Wolfgang Vaatz

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

"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

Awards

Saul Bell Design Award Winner

2016 - 2nd place

2017 – finalist

2018 - 1st place

Niche finalist (2016)

1st and Honorable Mention in the 2018 MJSA Vision Awards. 

Centurion’s Emerging Designer winner (2018)

 

Publications

SNAG’s (Society of North American Goldsmiths) first JaMS publication (Jewelry and Metalsmithing Survey) 

Current Work

Inspired by Mount Rainier 
Pendant in California placer gold and 14k gold fused to carved, engraved and textured Argentium silver, oxidized and partially re-polished. Oxidized sterling silver 19" cable including 3.5" extension. Pendant approx. 1 1/4" in diameter and 3/16" deep. 

Past Work

ASPEN GROVE VARIATION 
Bracelet, unrefined CA placer gold, fused 14k yellow and rose gold, carved and engraved Argentium silver, oxidized. Size S. Approx. 5 1/4" circumference by 1 1/2" wide. 

 

Lily Pond with Koi 
Cuff in 14k yellow and green gold, carved & engraved argentium silver, 8mm amethyst, 6mm color changing pink garnet, and 5mm pink tourmaline. 1.88" h x 2.5" w x 2.27" w. 
Exhibit: Signs of Life 2016