Copper in the Arts

September 2013

Earthy Persuasions in Copper: Lost Marbles Jewelry

By Jennifer Hetrick

Copper cuffsCopper cuffs are one of the best-selling items with Lost Marbles Jewelry.

Calling herself a serial entrepreneur, Dick graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in graphic design from the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas and within three days found herself working in the advertising department of the Neiman Marcus headquarters.

Dick only worked at Neiman Marcus for seven months and then took time off to raise her two daughters, but she notes that her time in high fashion did have a Devil Wears Prada feel to it. She spent a good portion of years serving in the nonprofit sector and eventually delved into the position of self-employed web designer before opening Lost Marbles Jewelry in 2010.

"I always thought I would go back to pottery or painting, which I enjoyed in college, but I'm doing metal work instead,” she reflects. “It still surprises me. I used to think metal was cold and impersonal, but I was wrong. Many metals, and especially copper, have a warm and welcoming, forgiving spirit."

The colors possible through patinas are a lot of what Dick appreciates best about her now knack-ready jewelry efforts.

"I also like that metalwork is normally done by men, I like being different," Dick says.

Thick yet strongly captivating wrist cuffs, bracelets, earrings, pendants, necklaces and uniquely crafted wall art are her main focuses through Lost Marbles Jewelry.

Dick explains that the lost marbles wording stems from her deciding to move 180 miles west from the Dallas area back to her hometown of Abilene several years ago, all to marry the man she loved. And that's how she lost her marbles but found her way back to jewelry through it.

"I had played around with making simple beaded earrings and necklaces about 15 years ago, and after I moved to West Texas, I was unpacking my belongings and found my beads and tools," Dick says about how her jewelry labors began again.

She describes her work as boho chic or bohemian, usually purchased by women who enjoy rustic, primitive jewelry inspired by the Romans and Celts.

Dick sources her copper from RioGrande.com and OnlineMetals.com but most favors the pieces she gets from scrap yards around her city.

“I don't follow the trends that change from year to year, and I don't copy what you can find at the mall,” she says. “I stick to my vision of the earthiness of copper with unpredictable, colorful patinas.”

Her broad width of cuffs is popular on her Etsy, where she has sold to people in about half of the states in the U.S. as well as Australia, Canada and Germany.

“I like that the larger size gives me more room to make a dramatic statement,” she says about her cuffs.

Mixing patinas to stir up unusual hues and multi-speckled efforts are a part of the treatment process for copper that Dick admires most about the possibilities with this earthy-hued metal.

“I love to experiment without trying to control the outcome,” Dick says. “I let the copper and patina do their own thing and surrender the need to be in charge.”

Resources:

Lost Marbles Jewelry, Abilene, TX

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