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October 18, 2013

In Studio With… Stacey Lorinczi


Photo Courtesy of Stacey Lorinczi

Editors' Notes

Tusk necklaces on a Bruce Weber photography book in Stacey Lorinczi's San Francisco jewelry studio.

Photo Courtesy of Stacey Lorinczi

Editors' Notes

Stacey Lorinczi's hand-drawn ring designs in her San Francisco jewelry studio.

Photo Courtesy of Stacey Lorinczi

Editors' Notes

Seed Pod lariats and hand-drawn ring designs in Stacey Lorinczi's San Francisco jewelry studio.

Photo Courtesy of Stacey Lorinczi

Editors' Notes

Spider pendants.

Photo Credit: Sarah Villafranco

Editors' Notes

Tools of the jewelry trade in Stacey Lorinczi's San Francisco jewelry studio.

Photo Courtesy of Stacey Lorinczi

Editors' Notes

A book of paintings and design ideas in Stacey Lorinczi's San Francisco jewelry studio.

Photo Credit: Sarah Villafranco

Editors' Notes

Jumble Shell leather necklace.

Photo Credit: Sarah Villafranco

Editors' Notes

Muscle shell cuff and small Oyster rings.

Photo Credit: Sarah Villafranco

Editors' Notes

Starfish necklace.

Photo Credit: Sarah Villafranco

Editors' Notes

Black Coral leather bib necklace and rings.

Jewelry designer Stacey Lorinczi finds inspiration in fallen seedpods on the sidewalk and piles of seaweed that wash ashore in Pacifica for the eponymous line she manufactures by hand inside her San Francisco studio. But in her mind, the items themselves become abstract objects. “I’m interested in the negative space outside the shape,” she says. The artist, educated at Brown University and Central St. Martins College of Art and Design established Lorinczi Jewelry in 2002, and she spends her days sanding, drilling, soldering, and casting in the back room of a Victorian built in 1887. Though Lorinczi initially studied painting, she learned metalsmithing in Florence and fell in love with the process. “My paintings felt narrative and dark, but jewelry was about making objects and didn’t have the same melancholy associated with it,” she says.

The designer, a Washington D.C. native, still channels her darker aesthetic to add oxidized surfaces to pieces designed to reflect a bit of the grit in her urban surroundings. “The plants and flowers in front of my home are inevitably covered with dirt and garbage that blows in off the street,” Lorinczi says. “I’m in a windy city.” The result is a design sensibility she calls “organic meets gothic.” Her wooden worktables are filled with bits of metal and wax shapes as well as the caustic acids she uses on metals to produce various patinas. “Organic pieces are not pristine, they’re found in nature where dust is constantly blowing. I think that’s why I’m always oxidizing,” she says.

In addition to collections based on rose stems and thorns, shells, and Bakelite cherries, Lorinczi creates custom pieces commissioned by local and international clients. One recent project came from L.A.-based stylist and costume designer Cesha Ventre (The Dark Knight Rises, Californication) who needed a necklace for Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, in next summer’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Lorinczi sent a few options, but found herself inspired by the idea of spiders. “There’s something about them that’s repulsive and yet attractive. The idea reminded me of fragrances that simultaneously repel and appeal,” she says. Lorinczi started the project with a pendent necklace that ultimately wasn’t used in the film, but the assignment triggered a new collection. Now the designer is at work creating elaborate collars based on the spider design. “I love big necklaces that feel like armor, like they protect. And the weight of the jewelry feels really safe, like an x-ray bib,” she explains. Together, the spiders form a sort of lace-like pattern and Lorinczi finds her eye drawn to the airy space around the shape of the spider itself.

Lorinczi has also collaborated with perfumer Julie Elliott of In Fiore, artist Kelly Tunstall, and Small Trade Company designer Matt Dick to make amulets, pins, and repurposed necklaces and bracelets. She enjoys abstract projects, but always keeps in mind jewelry’s relation to the body. “You can’t forget jewelry is made to be worn,” she says. While architects tend to see things in a vacuum, Lorinczi imagines all the variations in each person. She also works with two particularly precocious clients: her young daughters. “Every year the kids get to commission a piece for their birthdays,” she says. Such work challenges her to create necklaces that function as a talisman and an ornament, but also have a timeless design. “These pieces need to have longevity so that they’ll still be something the girls want to wear when they’re teenagers.”

By Elizabeth Varnell


Pictured: Stacey Lorinczi
Photo Courtesy of Stacey Lorinczi

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