Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
Kentucky Jewelry Artist Inspired by Nature and Environmental Awareness Demonstrates at Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea will feature a demonstration on Saturday, Feb. 6, by Josie Lamb Williams of Lexington. Williams will demonstrate her jewelry made from 100 percent recycled sterling silver wire, recycled glass and an eclectic variety of woodland materials from 10:30 – 3:30 at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.
Williams has always been fascinated by trees, rocks, sticks and all things wild and as a result she has developed a strong interest in ecology. When her parents gave her a book on wire wrapped jewelry one Christmas she was instantly hooked on making jewelry that incorporated the wave and spiral patterns familiar to her from nature.
The medium of wire wrap was a perfect fit because it does not rely on any fossil fuels or toxic finishing chemicals, as do so many other jewelry techniques. As Williams’ skill grew, she found ways to create increasingly more detailed work by putting her own spin on traditional cold joinery techniques. She began to gather natural materials such as twigs and acorns and incorporate them into her work. All of the shapes used in her jewelry are based on shapes found in nature. The spirals represent growth rings in a tree, or a droplet of water falling in a pond.
As the business grew though, so did Williams’ concern about the environmental impacts of the jewelry industry. She states, “It seemed hypocritical to create jewelry designs to honor nature and then use silver and gemstones that are mined in ways that promote environmental destruction.” Williams joined the co-op America Green Business Network and through them, found suppliers for more sustainable raw materials such as recycled sterling silver and Fair Trade recycled glass beads. The recycled sterling silver that Williams uses is milled in the U.S. and supports domestic economies and safe working conditions and she uses chemical free wire-wrap methods of construction.
Williams states, “My advice for other artists who are concerned about the environmental impacts of their work is to not be afraid to look into alternate methods and materials. Looking for greener options does not have to be a compromise in your creative expression, but can instead be an opportunity for creative growth.”
Works by Josie Lamb Williams are regularly found at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, located at 975 Walnut Meadow Road, just off Interstate 75 at exit 77 (Berea). The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the café is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The center currently features works by more than 650 artisans from 100 counties across the Commonwealth and a special exhibit “Kiln-Formed Glass by Kentucky Artisans.” For more information call 859-985-5448 or visit the center’s Web site at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Kentucky Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.