Modern Organic Gemstone Jewelry with Recycled Metals

How I found my way to Jewelry fabrication

At a young age I discovered my passion for construction. While my mom attended church, I would sit in the office and construct paper models of cities out of index cards, paper clips and masking tape. Around 10 years of age I began beading and twine knotting making friendships for anyone I could. At 17 I moved to Seattle from California and started working at a bead shop in Pike Place Market, where my curiosity and wonderment for gemstones came alive.

In 2000 I began studying visual arts and explored my skills in painting, sculpture, ceramics and printmaking. Near the end of my 1st year of exploration I was finally able to get a spot in the coveted introduction to metals course taught by Mary Lee Hu. I was completely hooked after our first class and 2 years later I graduated with a BA in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts and a BFA in Metals and Jewelry fabrication.

I strive to push myself daily as an artist and metalsmith, furthering my education in a richly historic and fascinating field. I love exploring new metals, techniques and hypnotizing myself with stunning gemstones and minerals. Innately, I'm a hoarder (I blame it on my grandmother who doesn't have a blank space on her wall) so I end up collecting stones for years before I finally let them go and turn them into a piece of jewelry. One of my biggest inspirations is knowing that people will treasure their jewelry, hopefully for generations, and pass their treasures down to their children and grandchildren.

I source most of my gemstone found world-wide, from domestic suppliers who share the same passion for ethical business and trade practices. All gemstones are purchased either from US mines and International mines that work as transparent and conscious as they can to mine and trade responsibly and sustainably. All metals I use are 100% recycled either purchased from a refiner, or recycled in-house by me. I offer my clients in-house recycling/reclaiming and re-purposing of their old jewelry.

I believe that jewelry is an expression, not just an accessory. It is art that adorns the body expressing history, culture, tradition, hope, friendship and love. It's because of those things that creating my work with lasting integrity is paramount in my fabrication process.
Michelle Lenae
owner, Jewelry Artist and Goldsmith
I am a California native but Seattle is definitely my home. I love the gorgeous transitions between seasons, I am an avid snowboarder, my favorite question is "why?" and I have a serious addiction to cheese. Oh yeah... I LOVE what I do for a living!

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