The impetus and inspiration of a global pandemic and a year’s worth of cancelled shows have resulted in the birth of my brand new website! There is a growing body of work in the Shop that’s available for purchase, and I'm planning regular updates with new pieces. Please sign up for my email list if you'd like advance notice of Shop and show updates. Thanks to all of you who have been following and collecting my work over the years - You are bright spots in a hard time.
Please stay tuned and stay in touch...both here and on instagram - @blairlabella
Throughout time jewelry has played a dual role - in society and in our hearts. It can be an outward symbol of wealth and social hierarchy - investment pieces made with precious materials - or a more personal form of adornment created from found objects that, despite a lesser investment in raw materials, offers great aesthetic appeal through design and individuality. It's all good and worthy of notice; a grain within the spice that makes up the flavors of humanity.
All jewelers and designers deal with color, texture and pattern, or lack thereof, in one
form or another but it is our personal vision as we express our passions through our work that sets us apart. How one chooses their adornment is much the same.
The jewelry we wear makes a statement about who we are and what we value. It offers a glimpse into one’s personality without uttering a word.
I am a daughter, a mother, a wife, the servant to our magnificent feline, a designer and maker of many things. I am blessed with a full plate and too few hours in the day. Boredom is a concept that escapes me. We live in a beautiful agricultural town among the hardwoods on a New Hampshire hillside where I work, knit, grow an absurd amount of garlic annually, and am surrounded by the constant flow of music.
I am a native New Englander, having lived in all 6 states at one time or another. My younger years were spent predominantly in Marblehead, Massachusetts. I attended the University of Vermont and Rhode Island School of Design, where I earned a BA in Ceramics. I was a studio potter and tile maker for 10 years before shifting to metalsmithing after the birth of my first son - a time of real transition for me. My boys were raised on a small island in southern Maine before we made the move to New Hampshire. I love the woods I am currently surrounded by, but my spiritual home will always be along the coastline. There is a gravitational pull to the shoreline for me. Drawn to the sounds, smells and sight of the sea, I have always had a deep-seated connection to the ocean.
I can find inspiration in most anything when I slow down long enough to appreciate it. Woodland ferns and mounds of moss, craggy old rock formations, the architectural details of buildings, positive and negative spatial relationships, even the fragments of broken pavement along the roadsides I walk have all been inspirational at one time or another.
However, the gifts of the ocean are a constant source of materials for me to work with. The everyday details that go unnoticed by so many provide visual inspirations that catch my eye, and I am challenged, as an artist and metalsmith, to transform them. It's what sparks my day.
I strive to design and fabricate jewelry that is well made, comfortable to wear, and will evoke a personal connection for its wearer. The elements are clean and simple, drawing the focus to the inherent beauty and interest within the beach stones or other materials I work with. There is a balanced relationship between the bezel-set pieces – be they stones, seashells, or found objects - and the metalsmithing.
I love each stage of the fabrication process. I personally hand-fabricate each of my pieces with great attention to detail, always working toward a simple elegance in design and construction. I find the quiet perseverance that comes with a sizable production run of bezel construction truly satisfying. The progress recognized at the end of the day brings with it a feeling of accomplishment, as well as motivation and inspirations for tomorrow.
I feel rewarded and humbled when my work speaks to someone’s soul. I am fortunate to be able to get up and go to work most every day doing something that I love.