Silver Bench Jewelry By Lisa Nortz

About the Artist Lisa Nortz

I am a second generation silversmith and began silversmithing in the late 1970's, took some time off to raise my two sons and tried my hand at basket making, which I enjoyed for almost 20 years. In 2002 I returned to my first love silversmithing and have truly enjoy being back at the bench!

All of our jewelry is hand constructed by my son Josh, a third generation silversmith and myself, we forge, fabricate and weave everything. Our tools consist mostly of torches, several hammers, stakes, anvils, various pliers, drill and jewelers saws. For raw materials we buy sterling and fine silver in the form of wire, sheet and some tubing. We also use high karat gold in many of our items.These materials allow us to make handmade sterling silver jewelry and much more. I travel to Tucson Arizona every February to attend the world's largest rock and mineral shows to choose most of our stone cabochons. I enjoy meeting the miners and dealers and learning about the stones from them.

While we enjoy making all types of handmade jewelry near the Adirondacks, one of our specialties is chain making. It's very rare to find a smith that makes chain these days. Right now we have over 30 different styles of handmade chain in stock, not including the varying wire types and wire sizes of those 30 styles. We also create cuff bracelets, pendants, earrings, pins, belt buckles and rings. Most are one of a kind and hand made with an artist's attention to detail.

Please note that all pricing on our site includes postage with delivery confirmation, and any applicable sales taxes. The price you see is exactly what you will pay!

We take great pride in our workmanship and in our products. silver rings and silver pendants. I truly hope you enjoy our site.
Thank you for visiting!

I am a silversmith, living near the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. Below is a chronological account of my artistic career.

1977 - I learned to make jewelry from my parents, Butch and Pat Bramhall, the Stonehouse Silversmiths. My business continued for a few years until I had my children.

1981 - I learned to weave baskets from a friend and most of my first baskets were made from tree roots and vines that I wove into Appalachian style rib baskets. Eventually I became more interested in a finer, more precise weave and began using black ash splints, then reed that is commercially prepared.

1986 - I began teaching basketweaving classes several times a week.

1987 - An article that I wrote was published in the NEWS BASKET, a magazine for basketweavers and collectors. The basket featured in the article was made from twisted lily leaves woven over a grapevine frame.

1991 - I had an article published in the BASKETMAKER, this article was about the Adirondack pack basket and how to weave it.

1997 - The INTERWOVEN N.E.W.S. spring issue printed an article about my work as a basketmaker and teacher.

1997 - Most of my work was sold to shops and galleries ( including the Adirondack Museum) in the Adirondack region of New York state and throughout most of the New England states. My main focus for the 1990s was recreating the Adirondack style pack baskets and fishing creels.

1997 - L.L. Bean called me in September to order my small pack baskets for their 1998 Fall Home and Camp catalog, their buyer had seen my small pack in the gift shop at the Adirondack Museum, while on vacation. The pack was featured on the cover and I was kept busy throughout that year producing baskets for L.L. Bean, I even had to hire some help to fill the order.

1998 - The PACK BASKET CATALOG contacted me, they were interested in many sizes of my packs as well as the creel handbag and antler baskets. So the day I finished my contract with L.L. Bean I immediately began weaving for their catalog. I continued to do so until the catalog folded in February 2002.

2001 - The urge to make silver jewelry kept gnawing at me, I had so many designs in my head that I began playing around with silver again. The overwhelming desire to create jewelry made me change my business from wholesale production basket weaver to retail jewelry maker during the winter of 2001-2002.

2002 - I made my last basket, and enjoyed the switch from baskets to jewelry very much. I attended several craft shows and farmers markets throughout the summer and fall.

2003 - My two grown sons, Josh and Jeremy, joined me in the business and are third generation silversmiths in my family. Both added to the business for several years.

2010 - I won second place for jewelry at Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival in Norwich, NY.

2011 - Josh and I won first place for jewelry at Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival in Norwich, NY.

2012 - Blue Ribbon for my Zig Zag Woven Cuff bracelet at the North Country Arts Council 38th Annual Fall Art Show in Watertown, NY

2012 - Blue Ribbon for best jewelry at Herkimer County Community College Art and Craft Fair in Herkimer NY.

2014 - Blue and Red ribbons for Jewelry from the North Country Arts Council 39th Annual Fall Art Show in Watertown, NY

2015 - Blue and Red ribbons for Jewelry from the North Country Arts Council 40th Annual Fall Art Show

2016 - Best of Show at Herkimer County Community College Arts and Craft Fair in Herkimer NY.

2017 - Blue ribbon for Jewelry at the North Country Art Council 42nd Annual Fall Art Show in Watertown, NY.

2017 - Award of Distinction at the Herkimer County Community College Art and Craft Fair in Herkimer, NY.

2017 - Josh joined my business full time and we work together on many pieces as well as creating our own jewelry.

2018 - I won first, second and third place in jewelry in the North Country Arts Council Fall Art Show. br> 2019 - We decided to triple the size of our existing studio and added a retail space and room for Josh's silver bench. With the growing amount of customers stopping in we certainly needed the new space.

My parents, the Stonehouse Silversmiths Butch and Pat Bramhall, have been a huge influence in our lives, their creativity and skills are unsurpassed in the metalsmithing business and we appreciate all their encouragement, knowledge, advice and inspiration. We are all pleased to be part of the tradition that includes three generations of our family.
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Silver Bench Jewelry 8272 Soft Maple Road, Croghan NY 13327
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