Finding joy in metal: How Evelyn Vanaman rediscovered her creative outlet

Clove ring that Vanaman created back in the fall of 2023. - Photo via @ev_vanaman_art on Instagram.

Evelyn Vanaman is a senior at Rowan University where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in studio art. Her focus is on metal jewelry making. When she first started college, Vanaman was originally a psychology major and an art minor. Vanaman liked the idea of therapy, art therapy in particular, but her psychology classes didn’t fuel her passion for it. 

“As I was pursuing that, I found out that psych was not for me. I missed having a focus on art. The best decision I made was switching back to art,” Vanaman said.

Her transition to Rowan from RCSJ was good due to the increased amount of community involvement within her major. Once Vanaman became an arts major, she gravitated toward jewelry making. 

“I had no idea that I would like jewelry making. I saw it as a class and thought taking it would be interesting,” Vanaman said. “After taking the introduction class, I loved it so I continued pursuing it.”

Her main motivation was how happy it made her. 

“I found when I did not have art in my life, I was not as happy. I felt like I did not have my creative outlet,” Vanaman said. “I missed that feeling of creating and making something that has meaning to me.” 

Vanaman makes jewelry for her classes, and she also incorporates it into her life outside of school. One of her favorite pieces of jewelry she has made is a ring. She also makes necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. 

“I just made some casted rings. It was an encouraging experience for me to make something that I liked,” Vanaman said. “I mainly make rings because most of my professors focused on rings for their projects. It takes a lot of technical skills.”

A lot of Vanaman’s time is intertwined with her school and hobby of jewelry making.

“Anytime that I am not working on school, I am working on jewelry. It takes time to know what works for you,“ Vanaman said. “It makes it easier to balance something when those things are your priorities.”

Vanaman has grown tremendously since her transfer to Rowan and becoming a studio art major. 

“I was not very confident in my abilities. Being here and having the support of people, has helped me realize that this can be something that I can become good at and potentially make a career out of,” Vanaman said.

Some advice Vanaman had for new artists is to just go for it, even though it might be scary. 

“I know that it is scary when you feel like you not going to make money from it. It was a scary, but fulfilling step to take. Going to school can help ease your apprehension,” Vanaman said.

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