Keith Lewis

In my work I explore the line between accident and control, manipulating the inherent qualities of natural materials. I am currently using amber Mica which I layer with 23K goldleaf and inset with natural pearls and precious stones. I contrast this formal construction with serendipitous surface treatment such as my version of a very old Japanese patina; I heat copper to bright red, expose it to wood particles, and then plunge it into boiling water which creates an organic and unpredictable "Raku" effect. As I create and explore at my jeweler's bench, I strive to capture not only the beauty of the natural materials themselves, but the surprises that arise from working with them.

The design concept at the heart of nearly all my designs is a simple shape in a moveable (kinetic) format.  Nearly every finding is handmade to enhance this movement; an earwire allows a shape to rotate, a connector will swivel, a loop will act as a hinge. The handmade earwires allowed me to develop my signature earring, which is designed to fasten closed.

Growing up in Europe and the Far East, I became interested in crafts at an early age. I began learning to make jewelry in South Korea at a lapidary shop in 1968 and later studied at several universities, graduating with a Masters of Fine Arts in Goldsmithing from the State University of New York / New Paltz , during the tenure ofKurt Matzdorf and Bob Ebendorf.

I have been designing and making jewelry in the Hudson River Valley for over twenty-five years. One part-time assistant helps me in the studio, and my wife keeps it all together.