Since 1999 Lana Ewing, our other guest artist for December, a nurse by day, and a jewelry designer by night creates “fun, fresh, kicky, chunky, colorful and sparkly bracelets, earrings, and necklaces among other projects. She uses Sarovski crystal, pewter, misshapen freshwater pearls, handmade artist pieces and lampwork beads purchased directly from artists in the Netherlands, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Russia, and other locales.
What started as a hobby grew into a cottage industry; but before the hobby came the inspiration, and before the inspiration came the mother. Lana laughs, “My mother always wore jewelry. I can remember her riding the tractor, plowing, and she always had a dress and hat on … and jewelry. She wanted to look good when Hubert (her husband) on the other tractor passed her. Her favorite was pop beads.” (For those too young to know, these brightly colored round plastic beads snapped together like a lego-type necklace.) But her mother also had an upscale version of jewelry: gold. She told Lana, “I will wear gold; you wear silver. That way they’ll never get mixed up.” (Lana suspected there might have been a cost factor there.) Once Lana learned stringing techniques, she was off and running. As she began to wear her handiwork, coworkers and friends wanted their own creations even though she admits, “My pieces are not for the faint hearted.” Her customer base has grown so large, she takes most orders from prior purchasers wanting a new piece in a new color combination.
Her goal is always the same: to create wearable art—jewelry beloved not only by the one wearing it but those seeing it. People sometimes bring her family heirlooms, items loved and treasured but laying unused and unseen in cupboards and sideboard drawers. She integrates these keepsakes with glass beads, pearls, pewter, and lampwork beads into one-of-a-kind jewelry guaranteeing that a piece of history can be carried with love into the future.
Ewing works hard to achieve uniqueness, beauty, and functionality. Although a long way from her childhood with her beloved pop bead, gold jeweled Mom, Lana has never forgotten the lesson: Do not let a day go by without jewelry. Even on a tractor.
An opening reception celebrating both guest artists will be held Saturday, December 9th from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. This reception coincides with Hannibal’s Second Saturday Gallery Night and Hannibal’s Living Windows event.