Local jewelry artist takes inspiration from local architecture
Jewelry artist takes inspiration from local architecture
For Peters Township resident Audra Azoury, finding beauty in things we see every day is second nature.
This environmental artist and designer, a Pittsburgh native, draws inspiration from local architecture and the truss designs of the area’s bridges for her unique and stylish jewelry. Whether it is earrings, bracelets or necklaces, Azoury is always “trying to figure out something different.”
A graphic designer by trade, Azoury said the pieces she creates are an expression of the “partnership between earth and industry.”
“My designs connect people to places and things they care about: our city, its history, great architecture, where we are headed in the future.”
Azoury likes using steel in her designs, which are laser cut in Pittsburgh. She explained that most steel is 80 percent recycled content and 100 percent recyclable.
While much of her work is based on Pittsburgh’s bridges, Azoury also has a collection based on Fallingwater’s architectural and environmental elements.
“I get really inspired by certain things,” said Azoury. “I feel it, know it’s a good idea, and take it from there. Anytime I try to make something, it doesn’t come.”
Azoury has been designing jewelry for around three years. She spent most of her adult life raising her son while working on different graphic design jobs. But, after meeting a number of women who were starting different careers later in life, she was motivated to try something different.
“When the inspiration and opportunity to create some custom designs based upon Fallingwater’s architecture came along, that’s when I became really excited about the idea of creating jewelry that had more behind it than just a pretty design,” said Azoury. “It’s the idea of wearing a little memento to a place or time that means something to you, but that is abstract enough to be worn on a daily basis as a simple accessory. The statement isn’t obvious; it is simply a conversation starter.”
When the time came to market her jewelry, Azoury had a lot of help from people who admired her work. “This is Pittsburgh,” she said, “and Pittsburghers love to help each other.”
Azoury says she always approaches shop owners to see if they will carry her jewelry, but doesn’t take offense if they don’t think her work is a good fit for their business. “I am thankful for their honesty and I move on to the next shop.”
Right now, Azoury’s work can be purchased online or at one of several local establishments, including the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, the Senator John Heinz History Center, the Carnegie Museum Shops and Koolkat Designs in Mt. Lebanon. The Fallingwater Collection is sold exclusively at the Fallingwater Museum Shop.
While Azoury’s designs are very specific to Pittsburgh, she said many are applicable to other industrial towns as well, and in the future she would like to work with an art rep to get her work out to a larger audience. One of her goals is to get her designs into The Smithsonian; she is hopeful that she’ll reach a Pittsburgher with connections and make that goal a reality one day.
Azoury also makes charms based on Pittsburgh landmarks including the Point, the inclines and the Cathedral of Learning – she’s working on one based on the PPG building. Moving forward, she wants to work on some charms that speak about the country as a whole.
“It’s all baby steps,” said Azoury. “It’s exciting that I have my whole life ahead of me.”
To see Azoury’s designs, visit www.audraazoury.com.