Today we’d like to introduce you to Margeaux Wymer.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I have always loved art, but never found the one medium that was right until I took a jewelry class in college and realized I had finally found it. I would lose time; hours would go by while I was creating and it felt like the blink of an eye. My college teachers, Dave and Roberta Williamson made a huge impact on me as a person and an artist and I consider them my mentors. Even though I graduated with a major in psychology and a minor in art I decided to pursue art. After college I interned at a studio in Mentor called Flux Metal Arts where I learned under Kim Baxter, she helped me further my abilities and also influenced me greatly. While interning there, I took a class and met Vincent Hawley who taught me the ancient art of Florentine hand engraving. I ended up traveling to Italy with him to learn under his master as well and realized I truly loved this specific style. When we returned, he asked me to open a store with him. We opened under VWH Jewelry for a year, but Vincent and his now-wife moved to NYC leaving me with the store and I ultimately changed the name to The W Gallery for my last name. From there I have now expanded the store by knocking through the wall that separated me from another space to make it one large space. I have now been here for 8 years and love being a part of downtown.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has definitely not been a smooth road. It took a while for people to realize the growing culture of local stores we had in the 5th Street Arcades so it was a slow climb to 2019 which was a fantastic year for myself and my store. Once the pandemic hit none of us were sure what would come of our stores. Some closed, some downsized, and some, like myself, stuck it out. I had just expanded the previous summer and it was terrifying being accountable for double the space with virtually no sales. I was finally able to reopen at the end of May 2020 and then the riots happened. Almost all of my windows were shattered and were boarded up for months before I could get new windows put in. 2020 was definitely a test of my resilience. With being closed for nearly 6 months I wasn’t sure I would be able to rebuild. There were some moments I almost gave up, but I ended up sticking it out and things are still on the rise and getting better every month. I consider 2020 to be a hiccup in my journey and decided to not let it drag me down.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I specialize in Florentine hand engraving which is a style of engraving that is, as the name suggests, all done by hand. The tools consist of a steel knife in a wooden handle and a special kind of wax that has plastic in it. When you heat it up it becomes soft to pick up the metal piece and hardens to hold it for engraving. You are basically taking a sharp knife to metal and using a lot of muscle to push your design through it. Some lines are gone over multiple times to get the right effect that you are going for. This style of engraving is not meant to be perfect; it is meant to catch the light and make each facet you create sparkle in the light. It is hard and time-consuming work, but the outcome is always amazing.
I have a blog post on my website that goes into more detail about this process if you would like to read it.
We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
My parents took my brother and I on several trips when we were younger. Going to all the different places is at the top of my list when it comes to my favorite memories. Going to visit my family in Greece would have to be number one. My aunt and uncle moved with my cousins there when I was young and I remember the first time going to see their new house and visit with the rest of our family there like the back of my hand. We started out in Athens to see their new home and ended up on the island of Kimolos where my grandmother grew up. In between we stopped in Santorini where I got to ride a donkey, and being a horse lover, I just thought it was the coolest thing. I loved the food, and the people, and everything about the culture. Ever since we have gone back several times to visit family, compounding the amazing memories I have from that first experience.
- Website: www.thewgallerycle.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thewgallery/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theWgallery
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/WGalleryCLE
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-w-gallery-cleveland