Whether it is black birds on sterling branches or dragonflies on bracelets, Baltimore designer Lisa Cimino creates unique jewelry interpretations of land, sea and sky.
Artist: Born and raised in Baltimore, Cimino studied jewelry at Maryland Institute College of Art, where she experimented with a variety of jewelry making techniques. Ultimately, it was lost wax casting, which resonated with her.
Company/studio: Blackwing Metals (formerly Cheemeno Jewelry), the phonetic spelling of her last name Cimino), started in 2006.
The designer works in a studio in a large building outside her old stone house in the historic neighborhood of Woodberry in Baltimore.
In the beginning: She started her jewelry studies after a seven-month backpack trip to countries, including Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Morocco
“I returned with a curiosity for metalsmithing,” said Cimino. The first time I lit that torch, and sensed the primitive and powerful feeling of the flame, I was hooked.”
Early in her jewelry-making career, Cimino was awarded a mentorship program with The American Craft Council, which included:
- A free spot in the Baltimore craft show, ACC’s flagship marketplace.
- Paired with a jewelry mentor, Terri Logan, who shared her knowledge and experience of being a designer as well as selling in the wholesale and retail worlds.
Art & materials: 3-d jewelry using sterling silver, custom brass and gold ($80 to $2,500) in various collections, including the Creatures and Roots collections.
Elements in her earrings, bracelets and necklaces are hand-carved in wax and occasionally lathe turned in wax,
What’s popular: In the Creature Collection: The black birds on silver or gold branches really draw people in and make them smile, she said.
Favorite tools: Wax-carving tools.
Inspirations: Wonder and appreciation for all of the nature she sees on her walks in the nearby woods with her dog and in her expansive yard with enough green space to raise chickens and bees, grow a vegetable and flower gardens and tend to various fruit trees.
Recent honors: Pieces were worn by Kate Hudson in “A Little Bit of Heaven” and by Carla Gugino in “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” both 2011 movies.
- Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show, The Carter Center, Atlanta, GA, Nov 3-5.
- Craft + Design show, Richmond, VA. Nov 17-19.
- Art Festival Beth-El, St. Petersburg, FL. Jan 27-29.
- American Craft Made, Baltimore, MD. March 15-17.
- Instagram: @ blackwingmetals
- Facebook: Blackwingmetals