Our goldsmith, Erin Stuart, has released a line of jewelry for sale in our shop. Erin is a Greenville native who graduated with a BFA in sculpture and jewelry from Winthrop University. After graduation, she decided she didn’t want to work at a normal jewelry store, instead opting to find a place where she could collaborate on unique, challenging pieces. She asked her friend Kate Worthen, our CAD tech, if llyn was looking for help. Unfortunately, Kate said “no.” Three days later, however, there was an opening, and Kate emailed Erin back asking for a resume. “It happened very fast,” said Erin. “I started with sales and social media and moved quickly into goldsmithing.” Today Erin spends most of her time in the shop, pacing workflow, casting, preparing jobs, fabrication, stone setting, essentially the hands-on work of jewelry making.
Erin has put a lot of her sculptural background into her new line. The sleek, geometric looks are made with sterling silver and 14k gold along with laser printed nylon parts. Erin has always been attracted to the physical properties of materials as well as their expressive capacities. Of her inspiration Erin says: “on the most basic level I focus on the relationship between negative and positive space as well as the contrast between light/dark, matte/high polish, precious/”disposable”. I design very formally, based on lines and shapes I enjoy.”
Since working at llyn strong, Erin has begun to explore the intersection of sculpture and wearability. Her older work focused on form, it was elegant on its own but might not have been comfortable or practical to wear. In her new work, Erin has shifted her design philosophy towards wearability: “The presence of an object on the human body is not what makes it jewelry, but the relationship between the object and the body.”
In her spare time, Erin still works on sculptures and occasionally, installation art. Though she enjoys working with new materials, such as wood or textiles, she always finds herself drawn back to metal.
If you’d like to see more of her sculptural work, you can visit her website erinstuartstudios.com. Or better yet, stop by 119 N Main Street to meet the artist and check out Erin’s beautiful, modern jewelry line in person!