the artist






About the artist

Lona works and lives in Louisville, KY.

She also teaches metalsmithing classes - for information on classes contact.


Before discovering metal, I painted using oils, water-color and mineral paints on porcelain.  I also did pencil graphics and taught porcelain painting for several years.  Living in Louisville most of my life, I had many opportunities to study art as it is a wonderful town for the arts.  I had an opportunity one day to go and watch a short demonstration of metalsmithing.  I was mesmerized right from the start and when I saw the solder flow and make that bright silvery line, I was hooked.  I asked for the card of the woman giving the demonstration and that literally changed my life.  I took a few lessons from her for a couple of months and then was on my own.  I read everything I could get my hands on and did lots of experimenting and other than the exposure from her and a couple of workshops, I am self-taught.  I feel like I found the place I am supposed to be.  I started teaching metalsmithing lessons about a year after my first exposure and now have been teaching it since 1994.

My jewelry is very abstract and some of the time, it is based on organic growing things and sometimes it is very geometric.  I usually get a spark of an idea and as I begin to work on it, it evolves and sometimes changes into something I hadn’t planned on.  It is always very labor intensive and time consuming but it is a labor of love and it seems that I can’t go very long without doing it.  When I go to bed at night designs play through my head and I can build something just in my head and as a result, I very seldom draw out the design before I start.

My jewelry is fabricated from sheet, wire and tubing and semi-precious stones.  I work mostly with silver and gold.  Although I am a lapidary and have cut my own cabachon stones for many years now, I am at the point where I am mostly working with just the metal and may add a stone if the design calls for it.  Most of my pieces are one-of-a-kind but I will do some limited edition pieces if it is a design I am very pleased with and want to repeat.  Most of my pieces are subtle and I don’t use a lot of color.  Many pieces will be oxidized as I like to add accents of gold and when the silver is blackened, the gold just pops.  It is very exciting when you see that contrast between the black silver and that lovely golden color.