FINISH YOUR LOOK WITH UNIQUE HANDMADE JEWELRY
Lagom Artist Profile: Lisa Mahoney
By Jan Milliman
Brockport, NY-based jewelry artist, Lisa Mahoney enjoys the art of forming something soft and functional from cold, hard materials. And whether you’re looking to purchase her unique handmade jewelry or want to learn to make your own in a jewelry workshop, she’s got you covered.
Following her path: As a college student, Mahoney was interested in travel and geography, so she took an art class, thinking she could mix travel and art into a graphic design career. But as she continued to explore different types of art, she was drawn to three-dimensional design, eventually finding her way to metalwork and jewelry. Her interest in travel remained, and you can see it in the unique jewelry pieces that may include a bead from Africa or natural materials like semi-precious stones that bring in echoes of plants and water.Mahoney’s jewelry line is called Cripple Creek, a name she chose because she wanted to paint a picture of what the jewelry would look like and give the pieces a sense of place. Semi-precious stones, leather and suede jewelry combined to evoke the earthy
southwest or an Adirondack getaway. Cripple Creek is a homey place -- a spot where you’d like to vacation.
Sharing her craft: The Cripple Creek line found a place at Lagom, where Mahoney also teaches jewelry workshops. Although these classes are on pause as we practice social distancing, when they start back up, they’ll offer another kind of getaway. Different people come together. They may not know one another when the class starts, but they sit down and spend time creating and chatting. The jewelry classes are often simple Bohemian jewelry projects that anyone can do so you can relax and finish a piece and chat at the same time. It’s a great way to relieve stress, she says. All the mental chatter and thoughts and worries disappear for a bit.
Mahoney has been teaching jewelry for about 8 years, but she’s taught fitness classes for 18 years, including yoga, Pilates, and water fitness. She finds she can apply some of the same teaching concepts from one subject to the other. Different students have different learning styles. And both craft and fitness are physical activities.
Recommendations:Home: To Mahoney, home is the place where you want to come back. “That’s your place, your safe place, where you go to get away from the stress and the bad stuff,” she says. “Out in the real word
you may wear different faces, you come home and it’s ‘This is me.’ You can relax into that.”
Home is also about finding your style and being surrounded in it, Mahoney says. Her home is filled with houseplants and artwork she’s purchased from different artists when she travels. She appreciates pieces that people actually made and prefers to save up for one special piece rather than filling her space with lots of stuff. And “obviously there has to be love,” she says.
Project: Mahoney has been exploring macramé and weaving and thinking about ways to incorporate these techniques in her jewelry, as well as adding jewelry materials to weaving and macramé projects.
Online entertainment: In this time of quarantine Mahoney has been enjoying online yoga classes on the Yoga with Adriene YouTube channel. She’s also been watching PBS Masterpiece Theater shows like the historical fiction Beecham House and Netflix’s Unorthdox.
Indoor gardening: Mahoney enjoyed recently discovering that you can put the root ends leftover after chopping up a bunch of scallions in water and grow a fresh batch.