"Take a short break, don’t let it get you down, and start again."
- Lo Locke, @blackulna
MEET THE ARTIST
@blackulna on Instagram
This is jewelry artist Loren (Lo) Locke. Based in Olympia, WA, Lo has been creating jewelry for seven years now. Her creations can be seen on @blackulna 💚
Lo was first inspired to create jewelry because she shared that she couldn’t afford to buy any at the time. She added, "I wanted to make elaborate designs for myself to feel confident and stylish, and then of course I fell in love with the craft in the process." 🏼
"I started with wire wrapping and using bones and teeth in my pieces (I was a full time taxidermist at the time!)" Lo shared. Shortly after starting, she wanted to further her skills so she took a beginner jewelry class. There were lots of hard moments when she started and it’s only been within the last few years that she feels confident in saying she's a skilled jeweler!
Lo's very first pieces were sold at an artist market. "I remember feeling overwhelmed and so happy that people actually wanted to buy the things I made! I still feel that way at times, I’m deeply grateful for every sale." Oh, how special! 🏼
Curious if there's a significant meaning behind her brand name, Lo explained that the name Black Ulna came because a lot of her work featured blackened metal and bones. (Ulna is a bone in the arm.) She added, "I often don’t resonate with my business name anymore and I've considered changing it but after 7 years it’s hard to take that leap! Maybe one day!"
Let's take a look at some of her stunning pieces!
Handmade Jewelry by Loren Locke of @blackulna on Instagram
ARTIST'S DESIGN STYLE
As a jewelry artist, Lo has experienced a lot of AHA! moments already. One of the moments that stood out was a couple years ago, she made a very intricate foxglove design and thought to herself, “wow I’m actually really good at this.” Lo said, "When you make something that intricate without melting any tiny silver pieces it’s a big deal. I really felt it on that piece."
THE DESIGN PROCESS
For Lo, she often scribbles rough design ideas into a notebook she carries everywhere. She also highlighted that the final design process always includes a stone - she outlines it on a piece of paper and draws her ideas around the stone shape. Little design tweaks always happen during fabrication as well, she shared.
Asked to describe her own style, Lo said, "My jewelry style is heavily inspired by my love of nature and the feelings being in nature invokes. Thoughtfully picked stones are often a highlight to my pieces as well."
Here are a few more gorgeous pieces by Lo! 💚
Handmade Jewelry Creations by Jewelry Artist Lo Locke of @blackulna on Instagram
JEWELRY DESIGN TIPS, TRICKS, AND HANDY TECHNIQUES
What's one design tip you one to share with your fellow artists?
"My number one tip for fellow jewelers is, if you’re serious about this craft and love it, invest in the right tools. Nothing will develop your skills like having the tools to help you do that. I wish someone had told me to buy a a real torch upfront because once I did everything became easier!"
One piece of technical advice on creating.
"Silversmithing is hard stuff!! Every jeweler has hard days. Things often don’t go well. If something melts, start over! It’s usually easier to start over than try to fix something that didn’t go as planned. Take a short break, don’t let it get you down, and start again."
Any words of encouragement or tips to those who are starting out in the world of jewelry-making?
"Take the extra time to do things carefully and thoroughly. Use less solder! Set the corners first! Buy those fancy tools. And ask a fellow jeweler for advise, we’ve all been through the process, there’s no stupid questions and personally Im always there to offer encouragement!"
Lastly, here's Lo's message to the universe:
Follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blackulna/
Check out her website: https://blackulnajewelry.com/
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