Saturday, May 24, 2014

Smith Galleries Features Stuart Nye Jewelry

Dogwood Pin by Stuart Nye Jewelry
Smith Galleries has featured the jewelry of Stuart Nye for many years. The jewelry is classically designed and inspired by nature.

In the depths of the depression, Stuart Nye bought some second hand tools and a little silver. Without any experience in jewelry or metal work, but with good taste, an eye for beauty and faith in himself, he began to make a few simple bangle bracelets. Through trial and error he learned the nature of his materials and began to fashion silver into the leaves and flowers so characteristic of our jewelry today. From that day in 1933 when Mr. Nye began, our shop has changed in many ways. It has moved from an attic room through a series of additions to a garage to the rustic building built especially for their use in 1948 which is now call "The Shop".

The range of products has changed too. The original work was in Sterling Silver and this continues to be the most popular product. Copper was added during the metal shortages of World War II. Brass was added during the silver price explosion in the winter of 1979-80.
"The Shop" of  Stuart Nye Jewelry

Over the years they have invented many of their production methods. Through trial and error they have refined them and shared them with one another. Their artisans are trained in the shop and seldom have had prior training or experience in metal work or jewelry making.

Their tools are still simple ones. They make chisels from old files, and punches from nail sets or common nails. They make cutting tools and chisels from tool steel and use hammers and anvils large enough to remind one of an old blacksmith shop.

The beauty of their jewelry does not come from the tools. It comes from the inspiration that nature can give to a man who will take the time to look and from the skill and dedication of our craftsmen. We are mountain people with a heritage of craftsmanship.

Stuart Nye jewelry is of a quality that only a hand craftsman with a sense of pride in his work can produce, and it is produced at a modest price so that ordinary people can own and enjoy it. This was Stuart Nye's goal. This is still the goal today.

Smith Galleries is located in suite J11 of the Village at Wexford at 1000 William Hilton Parkway on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. 800.272.3870

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