Zanny Adornments features handwoven textiles, art and jewelry from artist Zanny Cox. She seamlessly blends hard metals with soft fiber to create one-of-a-kind pieces that reflect her Southwestern roots. We are excited to have her unique wears at the sale this fall.
Can you share a bit about Zanny Adornments and what you'll be bringing to the sale?
My work is an exploration in the media of metal, fiber, and stone. I make fiber & metal jewelry with some pieces incorporating stones or beads. I also weave fiber art and home goods such as pillows, tapestries, table runners, etc.
You work within a variety of materials (metal, fiber, and stone). Can you tell us where you find inspiration for your products and designs?
I am a self taught metalsmith & weaver. I like to mesh the two skills together in my work to create a juxtaposition with each element. It's interesting to compare metal and fiber in their differences & similarities. I also get bored easily haha and when I tire of hammering away at metal I will weave a fiber project and visa versa. It keeps things fresh and fun for me :) As far as design I don't really plan or sketch things out; unless it's for a client. It's a free flowing process for me. I like not knowing where the project is going as odd as that sounds. In the end I am always surprised and I would create regardless if I sold things or not. For me the process is more important, it's my therapy.
What first attracted you to fiber art?
My first ever memory of weaving is when I was 8 or 9 years old. I was on a family trip in Colorado and we visited a Navajo rug shop. There was a lady sitting there weaving at a Navajo loom. She was working on this gigantic rug, that in my mind seemed almost impossible to make. I still remember her hands working with the yarn and what it looked like when she beat the weft with her fork. I was mesmerized and remember thinking I wish I could do that. I still have the picture I took with her next to her loom, it's something I reflect on now and then. It wasn't until I was 19 or 20 that I started making woven jewelry out of leather and beads. I eventually translated that into fiber and textiles after taking a basic tapestry weaving workshop. After that class the light bulb went off for me. I was like "Wow I've really been weaving all along!"...I just needed someone to show me how to do it on a larger scale. It's also the reason I now teach weaving and jewelry classes. Sure, you can YouTube or Google how to do something nowadays, but I think experienced hands on teaching is really helpful in an art practice. Also having a mentor to ask advice and look up to is really helpful!
In what ways has your upbringing influenced your ideas of, and perspective towards, creativity?
It's funny I was just talking about this with Miranda Bennett (who will also be showing at FELIZ). My upbringing was really Cowboy Western. My dad was a bareback rider & good ole cowboy, my mom was and still is an animal collector lol. They have a sweet little farm about 2 hours from Austin. I literally grew up on the back of a horse and I rode competitively my entire childhood. Our home was very Southwestern with cowboy boots by the backdoor, a potted cactus in every corner, cowboy hats and spurs hanging on our coat racks. This was not just home decor, we really used these items in our day to day lives. I spent a lot of time in a rusty old barn mucking horse stalls, cleaning woven saddle blankets etc. I gravitate towards the colors of horses and earthy bronze tones in my woven jewelry. This summer I started weaving hatbands and I chuckled because they look really good on cowboy hats. I see so much of that rustic and Southwestern influence in my work. I don't even mean to do it, but it all comes out that way so I have just accepted it, ha!
What are you currently learning about yourself as a maker?
To be ok with slow growth. To be content just being a small artist. I think with social media we can get lost in the amount of followers we have. I have found myself not feeling good enough because I only have like 1400 followers. But then I meet amazing artists who have no social media presence at all and it's very humbling. I am also learning there is no way I will ever be able to mass produce my work and I am happy with that decision :)
AND to get to know you a bit better...
Where is home for you? Austin! I was born in South Austin and currently reside barely a mile from the house I was born in. I grew up in the country about 2 hours from this city, but we visited Austin often. I would spend summers here with my grandparents and various family holidays. I moved back when I was 18 and have lived here ever since.
Astrological sign: I am a true Aries lol
Last great travel destination? It's been a bit since I took a long trip. The last fun trip out of state was to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. However, this summer my family and I took a short trip to Galveston Island. I had never really been (nor ever thought much of it), but my husband spent a lot of his childhood there. He took us to all these quaint local spots and I never knew there was such a neat art culture there! We visited a few fun galleries and exhibits downtown. My favorite was this little shop called "Mamady Primitive Art from Africa". There were statues and furniture made completely from African beads! It was so amazing to think how long it must have taken to create these pieces. Coincidentally, beads were sort of making their way into my fiber jewelry at the time, so it really fueled that fire in me to keep beading. I am so glad we took that little trip to Galveston and honestly can't wait to go back. Even in your own backyard fun adventures await :)
Where do you find inspiration away from the computer? I am rarely on the computer or in front of the TV. I am constantly chasing my 5 and 7 year old boys around or doing fun projects with them. Kids can be a really refreshing vibe, I find myself looking at the world through their eyes often. The simplest of things like a stick or rock means the world to children and I consider myself lucky to be able to view our world this way. I also get a lot of inspiration from architecture (I am really into staircases at the moment) and history! I am a huge history nerd don't get me started lol
Finish the sentence: I feel most creatively fulfilled when... I am unrolling a long woven piece off my loom and seeing the completed project in its whole for the first time!