Matrix Software Makes its Way to the Smithsonian
Introducing Sir Zoltan David: a talented Matrix software maven and accomplished jewelry designer
An accomplished Matrix user and jewelry designer, Sir Zoltan David has built his career around forging innovative, original, and unique jewelry. He holds several industry honors, including multiple AGTA Spectrum Awards, InStore Magazine’s Coolest Jewelry Store, and now, a contribution to the Smithsonian Museum. In the following interview, Zoltan shares a little about himself and how Matrix helps to fuel his jewelry-sculpting success.
Zoltan, you definitely have a passion for creating jewelry. When did you decide you wanted to be a jeweler and what was the appeal of jewelry?
I knew from an early age that I was going to be an artist and a designer. I’ve always been curious about how things are made and their interworkings. From learning about clocks and plants to chemical reactions, I enjoy inventing and discovering new things. Rocks and metals were especially interesting to me. I discovered early on that I had a natural ability to sculpt, though I never viewed sculpting as a viable career. (Turns out I was wrong about that—there are countless talented sculptors doing great things.) So I visited a goldsmith’s studio in Edmonton, Alberta around the age of twenty. This was the hook that reeled me in. Still today, jewelry is appealing because it requires a creative process that incorporates precious metals and gems, which fascinate me.
Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
This is a question I get asked a lot, and over the years the answer has changed: many things inspire me. Today, the materials, tools, and techniques that I discover and adapt for my work are major sources for ideas and visionary works. These factors are continually adding to my palette of useful “colors.”
There is a more personal form of inspiration that fuels me daily, too, and that is my love for beauty, originality, and perfection. I always strive for these qualities in my work, but I’ve also learned it can always be more beautiful, more original, and more perfect. I am always reaching just a little higher to achieve my vision(s). I’m also inspired by this gift of creativity and motivation to create such beauty. It is a joy, and I am truly blessed to spend my life doing what I love. This attitude of gratitude keeps me going.
Being a talented designer and bench artisan, what made you decide to incorporate Matrix software into your workflow?
For me, Matrix software is another tool in my belt. My entire career as a designer and goldsmith blossomed from sketching watercolor designs and building cold forged, hand-fabricated pieces. These days, Matrix allows me to create beautiful renderings in a fraction of the time, as opposed to hand sketching and coloring each design.
How has Matrix software changed or improved the way you produce jewelry?
Matrix software allows me to virtually build complex pieces in much less time than fabricating directly in metal. Yet, I have married the advanced technology of Matrix with the traditional techniques of goldsmithing and diamond setting. My ability to realize my visionary and creative potential greatly increased through this marriage of technology with hand craftsmanship. Plus, it frees my time to create more pieces! Matrix has blown the doors off of any physical limitations to my imagination. Another important application for me is to use a Matrix model to explain to my goldsmiths the methodology of the build and the end—all in 3D. Very useful!
How do you use the rendering functionality within Matrix software for your website and when communicating with customers?
I use the rending feature constantly! Not only to communicate with my clients, but also for my website and other digital platforms. I also sometimes use it to determine the possible color/material combinations before executing the final piece.
What is your favorite piece that you’ve created lately?
I love every piece I make and each one is a favorite. After all, if I do not love it, it’ll never see the light of day.
But if I had to pick a piece, it would be Iris: a gorgeous necklace with amazing moonstones and a mix of blue patinated bronze, inlaid platinum, and diamonds. This piece has found its way into the permanent display category at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. What an honor for me! The piece will debut in early 2018 as part of the Moonstone Collection in the Smithsonian’s Feldspar Exhibit. Iris was also honored in AGTA’s Classical Platinum Spectrum Awards in 2016. So this is a very special piece, to say the least.
If your occupation was not that of a jeweler, what other vocation would you practice?
I love playing the piano. I am also very interested in metallurgy, material sciences, and I love building things, too. So I have several fields to choose from, any one of which would suit me just fine!