How Lisa Salzer Gets Down With Vintage Materials
She makes the 1860s feel not so far away.
Sustaining a jewelry line with its roots in insanely unique vintage items can’t be easy, but Lisa Salzer acts like it ain’t no thang. And girl knows how to get creative. Watch how the so-talented whiz behind Lulu Frost turns Art Deco dress clips and Victorian shoe buckles into wear-it-now magic. —carlye wisel
“These Deco Earrings used to be dress clips from the Art Deco period—around the 1920s or 1930s—and they range in size because women used to wear them on the straps of their gowns or sweaters. I love the transforming the classic into something new.”
“The Victorian Cuff started off as Victorian shoe buckles from the 1860s. We select them, curve them, and file them down. Each one is totally one of a kind. They are delicate but tough at the same time because they’re made of steel.”
“These 100 Year Necklaces are comprised of elements from the 1860s up to 1960, so they’re kind of a century of jewelry in one piece. In terms of making each one, it’s very much an intuition thing. I basically start with thousands of vintage pieces on trays around me, and I start to collage them together until it feels right. It’s a process of removing and replacing until it has the right harmony and balance of materials, texture, size, shape, and color.”
”Code Fine Jewelry is a collection of from-scratch designs that I’ve done that’s based on the font from the Plaza Hotel. I’ve heard some interesting stories from people about why they like to get certain numbers—I think people really grow attached once they think about what their own personal number is.”
“I was so inspired by these fantastic, geometric triangular vintage Art Deco pieces—so inspired, in fact, that I decided to single them out and use them as the basis for my exclusive Deco Cocktail Necklace for Of a Kind. I love the way the differing sizes of the triangles create a nice rhythm and the varied choice of chain keeps the necklaces interesting. It’s what I like to call ‘the midsize statement necklace,’ which, in my opinion, is the perfect kind—not so big and bulky that you won’t be able to wear it comfortably, but still substantial and cool enough to give you that amazing complement to any look.”
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Erin Considine Attacks Metal (Ever So Gently)
The designer demonstrates the value of having an anvil half your size.
Having shown us her skills on the dyeing and weaving fronts, Erin Considine’s upping the ante and breaking out the saws and anvils: The tremendously talented jewelry designer dreams up and models each of the ornate brass pieces that she uses to add a bit of toughness to her soft, fibrous pieces. This is how she developed the geometric component that features prominently on the very awesome necklace she made just for us.
Want to check out the finished product? Click here to see—and buy—the soft-but-structural edition Erin created exclusively for Of a Kind.
“When I made this element, I was going through a bunch of art-deco architecture books and came up with this shape. From there, I drew it out and glued it to a piece of metal—brass with a low copper component. Then I sawed it out and filed the edges. I like rounded edges that are a little distressed looking—not too precise. I guess I’m kind of an unconventional jeweler in that way.”
“I’ve carried this anvil to eight different apartments—this 55-pound anvil. To get this moonscape texture, I hammered out the brass piece on the crappiest part. The curved shape just naturally happens when you’re hammering it on one side.”
“I wanted it to be a little thicker, so I added a layer of wax to it. Then I sent it to my caster in the city to create a mold for me and make 20 pieces. I use recycled brass. I love the color of brass—it’s really warm—and sustainably sourced materials are a huge part of my line.”