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12 Questions: Erinn Cox

This week’s 12 questions are answered by Erinn Cox. I met Erinn while attending graduate school at Memphis College of art over a decade ago! She is currently pursuing her second Master’s degree in Estonia and has been such an inspiring force. 

A brief bio:

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Erinn received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in sculpture and photography from Florida State University and her Master of Fine Arts with an emphasis on sculpture and installation from the Memphis College of Art. In 2014, she took classes in metalsmithing and wax casting at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago, IL with instructors Neil Kraus and Pam Robinson.  In 2016, Erinn began a second master's degree in Jewellery at the Estonian Academy of Arts under the supervision of Kadri Malk with an anticipated graduation in the spring of 2019. 

 Erinn currently lives and works in Tallinn, Estonia where she is pursuing a second Masters degree in Jewellery; though she also maintains a residence in Chicago, IL.  Erinn teaches Art History online for several community college consortiums across the US and both writes and designs for an art & philosophy online journal she founded titled Louise & Maurice.

See more of her work:

LONGING: The Bittersweet Madness, 2018: oxidized copper (1,353 rings), sterling silver, 29 oxidized cast gold bronze braids of artist’s hair, 30.5 x 25.5 x 7.75 cm, 3550 grams/3.55 kilos

12 Questions:

1.What are 1-3 books that have influenced your life?

100 years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, absolutely anything by the Sufi mystic Rumi, and I’m currently reading the loveliest book by David J. Whyte titled CONSOLATIONS | The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words that I know is going to be in my head for years to come.

2.What are you currently working on?

I am currently pursuing my second master’s degree in Contemporary Jewelry at the Eesti Kunstiakadeemia in Tallinn, Estonia.  My thesis work has to do with two topics: Loneliness (Longing) and Mortality.  Working only in non-precious metals such as copper, bronze, and brass, I am making large and heavy necklaces for men that incorporate traditional metalsmithing techniques with cast pieces of my own body like hair, fingernails, and dental impressions.

3. How has failure set you up for later success? What was your favorite failure?

Well, I think failure is a tricky word because what is really ever a true failure?  Sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t, but we learn a lot from both; hopefully not allowing them to become regrets when they don’t.  I would say though, one of my hardest lessons learned was financial, I failed to keep myself in good standing and found myself in substantial debt (both personal and educational loans).  I worked four jobs from 10 years to get financially free and living outside that burden has been one of the most positive and life-changing decisions I’ve ever made.

4.What is your most unusual habit?

Every Saturday morning when I get to the studio, I clean and straighten my workbench and I read this beautiful essay / artist statement by Rui Chafes titled Durante O Fim while I have my morning coffee. His work and his writing remind me of the kind of work I want to be able to make and provide unusual clarity in the quiet of the weekend morning.

5. If you could have any painter, living or dead paint your portrait who would it be and why?

Gerhard Richter, for sure.  He has this magical ability to translate such delicate emotion with light and brings a softness to his portraits that I think I could really use sometimes.


6. What is the most indispensable item in your studio/workspace/office?<