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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Modern Silver Posts Schon Interview with Sam Patania

an interview with

SAM PATANIA
by Marbeth Schon























Rio Plata cuff Sterling silver

I
ntroduction:

Sam Patania, as the third generation of Patania artisans, has followed very much in the footsteps of his father and grandfather before him. He began his apprenticeship at the Tucson Thunderbird Shop when he was a young teenager. For the next decade, his after-school training would be a major part of his daily routine. But Sam followed his own path, too, having sought instruction outside the traditions of the shop. In his 1977-78 school year, Sam enrolled in a jewelry-making course at Catalina High School where he explored new approaches to his craft. In 1979, he became a full-time employee of the Thunderbird Shop. To feed his desire for knowledge, he attended the University of Arizona in 1988-89, where he met jewelry instructor Michael Croft.

Sam tries to keep within the traditions with which he was raised, honoring his father and grandfather, and other artisans as well, including well-known silver designer William Spratling.

Sam’s personal philosophy as a jewelry artist reflects this aesthetic: “A desire to learn drives my work,” he says. “New techniques, symmetry, asymmetry, materials—all are areas which continue to drive my designs. Color captures my eye and the thought of the beautiful women who will wear my work keeps me inspired.”

Sam’s talents shine like his one-of-a-kind creations, such as the one that is currently in the permanent jewelry collection of the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C..

Sam's studio is housed in the old Thunderbird Shop. He calls his company, “Patania Sterling Silver Originals” to honor the creative spirit that has earmarked this family’s heritage for three generations. The strength and character of the Patania name and tradition show no sign of weakening—doubtlessly, this is a family whose standard of excellence will survive and thrive well into the future.

(taken from "Patania: 70 Years of Excellence, Part II" by Shari Watson Miller,MODERN SILVER magazine, April - May, 2001)

Click here for Marbeth Schon's brilliant Interview with this amazing 3rd generation artist of the Patania family of artisans on Modern Silver.


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