Saul Bell Awards Interview

Jun 11, 2016


In:Awards, News, Press

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Here is an interview that Marlene Richey did for Rio Grande about me and my piece that won the Saul Bell Award. To read the entire interview and to read about the other winners please visit the Rio Grande website.

2nd Place, Metal Clay

Interview by Marlene Richey

Inspired by his mother’s struggle with dementia, Patrik Kusek’s winning piece is a story of “memories lost but hopefully not forgotten.” A prolific metal clay artist and instructor, Patrik has been immersed in the worlds of design, fashion and art his entire life. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and The Academy of Art University, he has been published in numerous books and publications and has appeared on HGTV. This is his second Saul Bell Design Award in the Metal Clay category. He lives and works in Fairfield California.

Memory Interrupted
“Memory Interrupted,” Patrik’s Award-Winning Piece
Patrik Kusek: My mother has dementia, and this piece is specifically designed for and dedicated to her.

Memory Interrupted by Patrik Kusek - Saul Bell 2016 2nd Place

Memory Interrupted by Patrik Kusek – Saul Bell 2016 2nd Place

Pearls, simulated citrines and peridots were used in the necklace. I made molds of cameos from the 1800s, when people went on their Grand Tour of Europe and collected [cameos] along the way in various towns and cities. I have purchased many of them online and use them in my current body of work. The necklace is made of silver PMC with a layer of 22K gold. The piece is created with a special 960 silver metal clay, which is a custom mix of enriched silver. The 22K gold is also a special product made in PMC that fuses to the silver surface. I originally manipulated the mold of the cameos by cutting the PMC cameo apart, then I reassembled them to appear cracked.

I work not only in metal clay but also in numerous other metalsmithing techniques.

Memory Interrupted by Patrik Kusek - 2nd place Saul Bell 2016

Memory Interrupted by Patrik Kusek – 2nd place Saul Bell 2016


PK: This collection started with a brooch, and I worked out a lot of the technical issues making it. The necklace grew out of this body of work. But actual time to design and make the necklace was approximately two weeks, working on it part time.

PK: I learned to be a little more satisfied with simple solutions and, at the same time, to be more restrained in my execution of the piece. A couple other pieces I made with this same idea and concept were much more fragmented and weren’t as strong. They had a lot of cracks in them. This time I accented the single crack in each of the cameos. I guess I am saying that I learned to pull back a little bit and be more restrained.

PK: I have taken a lot of classes, à la carte. I had a graphic design and branding business during the dot-com period and was making a lot of money. After a while, I was stressing out during the daytime and so I took a class in metal clay. After taking the class, I realized my love for working in metal clay. I was really happy making jewelry. At this point, I made a career change to jewelry and opened a business.

I have a degree in merchandise marketing from FIDM, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco. A while later, I went back to school at The Academy of Art University and received a second degree in graphic design.

My first job was with Macy’s. I helped in the accessories department there and had some wonderful experience in the bridge/fashion jewelry area. I worked on special event fashion shows and therefore had a good knowledge of this area of jewelry. I was helping other people put their ideas forward but often in my own voice.


To read more of the interview please visit

To learn more about dementia and Alzheimers please visit

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