Wolfgang Vaatz

Wolfgang Vaatz

Wolfgang’s career as an artist started in 1986. Throughout his exploration of different media over the years; starting with painting, followed by sculpting, finally designing and fabricating jewelry, and most recently adventuring with enamel; the expression of his art remains the same – translating his experiences of natural landscapes. Through his artworks, he shares his profound connection with nature as well as encourages the viewer/wearer to feel and connect to their own valuable memories and experiences with nature.

Wolfgang works with ethically sourced materials, such as recycled silvers and most notably Placer gold- the unrefined gold flakes and nuggets with smoothened edges from the tumbling action in the rivers- he fuses to silver (Argentium, Sterling, and/or fine silver). Much like gemstones and roughs, he purchases the placer gold directly from the prospectors who mine with minimal environmental damage. This ethic reinforces Wolfgang’s theme of nature and the empathy he feels for our natural world.


"Inspired by travels to the western states, landscape inspired works depict through intimate detail peaceful scenes in nature. Although these scenes do not include grand vistas of tourist attractions, they are perfect in their own way.

However, my nature scenes are not merely adornment; they are statements engaging the viewer/ wearer to be a steward of our natural world. Each piece invites the viewer to experience a ‘living moment’ through the depicted locale. I have chosen jewelry since 2014 as a medium to carry my interpretations of an undisturbed natural world - to emphasize its intrinsic value and preciousness. Nature is essential for us living on earth. My pieces celebrate this link to nature.

All works are hand-fabricated. Originally being a painter and sculptor and then a self-taught jeweler, I take an unconventional approach. I like to combine precious metals, melting and fusing them together to create a unique texture. Purposefully, I use unrefined placer gold/ natural gold, which is directly obtained from CA miners, who pan the gold with minimal environmental impact, to enhance the individual pattern and painterly, organic look. I create my scenes by engraving/ carving through the layers of metal (18k gold/sterling silver, 14k yellow, rose & white, argentium silver) and emphasizing either the polished or oxidized silver." -Wolfgang Vaatz Artist Statement

Wolfgang Vaatz creates vivid imagery of the natural landscape using gold flake and engraved lines to achieve varying levels of dimension in his works.



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