to create her wearable works of art.

Iris Guy working at her soldering table.

Iris Guy at work in her studio.

You live in Seattle now, but you are originally from Israel. What was it like growing up? How did you spend your days? Were you always creative?

…Well, growing up in Israel was fun! Since it’s by the Mediterranean, it is warm most of the year. We used to spend most of our days outside playing with friends (after school of course..).

I was born to a very creative family. My mother is an amazing artist as well as her mother. Ever since I can remember myself, I was surrounded by arts and craft. Creating with whatever we could find, especially from nature. My mother was an art and pottery teacher as her second job, teaching children, so being with her was my default.

Iris Guy earrings

Earrings being prepared for finishing.

How did you get into jewelry design?

I earned my B.Des. in visual communications, but ALWAYS had the need to work with materials, and get my hands dirty 😉 rather than work on the computer all day. I knit and sew whenever I have free time, and my first collection of jewelry was hand crocheted jewelry with silver wire (I used to knit for days with my grandmother…)

Jewelry is my natural passion driven from my love for accessories and wearable art, working and sculpturing small scale with varied materials.

What is your studio like? How long have you been there? 

I’m at the current studio space for the last almost 5 years, and sharing the space with another four talented jewelry designers. I find it great and rewarded the opportunity to engage with other artists, brainstorm and have the creative community around.

How do you record your ideas?

I sketch on whatever I find the moment I have an idea… post it, backside of bills etc…

Do you have an inspiration board? What’s on it right now?

Few accessories made by my daughters, conceptual items I have collected and African beads, wearable art and such.

Iris Guy Inspiration wall.jpg

Inspiration wall in Iris’ studio space.

You work with several tools in your studio. What tool do you enjoy using most in your design process?

I have plenty of tools… but I love to use my river rocks collection for new organic forms and putting them together. I love a good wire cutter too. 😉

Your collection over the years has grown quite extensive, do you have a favorite piece?

I LOVE the stone necklace and the large Branch necklace. So different and yet so me.

Do you wear any of your pieces?

I mostly wear my small earrings and the big necklaces when I go out… My little son will pull every piece of jewelry I have on.

Tell us about a current project you are working on. What is the inspiration behind it?

Im participating in the upcoming’ 3X2 Redux’ exhibition at Facere gallery which is a collaboration between glass beads artists to jewelry designers… and inspired by the beauty of the glass beads I was given, hoping to find the right balance between my minimalism metal work and the fullness and richness of the glass.

To see more of the Iris Guy Collection go here and here.

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