2017 Emerging Jewelry Artist 18 Years of Age or Younger - First Place
Autumn Lee is just at the very beginning of her career; but look at her work and you will see a gifted craftsperson who has fun making pieces that are a reflection her life and passions. She is also lucky to have talented and sharing teachers in her life. They have started her out on the right foot.
The Winning Pieces:
Nickel silver, sterling silver, copper and a battery and LED light.
I hand-fabricated my rocket by soldering, hammered out the dome and made my own tube for the rocket ships.
When I was a little girl I wanted to travel into space, and I decided to build something to represent that dream.
About a month if I put all the time together. There are two separate pieces: the pendant and the ring.
What did you learn from the pieces?
I learned patience with this piece. Other pieces I have made much quicker, and this one I had to slow down and focus on what I was doing.
Are you going to sell it?
No. I really enjoy the piece.
Do you think these pieces will influence your work going forward?
Yes, I really enjoyed making the big hinged locket. And I like the lights that are inside of the locket.
Does it reflect your current look/designs/brand?
Besides using the mixed metals, not that much. I am currently designing around sea life in my work.
What do you like most about the pieces?
The little rocket. The ring.
Did you try it on?
Where do you live?
Graham, Washington, which is close to Tacoma.
Where did you receive your training?
In high school. I started making jewelry in 2013.
When did you discover that you loved making jewelry?
2012 when I was first going into high school, and my older sister had taken a class in jewelry and I wanted to follow her. I saw what she made, and I wanted to do the same thing.
Do any of your other passions influence your work?
Hiking and camping influence it a little bit, and I am really interested in studying marine life.
Who is your design/jewelry mentor?
Alex Seitz at Riverside High School. He came a little bit later into my jewelry career and helped me make some very positive changes in what I was doing.
When are you most creative?
At night when I am lying in bed and I will write my thoughts down right then.
Saul Bell Design Award:
What did you feel when you found out you were a winner?
I was really excited and couldn’t believe it. My jewelry teacher Mr. Rees had to tell me a couple times because I was freaking out.
What made you decide to enter the competition?
My other jewelry teacher Mrs. Woldenberg encouraged me to enter the competition.
Have you entered before?
What is your favorite material to work with?
Right now it is brass.
What do you love about making jewelry?
The end product when everyone sees i,t and they are in awe over it because it is pretty.
Are you influenced by trends?
No, not necessarily.
Studio and Surroundings:
What is the one thing you most love about your studio?
I work mostly at school. I have every tool I would possibly need at my fingertips. That is great.
What is the one thing you would change about your studio?
At times I would like it to be a little quieter.
What is your favorite tool?
It is between a chasing hammer and a ring vice.
Do you listen to anything when you work?
Yes. I like to listen to country music.
What advice would you give beginning designers?
Patience is the key.
What work inspires you?
I really like Van Gogh’s paintings, and I would like to make a jewelry piece that incorporates bits of his paintings.
What achievement in your jewelry life are you most proud?
Winning the SBDA.
What jeweler would you most like to have dinner with or visit their studio?
Mr. Rees, one of three jewelry teachers I have. I haven’t seen his studio yet, and I understand he makes really great jewelry there.
Interview by Marlene Richey