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Ventaglio Earrings - Julie Lake

Crafted by the brilliant mind of Taos, New Mexico based jeweler, Julie Lake. Lake fabricates complex designs using a high tensile strangth, fine guage stainless steel wire. 

 

Operating an industrial TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welder at precise settings in a process called arc welding ( a two-handed process where one holds the torch and the other feeds the filler metal to the flame) Lake is able to join, melt and fuse shapes together creating her elaborate art pieces. 

Though Lake's jewelry appear to be fragile, they are compleely the opposite. Over the span of 20 years, Lake has experimented with various grade of metal to create long lasting art pieces. On her journey, she found the stainless steel contained the strongest tensile strength, offering longevity and durability for her work. 

Due to the extensive process of welding, each of Lake's pieces are made to order. For more work by Julie Lake, stop by the Colibri Gallery.  

Ventaglio Earrings - Julie Lake

$290.00Price
  • Julie Lake hand fabricates her metal work exclusively from a spring tempered, fine gauge stainless steel. She uses an arc welding process at precise settings to join the metal by melting and fusing it together at the tiny joints. The nature of this stainless steel, along with the welding process, allows Lake to create complex and visually fragile, yet deceptively strong forms with very small diameter wires.

     

    Although the welding of steel is typically regarded as an industrial process, Lake likens her technique to the domestic act of sewing or knitting. By way of welding, she methodically and repetitively stitches together the threads of stainless steel which accumulate into larger forms. Her decision to only create with this very specific material is quite minimalistic, but Lake engages with the material with multidisciplinary intent. Her work spans from large scale art installation, to design-driven functional items, to wearable and decorative pieces rooted in fine craft. This multidisciplinary approach allows the individual pieces to cross-pollinate with and inform each other.

     

    Lake's training as a maker started at a very young age. Her father, Ron Lake, is a machinist who went on to establish a career creating fine folding knives. In his workshop, Lake spent much of her childhood learning to run precision equipment like manual milling machines and watchmaker's lathes. She went on to study art with an emphasis in metal smithing at the Oregon College of Art & Craft and then at the University of Oregon. While in college, Lake also began apprenticing as a bench jeweler. She worked in jewelry studios in Eugene, OR and San Diego, CA where she learned repair, original fabrication and small scale production processes. Then, in the early 2000s, Lake began incorporating industrial welding into her practice. She fabricated large steel decks, staircases and other architectural elements, along with smaller furniture pieces. Over the last twenty years, Lake has pursued a distillation of this extensive skill set, and what has emerged is a formally driven, superbly crafted and visually distinctive body of work.

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