Lisa Rouse (Etsy store “Swallowtail Studio”) is a great example of how far one trip to the library can go. The flourishing designer and jewelry artist began four years ago with a simple beading book from her library and a tube of beads. Some interests, though, have a way of snowballing. When a good friend and goldsmith got word of her new hobby, Lisa was invited to learn a thing or two about metal forming.
“I jumped at the chance,” she said. “It was exciting to work with a torch and hammers to transform a simple piece of wire into a beautiful sterling silver twist bracelet. I was hooked!”
Lisa continued learning with the help of her mentor, and was soon taking classes at a local art gallery. Her latest jewelry interest? Lapidary and inlay work.
“My work incorporates sterling silver and semi-precious stones. Some of my favorite stones are coral, turquoise, onyx and the many varieties of jasper. The palette of stones and colors is amazing.” Color is a big theme for Lisa; travels to Spain, Peru and her hometown area of upstate New York keep her idea book filled with visions of red, green, yellow, brown and more. “No matter where I am, everywhere I look, I see colors, textures, patterns, curving shapes that I love to incorporate into each piece I craft. I’m inspired to create pieces that will last a lifetime and beyond.”
Lisa is showing no signs of slowing down, having recently purchased Foldforming by Charles Lewton-Brain and our Basic Jewelry Hammering and Forming DVD by Bill Fretz. She’s also not finished with her inlay work and will take a tube-setting seminar in the next few months. As we leave you with some of Lisa’s work described in her own words, think about how far you could go these next few years with just a little bit of new knowledge…and it could start with a simple trip to the library!