Laurie Schutt Dryden, NY Mixed Metals

My jewelry making has been a journey. As the nest emptied, I felt the urge to create -- something pleasing, something lasting. It started with beads – learning symmetry, asymmetry and finishing. One path led to another – glass fusing, lampwork beads, Chinese knotting and kumihimo. Then, quite by accident, I took a “fusing fine silver” class. Through that class I found my passion – metals!


With the exception of that class, I am self-taught. I have never been told “you can’t do that” so I am not afraid to try new techniques (or for that matter, to figure out my own techniques), find new tools, try new designs and combinations – learning throughout the process. I have been asked “What inspires you?” The answer seems very simplistic – shapes/geometry. I find myself looking at a piece of metal and imagining. I will envision one shape, then other shapes will fall into place to create a piece that moves, captures and reflects light.


My collection of jewelry incorporates sterling silver, argentium, fine silver, gold-filled and copper. I sometimes use pearls to embellish and will combine metals to make a statement and provide versatility. I call my style contemporary classics. My pieces are hand forged – they start as either sheet or wire. The shapes are punched or sawed out of sheet then textured, drilled, riveted, filed, soldered and/or tumbled – whatever the piece dictates.

The chain maille pieces start as wire. I make the rings in my studio and weave them into a pattern. The fine silver wire goes through roughly 7 separate steps before it is ready to be polished. Each piece is finished with great care before being presented to the public. I take great pride and satisfaction when I see the smile/pleasure that a piece of my jewelry brings to the buyer.
I look forward to continuing my journey – there are many techniques to learn, many more designs to bring to life and many more smiles to create.

Outside the Lines Art Gallery • Connie Twining & Stormy Mochal, Owners
1101 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001 • (563)-583-9343 • 101 S Main St, Galena, IL 61036
• (815)-776-9166

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