A few weeks back, while searching for the perfect vintage typewriter, I came across an awesome collection of jewelry made from… old typewriter pieces! I immediately put in an order for a wrap-around ring and gleefully wore it the instant it arrived. Last week I tracked down the artist behind my new favorite ring – L.A.’s Robynn Molino.
So where are you now, what are you doing, and who are you with?
Robynn Molino: In my home studio, finishing up logistics for an upcoming websale. My man just left for India on business so I am alone (and jealous).
Tell me about PUSH.
PUSH. is a line whose conception began back when I was still in art school. Someone gave me a bunch of buttons from an old telephone and I thought, “these could make really great ring components!” A ring doesn’t need to have a diamond or emerald to make it valuable and certainly doesn’t make it more interesting, so why not these? And so it began…..the endless collecting of vintage machines and discarded bits and bobs.
What inspires you?
Hazleton, a small mining town nestled in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
Somewhere on a tropical beach. Think Bora Bora.
Being an artist is damn hard. Advice for beginners who really want to make it work?
TAKE BUSINESS CLASSES!!! And learn to be a salesman, or hire one fast. I have a BFA from a fine arts school and though they taught us a ton about concept and design and being original, they did not give us the proper knowledge or skills to apply them to the real world. It took me a long time to figure it out (the hard way.) You really have to treat it as a 9-5 job (or more, usually) if you want it to pay off. Squeezing it in here and there just doesn’t cut it, not for me anyway.
What’s next for you, and your line?
Just keeping an eye out for new inspiration. Check out my “Wild West” collection made from old cowboy toys.
What’s most important to you?
Trying to make something that hasn’t been done before.
What’s your favorite medium?
Plastic. The colors are endless and there are so many possibilities.
Tell me something you learned from creating.
You have to know when to stop. You can overwork an idea to death. Just get it to a solid point and get it out there. You can always make changes later. I may think a design isn’t quite right, but someone else might love it, so do your best to finish it, put it out there, and see.
Did my beloved number band ring REALLY come from an old typewriter?
Haha, it goes like this. The first edition of the Number Band Rings were cast from an ACTUAL receipt printing ribbon, but they were too thin and would easily break, so I had to redesign it using the original as inspiration. People loved them so much and they are still my best seller, so I had to figure something out. “Make it work,” as Tim Gunn would say. Many pieces are cast or made from the original machine parts though – I only use CAD when necessary.
Write a haiku.
I’m more of a math and science girl.
I heard a rumor you’re a dancer. True?
Oh ya. I started dancing when I was 6 and still do (to a degree) to this day. I had a hard decision to make after high school whether to study art or dance (or chemistry, but we won’t go there). I guess art won in career and dance won as a hobby.
With unlimited resources and time, what would you create?
Anything and Everything. I have to restrain myself. I hear a song and I want to choreograph a dance, or I see great fabric and want to learn to sew. I just finished a ceramics class, which I totally sucked at, but it only made me want to take more.
Thanks for seeing the beauty in buried treasure, Robynn – and letting me wear it to dinner! Can’t wait to see what you get up to next (and continue compulsively shopping on your site).