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5 questions with SHADOWS winner Sandra Landergott

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Sandra Landergott of SDL Studios in Atlanta, GA, was one of the winners of our February Design Challenge, SHADOWS, for her bracelet MIDNIGHT SHADOWS. We asked her to tell us a bit about herself:

 

Having been a creative person all my life, I got into making jewelry by seeing a necklace I liked and thought, "I can make that."  It had a beautiful large stone centerpiece and natural stone beaded chain. From there, my ideas exploded. I had more ideas than the time to pursue them. Then, I found I couldn't get the unique findings I wanted to finish my pieces! So I took a metals class to make my own. That led me to silversmithing, which I love. The more I study, the more I find out just how much I don't know. My journey continues to evolve as I discover new techniques.

 

I think of myself as somewhere between a hobbyist and professional. I started dabbling in jewelry design many years ago. However, in the past 5 years I've devoted most of my time to it.

TELL US ABOUT MIDNIGHT SHADOWS.

Well, I've named this bracelet MIDNIGHT SHADOWS because the Florida Everglades can be very mysterious at night. I chose these stones because they reminded me of trees and shadows in the moonlight with their lovely creams, blacks and browns. I've spent considerable time painting different aspects of the Everglades during daylight hours. This seemed like an appropriate way to showcase it in the darkness.

I fabricated the bracelet out of five Picasso Jasper stones set in sterling silver with fine silver bezels. The silver flower charm is hand cast by me with an Onyx cabochon set on top. The back of each medallion has a tree-like image that I designed, etched and roller textured into the sterling to mimic the stone patterns. Picasso stone is an earth element and has a nurturing, creative energy.

Sandra Landergott cuff
A cuff that Sandra has for sale on her Etsy store. 
HOW DID YOU LEARN JEWELRY-MAKING?

Originally, I read magazines and books and taught myself to make some simple pieces. In later years, I revisited this medium and took instruction. This is the best way in my opinion. The instructor is there to answers any questionsŠ and there are many. The internet has been a good resource as well. Trial and error always gives you memorable lessons.


WHAT'S THE BEST ADVICE THAT YOU EVER GOT FROM A TEACHER OR A MENTOR?


To remember to BREATHE!

While holding a "fire-breathing dragon" of an acetylene torch for the first several times, I found myself holding my breath. I still do at times, until the piece is soldered and not melted into a silver puddle.

WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN ESTHETIC? DO YOU HAVE FAVORITE MATERIALS THAT YOU WORK WITH?

 

My style tends to be organic, rustic with a BoHo flavor. As beautiful as a shiny piece of silver jewelry is, I usually give my pieces a patina to show off the texture that I prefer. I like my jewelry to feel comfortable to wear, like your favorite go-to pair of jeans.

 

Besides using silver, I have worked in copper, brass, gold, and vitreous enamel. Also, I've done some Mokume Gane and Keum Boo. Stones are a big part of my designs as well. The most fantastic colors and patterns come from humble rock beginnings. Mother Nature is awesome!

Sandra Landergott sea glass earrings
Another treasure from Sandra's Etsy store!

WHAT IS YOUR WORKSPACE LIKE?

I have the luxury of using my basement level for my studio. My bench is an old 6 foot pine table with lots of my tools residing on top within reach. The most unusual thing I have in my workspace is a tree stump!

WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU?

 

I¹m thinking of doing more 3-D pieces! People can follow my work by visiting my Etsy online store and I also sell at galleries in the Atlanta area.

 

FIND MORE: stone setting , metal , bracelets

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