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The photographs above are a very small sampling of Designer Baby Accessories by Jean Lee.  Jean's work and that of other artisans can be seen and purchased at the Artisans United Gallery in Annandale. 

(Copyright © 2012 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved.  (Photographs & images, on this page, and on this website, are not available for use by other publications, blogs, individuals, websites, or social media sites.)


Gorgeous Reclaimed Jewelry available at the Artisans United Gallery

Since childhoodArtisan Jean Lee, jewelry designer Jean Lee has  been interested in  art, design, crafts, construction, and creatively experimenting with a variety of materials.

A native Washingtonian, Jean graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science degree and has held positions as a graphic designer, clothing designer, and floral designer in her family business for nearly 30 years.  The asymmetry of nature and indeed the most interesting of floral designs is apparent in her jewelry. 

In the mid 1970’s she decided to enroll in a stained glass class offered at the Smithsonian to learn a more disciplined and structured artisan craft. Glass gave Jean a freedom in design she quickly embraced, experimenting with dimension, texture, and the refraction of light. Using the copper foil technique, Jean eventually developed wearables with a  whimsical element and later small sculptures.  Jean’s work incorporates beads, games, shells, stones, feathers, fossils, fibers, and vintage jewelry. In the early days, Jean visited Goodwill where  $5.00 quart jars filled with broken pieces or jewelry, sometimes a single earing, and obscure objects of various origins sparked imaginative possibilities in her creative hands.  

With a background in clothing and floral design it is no wonder that these fields strongly influence and inspire Jean’s creations while a color way is often dictated by the color direction of the glass.

On display (and for sale) at the Artisans United Craft Gallery is the most ingenious collection of Jean’s necklaces made from recycled vintage jewelry.  Former broaches, ear clips, pendants, and links are reimagined by Jean into newly fashioned works of wow! 

Others follow a theme for teachers or co-workers, moms or the young gal wanting to let her inner glitz out.  Old family pictures inspired a series of neckpieces from Ancestors to family trees. You will need to scrutinize her work for hidden elements such as the SeniorAid necklace with concealed notepad, pencil, compass, clips, magnifying glass, reading glasses, and keys.  These works of personal adornment have been raised to an art form.  They are intended to be fun; to make you smile while recalling a fond personal memory.

Other designs are streamlined contemporary treasures with components dating back to the 1920’s. To appreciate their beauty and sometimes whimsy visit the Artisans Gallery just off Hummer Road in Annandale.

Jean has been an active member of The National Capital Art Glass Guild since it was founded  in the 1970’s. The guild has developed from a group who started as a buying co-op into a non-profit organization of artists interested in all forms of glass and glass techniques.  This guild was one of the originals who formed Artisans United  

The other guilds associated with Artisans United are:

¨ Capital Area Woodturners

¨ High Country Basketry Guild

¨ Knitting Artists of Northern Virginia

¨ National Capital Art Glass Guild

¨ Northern Virginia Carvers

¨ Northern Virginia Handcrafters Guild

¨ Potomac Fiber Arts Guild

¨ Potomac Polymer Clay Guild

¨ Quilters Unlimited

¨ Waterford Weavers Guild

Buying Tip:  Become a member of the Craft Gallery for the small donation of $25.  This will entitle you to a 10% discount on all Gallery purchases for an entire year. AU Friends also receive notice of each new show and special event.  You will quickly make your $25 back in purchase savings.

Artisans United continues to look for new areas in which to share their love and knowledge of crafts as they are tasked with taking arts out into the community.  If your organization would like a speaker or demonstrator, please contact them.  Support this Gallery as it is the last home to artisan wares in Annandale.  We should all seek to protect their heritage and survival.

Artisans United Gallery and Shop

4022 Hummer Road
Annandale, VA  22003
703.941.0202   .  www.augallery.org
10-4, Tuesday through Saturday and 1-4 on Sunday

Located in the Annandale Community Park—entrance just two blocks past of Little River intersection with Hummer

Reproduction of this article or photographs requires the written permission of the author and The ENDEAVOR News Magazine.  Photographs are courtesy of the author with all right of use reserved. (Copyright © 2012 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved.  (Photographs & images, on this page, and on this website, are not available for use by other publications, blogs, individuals, websites, or social media sites.)


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