Copper in the Arts

February 2013

The Charming Jewelry of Heart in Chains

By Jennifer Hetrick

Copper moon tree In this copper moon tree necklace, an antique copper wire frame beams in a hammered and textured lure. Inside the ring is a tree made out of copper wire, which makes up the trunk and branches. A green jade disc bead fills the role of the moon in this design.

Photograph courtesy of Laure Lovelace

Artist Laure Lovelace's love of copper was sparked by a chance trip to a craft store, and has since grown into a thriving jewelry business that expresses her creativity and affinity for nature. Lovelace opened Heart in Chains in Catasauqua, Pennsylvania in 2010 and an Etsy store soon followed.

Her work sells mostly through festivals around the city of Bethlehem, but her online presence has continued to grow, especially as she develops more styles of necklaces that pull at people's senses.

Two such designs have been a tree of life pendant, with copper wire as tree trunk and limbs. Lovelace places very tiny green beads on some branches for reminders of the warmer seasons, reminiscent of leaves, and in autumn-inspired efforts, she adorned select lines of the copper wire with red beads.

After seeing a friend wearing a necklace that spelled out the word "love," Lovelace began experimenting with twisting out the word in copper wire and has since also manipulated sections of wire to spell out "vegan," a cause that's close to her heart.

Her bracelets and necklaces often incorporate ceramic beads and crystals but mostly gemstones. And preferring the hook and eye closure over the lobster claw, Lovelace laces love by hand into the means that clasp a bracelet or necklace conveniently around a wrist or neck.

"I call it unique, wire-wrapped jewelry that is often funky or even industrial but casual and affordable," Lovelace says.

Copper ring Antique copper wire twists and wraps around two faceted Czech gemstones in this fully adjustable ring.

Photograph courtesy of Laure Lovelace

Recently, Lovelace began delving more into making rings and ear cuffs as well.

One of her most cherished tools is her coiling gizmo; she has a cat named Gizmo, too.

"For me, making jewelry takes me to a place of peace," she says. As part-owner and teacher of an outdoor bootcamp fitness academy, the act of creating copper art helps give her balance. "And copper is just my love," she says. "The color goes with so many beads and has such an earthy look."

Lovelace obtains her materials from several sources, including Parawire, Wiredup Beads, Vintaj and Cherry Tree Beads.

"I don't count links, and I don't measure what I'm making," Lovelace says in explaining that to her, what makes the work so meaningful to her is keeping each design unique and its own, not something calculated and repetitive.

Although if people request a design that's already sold, Lovelace does her best to replicate it while still keeping it from being an identical copy to the original.

"With antique copper and bronze wire, colors are so rich," she says, adding that this is really what she loves about this choice being a part of her finished jewelry pieces.

Lovelace's next appearance will be at the Northampton Community College spring art show slated for April 2013.

"I love how you can form these metals into anything you want them to be-you can bend, shape, twist, coil or leave them straight," Lovelace says. "My husband sees me working at night and says he can't believe it all started as just a piece of wire."

Resources:

Heart in Chains, Catasauqua, PA, (610) 403-2323

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