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Lana Stamper

Metal / Natchez, Mississippi

Artist Statement

I began making jewelry because I have always loved and collected jewelry. I still have the first pair of earring my parents gave me. My passion for jewelry lead me to first buying wholesale jewelry and reselling it at home parties. I like being creative and working with my hands and one day I had an aha moment! I wanted to make jewelry. I started with stringing beads and basic wire work and still use beads in some pieces to showcase the silver or other metals. I am mostly self taught but in 2002 received a diploma from a Professional Jewelry Design and Repair Program. I was first introduced to metal clay in 2002 but a family illness and death sent me back to my healthcare career. The fire for making jewelry and especially using metal clay was resurrected in 2012 when I started taking some classes. I became a Certified Artisan in metal clay, 2013-2016.
Being able to manipulate the clay in wet and dry forms makes my work limited only by imagination and skills. It is the perfect medium for my creativity to flow. I welcome new ways to challenge and improve skills. Traditional metal smith techniques may be used once the clay has been fired, which I am learning. I enjoy learning new techniques. Working with metal clay is an adventurous road, sometimes mistakes become masterpieces! I am fascinated that you start with clay and transform it into silver...like Alchemy!
I strive to design and create jewelry that is well made and has a personal connection for the wearer. The pieces are one-of-a-kind or limited editions. My process starts by sketching an idea or by simply rolling out the clay and letting it speak to me what texture and shape it will become. I find inspiration everywhere! My eye is always searching for something that I can adopt into a piece of jewelry; nature, shapes, textures, architect and iron work, even wall paper and fabric. My husband tells me that I wake up and go to bed designing jewelry. My favorite part of the process is pulling a fired piece out of the kiln, polishing it and watching it turn from clay to silver. I am always excited to show and explain my work to people and I am honored when a piece becomes part of someone's jewelry collection.

Biography

After a thirty-three-year career in healthcare as a nurse, educator, and hospital administrator; Lana Stamper is pursing her passion of jewelry by designing and creating jewelry. Her interest in designing jewelry began around 1999 when she started a home based retail jewelry company (Nuggets Etc., Inc.) and realized what she really wanted to do was make the jewelry to sell. Lana started with stringing semiprecious beads with sterling and gold filled components. Mostly self taught and between 2013 and 2016, she became a Level 3 certified metal clay artist from PMC and Level One certified from Art Clay Silver. Lana continues to explore the world of metal clay and all the possibilities it can offer. She attends workshops as often as she can. Lana has taken classes from Janet Alexander, Cindy Pope, and Jackie Truty. She also takes online classes.
Lana retired from healthcare in 2015 to care for her mother and she decided to make the jewelry biz more than a part-time pastime. She is a member of the Mississippi Craftsmen's Guild, Georgia Metal Clay Guild, and the Louisiana Chapter of PMC Guild L'esprit du Metal.
She works from her home studio designing and creating one-of-a-kind and limited pieces. She uses mostly fine (.999) silver and incorporates semiprecious beads and stones. Lana is currently exploring other metal clays such as copper, bronze and steel. She recently attended a class from Hadar Jacobson learning techniques with Hadar's bronze and steel clays.
Lana was born in Ferriday, LA and currently lives in Natchez, MS with her husband, David; six quarter horses; and CJ, their blue heeler.