🌲 THE ARTIST:
Howdy! I’m Laura. I live in glorious Maine with my husband, Isaac & our two wild huskies, Boone & Minka. Isaac & I met as wilderness guides in college, became best friends, & KNEW we were destined to be together- we wed at only 22! We fulfilled a lifelong dream this year by moving into our first home here in January, with an in house studio space & plenty of land. I was born in China, and Isaac in Michigan, & have lived all over, but Maine truly feels like home. We couldn’t be happier!
I picked up metalsmithing on a whim back in 2016, after taking a night class after work to incorporate some creativity back into my life. Turns out, it was what I was meant to do, so a short time later, I quit & began The Wild Pine. I came up with my signature piece, Mountain Maven Ear Jackets, later that year & the rest is history!
When not at my bench, I’ll likely be found out wandering trails, foraging & identifying wild edibles, or backcountry skiing. A goal of ours this year is to finish hiking the New England’s 67 4000ft peaks. We’re on 54! And our oldest pup, Minka, has climbed 50 of them with us!
I’m obsessed with turquoise, pine trees, camping, enamelware, pickles, true crime podcasts, river otters, ice cream, pinecones, iced coffees year round & spicy food even though it makes me hiccup uncontrollably. My idea of a good time is a long hike in the woods with pals and our dogs.
🌲 THE STORY:
I’ve always been enamored with two things: art and the outdoors. I grew up dabbling in every creative outlet I could find. I painted, drew, photographed and acted, spending weekends romping through the woods with my sister (getting covered in mud in our backyard creek being a crowd favorite). When I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d always reply “An artist, of course!” Naturally, art became the focus of my studies. I went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art, and spent my college summers guiding backcountry trips in northern Wisconsin, where I met my husband. This balance fulfilled my passion for the outdoors, but I was frustrated that I did not gravitate towards a specific artistic medium that I could claim as my own. I was bit of a jack-of-all-trades. After graduating, we wed and moved to the Boston area, where I landed in retail management in the fashion industry. While I loved my job, I often found myself craving a creative outlet. I had always been drawn to jewelry, particularly that which featured turquoise, and decided on whim to take a weekly class in metalsmithing at a local studio for fun.
Much to my surprise, lighting up a torch for the first time completely and utterly captivated me! In the weeks that followed that initial class, my thoughts were completely consumed by all things metal. I devoured book after book, spending many a late night researching new techniques. I spent weekends scouring local markets for gems. I slowly started putting money aside to invest in my own hand tools and workbench, fully intending to keep crafting jewelry as a side gig. However, after making those first few pieces in my tiny makeshift studio, I was so ecstatic that I had a revelation. THIS was the medium that truly ignited my soul, one that I felt like my own. Finally! After some serious contemplation, self-reflection, and planning, I decided the risk was worth it. I dove head first into entrepreneurship. I quit my job, and began my metalsmithing journey, fueled by an insatiable passion for creating, and the pursuit of something new.
🌲 THE ART:
The jewelry I create is inspired by the vibrant, colorful landscapes of the backcountry, shaped by my own experiences of finding adventure and solace in the flora and fauna of the wilderness. I use recycled silver, incorporating colorful stones that have been curated with intention from all over the world. I have a particular affinity for turquoise mined in the U.S.- vibrant and natural, straight from the earth and into your hands. I have purposely chosen to utilize traditional methods of metalsmithing: using simple tools and a torch to craft jewelry. This gives each piece a rustic feel, boldly showing the evidence of my own two human hands that have lovingly created a piece of art just for you. Each is one-of-a-kind and unable to be perfectly replicated again. My hope is that my jewelry will become treasured heirlooms, serving as small reminders of the awe-inspiring beauty of our natural world.