The featured artist for the Art Squared Art Market for the month of August is Chris Zurovec, who owns and operates his San Marcos-based business, ManMadeDesign. Chris enjoys transforming everyday Page | 2 objects into unique works of art, with a special talent for creating jewelry out of etched coins. His handcrafted jewelry represents many years of creative experimentation. I asked Chris how he creates such an unusual artistry. He explained, “Each necklace is made from a coin that has been etched in acid. Some coins, such as quarters, are made with different types of layered metal, so etching it will reveal different colors, not just the silvery color we expect it to be. The reverse side often features some of the original detail on the coin that may have not been readily visible before.” I wondered if he had received any formal training in this style; he replied, “I’ve made stuff since I was little, but never realized I was actually making art until I was an adult thinking back on it. I’ve been making jewelry as a full-time profession for five years. I’m a firm believer in a ‘make it up as you go’ philosophy.” He continues, “I am self-taught in all my creative endeavors. Making mistakes and figuring out what doesn’t work is important to me, perhaps even more important than what does work! I think that if somebody tells you how you’re supposed to do something, you’re less likely to try doing it different ways, which can put limits on the creative process.” When prompted to note the source of his inspirations or his greatest influences, Chris noted, “I get most excited by art made out of everyday objects. Transforming an item that we see on a daily basis and take for granted into something completely unexpected always inspires me. I believe that great creativity can come out of constraint, so I always try to work with the resources I have at hand. A perfect example of this is the trench-art that soldiers make out of bullet shells, and other limited supplies at their disposal. With patience and persistence even the most mundane items can be made into incredible creations.” View some of Chris Zurovec’s incredible creations at www.etsy.com/shop/ManMadeDesign and at https://www.facebook.com/ManMadeDesign. He is also on Instagram at @manmadedesign.