Meet local jeweler Leanne Friedlander, whose work is both beautiful and sophisticated. She lets the materials inspire and direct her, and considers the work she does an unofficial tribute to her father, who worked with tools on a daily basis.
Studio/Business Name: LeanneF Designs
Artist/Owner’s Name: Leanne Friedlander
Where is your studio based? North Greenbush, NY
How long have you been creating? Approximately eight years
Briefly describe what you make & your process: I create jewelry – necklaces, bracelets, and earrings – with gemstones, pearls and sterling silver. I especially like working with fresh-water pearls because of the incredibly wide variety of colors, sizes, and forms, allowing for endless ideas. As much as possible, I try to use my hands directly in the process – whether knotting, hammering, forming or doing some other manipulation. I also love doing custom work – working together with a client to create his or her vision. I’ve enjoyed making custon wedding jewelry, bridesmaids gifts, assorted other gifts and personal creations, focusing on the client’s needs.
Why do you create? I work all day with computers where I can accommodate my more obsessive-compulsive needs. However, there is a part of me that wants to create something from fragments that can be made whole in a way that appeals to me and others. I want to learn how pieces can fit together into a beautiful or interesting whole. Making jewelry is a constant learning process – there is some little surprise in everything I do that can be applied the future. And, truth be told, I just love working with tools – hammering away on a piece of metal and learning how the metal moves in reaction, or twisting wire until it does what I’d like it to. In a way, it’s a tribute to my father who used tools daily to create anything that was needed.
What inspires you? I’m inspired by the pieces that I work with. The gemstones and pearls that can be arranged in so many different ways; the metals that can be forged into shapes both beautiful and useful. I rarely begin with a finished idea in mind, and often change course midway as things come together.
What are your long-term art goals? My long term goal is to continue to learn new techniques and maintain an excitement about what I’m doing. And if I can create a working business along the way, so much the better!
Do you sell your work, and if so, where? I sell my work at arts and craft fairs and on-line at leannefdesigns.com and http://www.artfire.com/users/Beadlam. You can also see what I’m doing on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/leannefdesigns.
Advice for other beginning artists/artisans?
Try to determine why you are doing your art or craft. Are you doing it for your own enjoyment? To make money? Some combination of both? Your reason for doing the work may make a difference in the paths you pursue.Be sure you’re doing something you love; there are many possibilities for discouragement and you need to be secure that this is what you want to do. Have a rooting section, whether it’s a group of like-minded people, or a teacher, husband, friend or acquaintance, is invaluable. Keep learning. We are very lucky in this area to have The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy. They have courses in so many arts and crafts, from beginners courses to advanced (you can even ger college credit for some courses). You can also learn technical aspects from any number of internet tutorials, forums specific to your endeaver, books, magazines. And for inspiration – just keep your eyes open.
Favorite thing about being an artist? Time by myself immersed in a project.