Blue Lake Swirl

Sher Novak


Gualala, CA, United States

3.5" X 2" X .5" pendant on a 24"chain

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Photo credit: George Post

I am inspired by the natural world, and influenced by urban life. My jewelry expresses my visual fascination with structural relationships: pattern, repetition, rhythm, gradation, proportion, curvature, and line. The theme of the pieces often focuses on stories, history, and memories. The pendant, “Blue Lake Swirl,” is a Lake Michigan story of vast resources of life-sustaining water and iron ore deposits that built an iron smelting industry in the 19th century. There were good jobs for generations of families who established numerous towns in North Michigan. It is also a story of carelessness and disregard. Blue slag was formed as a byproduct of 19th century iron smelting. It was dumped in the lake as industrial waste; proof of a bygone industry that was dirty and polluting. Today Leland Blue stone is collected on the beach by rockhounds; but unfortunately the trash-to-treasure story of Lake Michigan’s Leland blue stone is a very rare one indeed.

I earned a BFA in Jewelry and Metal Arts at the California College of the Arts in 2015, after a career in fashion. I now manipulate metal, instead of fabric, to interpret forms and structures worn on the body. Needlework techniques remain in some of my pieces, building on my experience and love for needle and thread, as well as for metal.

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