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Yin plus Yang is Golden


Paul Wood
A poem, at best, is a miniature statement that makes you stop and gawk and drop into a state of admiration. Each work of jewelry created by Carol Schwarz and Michael Schwarz, is such a poem.
The immediate attraction is the swing and bounce of natural forms—Carol’s bamboo motifs, ever evolving, or the incorporation of perfect, small seashells or pebbles, and the inclusion of sometimes chunky, honest gemstones, maybe boulder opal, or perhaps emerald. Lured by those effects, you get caught up in the “smithing” in gold or sterling silver, the powerful confidence of their hand fabrication and their original designs. The danger of wearing a Schwarz piece to a social occasion is that others will focus on the earring and not the ear, the pendant and not the person on whom it depends.

This partnering of Maui-inspired natural forms and meticulous old-world craftsmanship grew inevitably from Michael and Carol’s committed partnership. "We have always worked well together,” says Carol. “We are one of those couples who can spend 24/ 7 together and just have fun with whatever we are doing, whether it's making jewelry or digging a ditch!"

It’s a yin-yang situation.
Both grew up along similar paths, although on opposite sides of the planet. Michael’s childhood in Vienna was rich in exposure to Art, architecture, antiques. He studied biology and engineering at University, but found his true passion in creating art jewelry from whatever materials he could get his hands on. A kindred relationship with an elder master craftsman gave Michael the exposure and inspiration he needed to pursue his dream of independence and creativity as a goldsmith.
As a child, Carol delighted in tagging along with her parents to antiques shows and auctions. She gained a respect for the Art Nouveau tradition and turn-of-thecentury craftsmanship. Always having had an innate ability to create with her hands, her desire to make art work that would emulate that which she grew up admiring became a reality when she met Michael in 1987, Haiku, Maui.
Over the next 20 years, the two worked hard making a name for themselves in the Maui Arts scene. Showing collections of jewelry in a dozen different galleries, in addition to working as “ghosts” for other, high end designers here on island. In 1996, they bought land on Maui’s North Shore and built a home situated well beyond the reach of “the grid.” They traded electric/water hook-ups for the pleasures of seaside jungle isolation. Michael taught himself how to install photo-voltaic power for both home and studio needs, “proving that even the strong engines of compressors and buffers can be powered by this Earth-friendly technology.” Carol developed her distinctive lines—bamboo, mermaid, Maui Nouveau.
Then the Great Recession hit, circa 2008, and Michael (practical) felt that they should diversify their incomes—jewelry, after all, being a luxury item. By then he was well trained in photo-voltaic systems. He exposed himself to all the knowledge and classes he could on the subject, and started a business as an off-grid solar guru. After eight years of running this one-man operation, Michael felt completely consumed by it. He longed for the creativity, freedom, and quietude of his goldsmithing life, and days spent in the solitude of his jungle property on Carol’s side. So Michael has come back to the workbench and the freedom of home. For Carol, being alone in the studio for those eight years provided her the freedom to develop as an individual artist and goldsmith. Now, with Michael returning to the studio, he will re-ignite his talents of meticulous craftsmanship, precision, and engineering to combine with Carol’s sense of balance, harmony and design. Carol made use of those years to make her mark as a known Maui artist through her exposure as a member of the Four Seasons Wailea Artist Showcase. You can meet her there with her collection of work every Tuesday from 8-1:30. The couple’s work can be seen not only there but also at Maui Master Jewelers in Makawao, and Luna and Tide in Pa‘ia.
Says Carol, “Now that Michael is back in the studio, I anticipate that our outpouring of exemplary pieces will increase substantially. I think 2017 is going to be our best year ever!

+001 808 283 2165
Meet Carol every Tuesday from 8-1:30 at the Four Seasons Wailea Artist Showcase