Antelope Studio is run by Denver, CO based designer Annie Polk. Raised in West Texas and New Mexico, Annie is continually inspired by the expansive landscapes and eclectic cultures that mix in the region. Her work pulls from many different influences. Among the strongest are her appreciation for contemporary art, her love of traditional crafts and folk art, and her knowledge of sculptural forms. Annie’s design aesthetic is simultaneously modern and ancient, and utilizes a variety of materials. Annie holds a BA in Art History from Vanderbilt University and earned a Jewelry Design degree at FIDM-Los Angeles, where she received the Jewelry Design Award. Antelope Studio launched in December 2010.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I design jewelry under the name Antelope Studio. I like to think of jewelry as tiny sculpture and I don’t like to limit myself to one material or style. All of my collections are related, but also very different. I see the different collections as odes to design histories and as interpretations of a mix of inspirations. My designs seem to always be both ancient and modern, whether I aim for that or not.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? I just launched a collection called Catch, which is based on a fish shape. Ever since my son was born a year and a half ago, I’ve been randomly sketching and doodling fish. I think becoming a mom made my childhood memories come back vividly and it also oddly gave me some serious wanderlust. I grew up fly fishing with my family and I also have a long standing fantasy to sail around the Mediterranean and eat fish everyday. So, there you have it…a jewelry collection based on fish.
What kinds of things are influencing your work right now? I’ve always loved Dutch still lifes and recently I’ve been looking at them again. I’m not sure how or if I’ll translate them into jewelry designs, but I guess it’s a nice exercise to explore why you are drawn to something. I usually come up with new ideas by looking into things that I’ve loved for a long time. It’s a good way to work—to draw from what you know and love and to make something new and fresh from it.
How did your interest in art or fashion begin? My interest in fashion began in the dress-up closet my mom kept stocked with hilarious clothing and tons of costume jewelry. My interest in art began in college as an art history major and then I had a very formative job experience working for a firm in LA that specialised in large-scale sculpture fabrication for artists like Jeff Koons and Charles Ray. My husband, Chris Oatey, is an artist and being around his work and creative process spurs my motivation to create as well.
Describe your current studio or workspace. We recently moved to Denver after living in Los Angeles for ten years and we bought a creaky old Victorian house in central Denver that has a finished attic. It’s the third floor, which provides both a workout and a great treehouse-like studio atmosphere. I especially like that there is a little nook where my son can roll around and read books while I try to get work done. It’s great to work at home.
Favorite article of clothing? My mom has kept a few of her great dresses from the 60s and 70s in perfect condition. One of them is a raw silk and linen shift dress that I would wear every day if I could. I want to find someone to make a few copies of it in different colors.
Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work? What I like most is that women within a large age range wear my jewelry. I take that as a huge compliment and interpret it to mean there is timelessness in my work.
If you were a drink, what would you be? Anything with crushed ice. Or a cold cheap beer after a long hike on a hot day.