Tuesday, April 25, 2017

"Mar of Santa Barbara" Jewelry at Smith Galleries

Greg Geyer
Do you ever read business signs? It isn’t unusual to see something like “Smith and Sons Construction” or “Jones and Jones Attorneys”. Back in what we like to call “the old days” it was a common occurrence for a son to follow in his father’s footsteps in business. Today it may not be quite as prevalent, but in the case of Greg Geyer; it would have been most unusual for him to go in any direction that didn’t involve the arts. His father, George Geyer, is an artist and retired art professor. His grandfather, Sueo Serisawa, was a painter; and his grandmother, Mary Serisawa, was an avid photographer. Greg’s mother, Mar Marcotte, started the jewelry business that carries her name and  is now Greg’s. From the time he was a small child Greg would help his mother with simple jewelry making tasks and thus learned jewelry making much like an apprentice. Throughout high school and college, where he studied engineering and architecture, Greg’s summer job was working for Mar of Santa Barbara.


When you look at the clean lines and uncluttered design of Greg’s jewelry, it is easy to see the
Necklace & Earrings by Greg Geyer
influence of both his studies in architecture and his Japanese heritage. And when you look at the construction techniques he uses, you see his engineering background. This combined with all the hands on experience Greg gained throughout his youth, and you have the essence of Mar. Working with sterling silver, gold fill, gold leaf, nu-gold, freshwater pearls, and often sea glass; Greg constructs jewelry that is contemporary and comfortable to wear. His designs are flowing and flattering to the wearer. Be sure to look at some of the new pieces that recently arrived at the gallery.
Necklace and Earrings by Grey Geyer

Smith Galleries is located in suite J11 (second level) of the Village at Wexford at 1000 William Hilton Parkway on Hilton Head Island, SC. Gallery hours are 10 - 6 Monday through Saturday. 800.272.3870

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"Sincerely Sticks" now at Smith Galleries

    Everybody loves a good story, and we Americans especially appreciate a success story. In 1985, Sarah Grant, a painter and design instructor, was asked to design a wooden nativity set for Decorative Woodcrafts Magazine. Although it wasn't the kind of art she made, the $500 budget her friend quoted was enough incentive to turn Sarah into a woodworker. From that article was born a second article on the artist the following year, and interest in acquiring one of Sarah's nativities by her mother gave birth to a small business. One nativity led to another, and in only a few years Sarah had to decide to either grow the business, or to let it go. Thus Sticks was born. A single trip to a major craft show brought in enough orders to make it necessary to hire staff and studio space in which to produce a wholesale line.
"You Are My Sunshine" Clock
   Now most every art and craft collector is familiar with the handmade, hand painted, wood burned furniture and art objects that are the core of the Sticks line. Each piece is "an original painting on wood" in the Sticks "sophisticated folk" style. Whether it is a lazy susan chosen in a gallery or a custom dining room set made exclusively for you, you recognize the creativity and value of a Sticks product.
   Just as the business was reaching its largest staff and its peak production, the market became unfriendly to the art world. And we know that although we appreciate original art, not everyone is in a financial position to afford it. Painters satisfy this aspect of the art business by producing reproductions of their originals. Now Sticks has met the challenge and found a way to satisfy your desire for a Sticks product. The result is a new body of work known as "Sincerely, Sticks"  Each piece of Sincerely, Sticks is handbuilt in the Sticks' Iowa studio. The imagery is an artisan print, the designs pulled from some of the most popular themes in the Sticks line. There are obvious differences in the feel of an original and a reproduction and a concerted effort to have distinguishing characteristics, such as size, between the two. But all the printed products reflect the aesthetic of Sticks handmade originals but in a more accessibly priced product. The line, now in its infancy, is small; but new items are being designed and added.The style and the workmanship are definitely worthy of the Sticks brand.
"Live Life to The Fullest" 9x9 Plaque
   Now you have two ways to tell your story with Sticks. The original handmade one of a kind articles that can be totally customized are always available; and we are ready to help you design your Sticks exclusives. The Sincerely, Sticks items represent the best of the Sticks designs and imagery, can not be customized, but have  the high quality of all Sticks products. Either way they are creatively and definitively Sticks!

   Smith Galleries is located in suite J11 (second level) of the Village at Wexford at 1000 William Hilton Parkway on Hilton Head Island, SC. Gallery hours are 10 - 6 Monday through Saturday. 800.272.3870

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Chickenscratch© Jewelry at Smith Galleries

Lisa and Scott Cylinder
    Some times we just take ourselves too seriously. We watch too many newscasts and read too many newspapers.  Pretty soon everyone and everything around us seems on the brink.  It’s time to lighten up, get our eyes off the screens, and look around us! It is an amazing place in which we live, and there are many artists who help us to see our world and our lives with a more balanced perspective.

"Full House" Pin
    Lisa and Scott Cylinder are such a pair. For 29 years they have been hatching ideas for jewelry under the business name of Chickenscratch©. Using non-ferrous metals such as brass, nickel silver, and copper, they hand cut and manipulate the metals, joining pieces with silver solder and/or cold joining connections. They also incorporate a diverse range of materials such as epoxy resin, low-fire enamels, plastics, and manufactured objects into their jewelry. Over the course of their careers, they have developed a unique patination process that allows them to achieve a variety of colors on the metal.  But their creativity only begins with their processes.  The end products are not only crafted with skill and precision, but delight the eye with their whimsy.


Reigning Cats & Dogs Earrings
    Earrings, brooches, and necklaces tell a story, remind you of a phrase, idea or cliche. They are both witty and wonderful. About their work Lisa and Scott say, “In a time when personal interactions are at a minimum, our jewelry creates a narrative that invites conversations through stories, humor and clever anecdotes. This human aspect gives the work a warmth that is sometimes nostalgic, often curious and usually joyful."

    When I asked Lisa how they came up with the name “Chickenscratch©", she replied, “Our studio multiples jewelry name “Chickenscratch©” came about when we started working together as an abstract working title. We thought that it could be just about anything. Initially we wanted total freedom to explore our creative ideas and genres and didn’t want to be hemmed in by a name. Almost 30 years later it is a name that goes with our style and humor.”

    So lighten up! Chickenscratch© will definitely make you smile, gain perspective, enjoy. It's time for some fun!

    Smith Galleries is located in suite J11 (second level) of the Village at Wexford at 1000 William Hilton Parkway on Hilton Head Island, SC. Gallery hours are 10 - 6 Monday through Saturday. 800.272.3870




 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Ed Levin Jewelry at Smith Galleries

Ed Levin
    When someone asks me to describe Ed Levin jewelry, the two words that come to mind are “contemporary classics.” How can that be? When I think of something as contemporary I think of  new with clean lines, elegance, and almost minimalistic qualities; but a classic elicits the idea of something that has been around for a long period of time and has lasting style and beauty. It could be said to have enduring excellence.  I think I’ve just described Ed Levin Jewelry!

    Ed Levin established his jewelry line in 1950. Ed was an artist, a sculptor, a jeweler, and an inventor of tools, machines, and anything needed to facilitate the production of his work. He began his sales career by taking his jewelry and a card table to college campuses where he sold to students. He then set up a studio in Vermont before he eventually settled in Cambridge, New York, where he established his production studio. All of the Ed Levin staff have been trained in house, and many of them have a long tenure with the business.

Ed Levin's Signature Bracelet
    In 2016 his Signature bracelet celebrated its 50th anniversary. Its clean lines, elegance, wearability, and ingenuity of construction have made it one of his most popular pieces of all time and certainly place it in the classic category.  In 1984, Peter Tonjes joined Ed’s staff and quickly became the authority on all the many pieces of equipment, the processes, and the style and esthetic of Ed Levin Jewelry.  By the time Ed was ready to retire, Peter was not only the designer but the person in charge. Since Ed’s death in 2007 the business has slowly evolved; but only in ways that make it more efficient and complementary to Ed’s vision. The same quality of workmanship and design in evident in every
piece in the three new lines that come out each year.

    We celebrate milestones in our family. Our two daughters have been the recipients of Ed Levin bracelets for several graduations, and they have worn Ed Levin necklaces and earrings for their weddings.  Our older daughter still wears an Ed Levin bracelet that was given to her for 8th grade graduation the year Smith Galleries opened. Do you want to begin a tradition  by giving a piece of art jewelry with lasting style and beauty? Look no further than Ed Levin Jewelry.

Smith Galleries is located in suite J11 (second level) of the Village at Wexford at 1000 William Hilton Parkway on Hilton Head Island, SC. Gallery hours are 10 - 6 Monday through Saturday. 800.272.3870