About Proun1919

Hello, my name is Amanda.  It’s nice to meet you.

Jewelry has been in my blood for a long time, and my fascination with all things metal crystallized with a fateful decision during my college years to declare myself as an art major.  According to my sometimes irrational sense of logic, it was much more of a challenge to develop a creative voice than to bury myself in a stack of books.  Though, I did find quite a few opportunities to lose myself in the campus library, immersing myself in the course of 20th century arts and crafts.  While specializing in metalsmithing during my college years, I had the wonderful experiences of designing and selling my jewelry in several galleries around Lake Michigan, as well as honing my craft working with a boutique jewelry design studio.

I eventually fell back into the rarefied world of academia, earning a master’s degree in 20th century art history, theory and criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  I was offered an internship with Sotheby’s auction house during this time and had access to amazing jewelry specimens.  The processing of assessing the jewelry we handled was fascinating, and this planted the seed for me to seek out further gemological training.  I made my way through the Gemological Institute of America’s program and earned certification as a Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) and an Accredited Jewelry Professional (A.J.P.).  And, for anyone who might be familiar with the certification exam, I did indeed ace my 20-stone exam on the first try.

Proun1919 indulges my ongoing obsession with metal and stones – and allows me to explore the intricacies of weaving handmade chains using chain maille techniques.  The patience and concentration required to craft these chains by hand are a welcome foil to the amount of time I spent living and working in a digital space.

What’s in a name?

Proun1919 strives to capture a spirit of avant-garde modernism. The name borrows from Russian artist El Lissitzky’s creation of the proun nearly a century ago as a visual language that reflected a negotiation of the boundaries between industrial production and artistic vision. Lissitzky introduced the proun in 1919, the same year that the Bauhaus opened in Weimar. The manifestos of this era shaped a unique visual style characterized by rational abstraction and geometric reductivism that have had lasting implications across the decades of design theory and practice.