Interview // Metal Atelier

Anna Butwell was born in upstate New York, USA. In 1999, she moved to Manhattan to pursue a degree in film production, and in 2004 joined IATSE Local 52 in the Property Department, where she worked on many notable television productions and films. During this time, she also began to study metal smithing and jewelry design between film and television projects.

In January 2017, she packed up her Brooklyn studio and moved to Berlin, Germany. Soon after, she joined Volksluxus, a goldsmith collective and art gallery in Kreuzberg, where she remains today. Her time is currently split between teaching workshops and designing one of a kind wearable art.

“My work explores a perception of beauty that is imperfect and transient - essentially Japanese Wabi Sabi - with a modern punk rock aesthetic. Ideas and patterns from the natural world, such as animal print, have been coopted in fashion for generations. I extrapolate these ideas into small-scale metalwork, creating updated pieces based on age-old techniques. All of my collections are left slightly rough, showing the imperfections of the hand of the maker.”

What are your life essentials -- What do you carry with you at all times?

Red lipstick, because you never know where the day will take you, a proper BIC lighter, and a Parker pen.

Who was your most previous text/call to and what about?

An analysis of late night taco making with my neighbor.

Last meal you would eat?

Veggie Sushi

Most influential person in your life?

My best friend of 15 years, Courtney. She is the epitomy of a true Renaissance Woman.

Tried and true methods against creative block?

Reviewing old notebooks for uncompleted ideas. When that fails - knowing when to walk away, probably to the bar, and revisiting the next day with a clearer head.

What are some inspirational things, designs, artists, music, sites that you find yourself revisiting often?

The beauty and chaos of natural animal prints, Diane Arbus, Weegee, Joan Jett, period street photography.

If you could have 3 people over for dinner, dead or alive, who would you invite?

Jimmy Hoffa and Margaret Thatcher, with Ghandi officiating

Favorite cities? Why?

New York - It’s my first home and first love

Berlin - It’s my second home

Bogota - Great art, strong coffee, lovely humans


Favorite drinks?

Espresso in the morning, Vodka in the evening


Likes: the color black, red roses, Bourbon

Dislikes: Snow, Hello Kitty, Single Malt