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25 June 2010

Archives May 2009 : Jeweler of the Month

Jeweler of the Month:
Lisa Barth

I grew up in Minnesota where many wonderful stones could be found pretty easily, so I became a junior "rock hound" by the age of four. Lake Superior agates and geodes found on the shores of the Mississippi were my favorites. My love for stones was established early in my life.

I was a graphic design major in college and the design principles I learned there have come in to play in many areas of my life but it wasn't until I was in my forties that I came back to my roots with the love of stones. I was attending a home jewelry party, looking over their products when I just knew somehow I could do this better than the costume jewelry that was presented. I dove in head first and set out to learn all I could. I started out with wire jewelry, then moved on to traditional metal work and Metal Clay. I have earned level one certification in metal clay and this summer will earn my Senior certification. Next summer I plan to go for my Master Cert. I am teaching wire work and Metal Clay in my home studio and truly enjoy sharing the passion I feel for this art.

What was your first piece?
My first piece was a funky, hard wired necklace of jasper and catseye with wire wings going off in two directions and held the stones in the middle. Very strange but it did catch people's attention.

What is your creative process?
My creative process is very organic in nature in that it grows as I go. I start with a stone that somehow moves me. I take my color cues and placement of wire or metal by the form, shape and color of the stone. It is my intention to create something that enhances what is already going on in the stone, to compliment and highlight what I think is beautiful. This process often takes me on some wild rides.

What is your favorite part of making jewelry?
My favorite part of this process is exploring the possibilities and pinning down the elements and placing them in a harmonious way that makes my heart sing in response to the piece. It is challenging but also very gratifying when it all comes together.

What is on your bench now?
Right now I am working on a woven bezel in sterling wire that incorporates seed beads and small gem stones for color. It is interesting to combine the two in one bezel.

What is your most indispensable tool?
My most indispensable tool is my Lindstrom chain nose pliers. Give me some wire and my pliers and I can wrap up anything.

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