Victoria Lansford Jewelry

26 Jun

Jewelry Designer and Metalsmith
A master of Bronze Age gold and silversmithing techniques, Victoria Lansford creates one-of-a-kind wearable pieces of art and art objects that recall the mystery and splendor of the ancient world, yet bring forth her own provocative vision. She has pushed the boundaries of design and execution in many old world techniques, including Eastern Repoussé, Russian Filigree, Chain making, and Granulation in over 19 years of comprehensive exploration of metal as art.

jewelry techniques bracelet
'Stardust on My Sleeve' Russian Filigree Hinged Cuff Bracelet
22k Gold, Fine & Sterling Silver, Koroit Opals, Russian Filigree
2-3/4" long x 2" wide x 1/2" high

Russian Filigree Technique
Technically, filigree means anything cast, handcrafted, or otherwise that has delicate swirls. The kind of filigree Victoria Lansford does is known as Russian filigree, or open back filigree. She builds the frame from 18k gold or sterling silver wire, and makes the tiny "filler" wires from fine silver for flexibility and contrast. She shapes and cuts each individual wire to tension fit it within the frame so that she can turn the piece over with the wires still in place and solder from the back. This method preserves the integrity of the patterned edge.

Victoria Lansford's award winning work has been featured in Metalsmith magazine's 2007 Exhibition in Print, Jewelry Artist magazine, Art Jewelry magazine, and on Home and Garden Television's That's Clever. Recent shows include Exploring Boundaries: Evolutionary Metal at Rochester Institute of Technology, and Framing The Art of Jewelry at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon.

handcrafted bracelet
'Inspiraled' Eastern Repoussé Cuff Bracelet
Sterling Silver, 7" around x 1-1/2" wide x 5/8" high

High-Relief Eastern Repoussé Technique
The word repoussé is French, meaning to push out. Victoria uses thin gauge sheet silver or gold, hitting alternately from the front and back to create the high relief you see. No molds are used, only hand tools.
She first hammers the design on the front of the sheet with a line tool, over a steel bench block. Next she hammers the metal from the back with oval-ended tools. She continues hammering on the front, then the back, until she has achieved the height she wants.

A long time educator in the arts, Victoria is committed to sustaining ancient techniques through workshops and various publications. She served as head of the Jewelry and Metalsmithing department at Spruill Center for the Arts in Atlanta from 1997 to 2004, and has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

sterling silver chain necklace
'Entwine' Filigree & Double Roman Chain Necklace
22k Gold, Sterling-Platinum, Fine Silver, Chrysocolla Drusy
Pendant portion: 3" long
16" chain

Two Way Double Roman Chain Technique
The first chains Victoria Lansford learned to make were Roman (sometimes called loop in loop or foxtail) chains. These chains were made by the Egyptians and the Greeks, but for some unknown reason, the Romans got credit. In this ancient method, each individual link is fused and formed from fine silver or 22k gold, and then woven together. A bracelet of the most basic pattern may have as few as 25 links, a complex necklace as many as 900.

Artist Statement

The external artifacts with which we adorn ourselves emphasize the presence and radiance within us. There is a timeless quality, just in the very act of making jewelry, the act of holding it, appreciating it, and wearing it. This exchange between the adorner, the adorning, and the adornment, is a rich tremendous ritual that spans the multicultural tapestry of humanity to frame what is beautiful within us, to adorn ourselves with relative finite works of art that represent and remind us of the beauty that surrounds us.

Much of the iconography in my work symbolizes the play of masculine and feminine forces in the universe. I'm fascinated by religious architecture, both eastern and western. The spire and the minaret are obviously phallic, yet when created in the negative as in a Gothic arch or a Moroccan keyhole, they are feminine and a metaphor for the transformational. I see these shapes as essentially tantric, simultaneously embodying space and form, and use them frequently in my work.

My passion for metalsmithing began with my fascination with New Kingdom Egyptian metalwork. As a child, staring at photographs of such works, I imagined the artists of those pieces putting their very souls into their creations as they worked and felt connected to them through the tangible artifacts they left behind.

I am aware of an intuitive relationship with fire and metal, as the flame becomes an extension of my hands. I love working on a small scale because it's art you can take with you. You can take your favorite painting to lunch, but, depending on the size of the canvas, the experience could get a little awkward, maybe even messy.

Art you wear can go anywhere. I take it all, and I wear it all. Evening wear or overalls, it doesn't matter. I'm constantly opening the lockets or spinning the rings with flipping bezels. They are my talismans, the prayer wheels of my ideas and experiences. My work isn't only about how the pieces look when worn. How my pieces make the person wearing them feel is essential.

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  2. Victoria Magazine Is Back!
  3. Victoria Bratberg Floral Jewelry
  4. Victoria Found Secret of Beads & Jewelry
  5. Alex Soldier Inspirational Jewels

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  2. Stacey Peterson February 1, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    I have recently discovered victoria lansford and absolutely love her work! absolutely amazing and magnificent!

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