When Virginia’s Liz Hanson couldn’t find jewelry she wanted to wear, she came up with her own minimal and modern designs.
The artist: Born in Norfolk, VA, Hanson grew up in Charlottesville, where she still lives. She earned a BA in art history from Ithaca College (NY) and continues to perfect her metalsmithing and fine jewelry skills in workshops at Penland School of Craft (NC).
The company/studio: Liz Hanson Metalsmith started in 2014. The jewelry designer works out of her in-home studio in Charlottesville and an auxiliary studio at her farm in Warm Springs.
The art & materials: Mostly handmade sterling silver jewelry. Also a selection of steel pieces and those with18k and 24k gold.
But her specialty is handmade chain. The chain aisle at Lowe’s is ripe with inspiration, she said.
- Annie Necklace ($1,199)
- Eliza Bracelet ($389)
- Organic Oval Earrings ($189)
- Rings, recently introduced. (silver, $169 and gold, $1,899).
- A chunky cast teardrop pendant on a handmade paperclip chain ($299)
- Greta bracelet ($499)
- Smaller stud earrings ($99 to $299)
- Museums, particularly art museums.
- Artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Piet Mondrian and Ellsworth Kelly.
Fun or special requests: Asked by the husband of a dear friend to create a 25th “silver” anniversary gift. The piece featured a cascade of pearlized silver domes.
Big break: Getting into the Virginia Museum of Fine Art (VMFA) gift shop in 2017. The museum is extra special to Hanson because it is across the street from where her mother grew up.
“On visits to my grandparents,” said Hanson. “I often would run over to the museum to see the Egyptian mummy.”
Honors: Two commissioned thematic collections in conjunction with special exhibits at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art in 2017 and 2018.
- Recently finished a class with Edna Madera at Penland, where she learned to “braise” 24k gold, a process that uses heat to adhere fine pieces of 24k to sterling silver.
- The Gold Fusion Collection, which Hanson created after taking her most recent Penland class.
What’s next: Several shows in Virginia, including:
- Annual VIP holiday shopping event at VMFA in Richmond, Dec. 7.
- A pop-up with Gum Tree Farm Designs in Middleburg, Dec. 15.
Where to buy: lizhansonmetalsmith.com
Get social at:
- Instagram: @lizhanmetals
- Pinterest: lizhansonmetalsmith