Jewelry With A Purpose
● By anonymous
Lorie Lynn Jewelry
Viki Twyman will be the first to admit it: “I like things that are old, rusty and unique.” One gander around her beautiful 1902 Victorian home might give you an inkling for the passion she has for things with a bit of history, a touch of charm, and, most of all, an undeniable character that only something old can have. Twyman’s love for breathing new life into something old extends far past her living space – she carries it with her each time she designs a piece of jewelry.
Eight years ago, she began making jewelry and selling it occasionally to friends and co-workers at the Redding Police Department. One friend in particular took to Twyman’s jewelry. A free spirit named Lorie Lynn York had a penchant for all things bejeweled. Her love for jewelry was surpassed only by her love for her daughter, her dogs, her horses and life itself. When York succumbed to breast cancer in 2006, a light went out in Twyman’s world. “She loved life so much. She was down to earth and natural and she was a wonderful friend.”
When Twyman retired, she was instantly drawn to the idea of turning her jewelry-making hobby into something that would not only offer some supplemental income for her family, but would carry on York’s legacy. At a friend’s suggestion, and with the blessing of York’s family, “Lorie Lynn Jewelry” became Twyman’s company’s namesake.
Bobbi Berg, Twyman’s best friend and a fellow friend of York, joined creative forces with Twyman to create one-of-a-kind statement pieces. “When Bobbi and I began making jewelry together, we knew that we wanted our pieces to tell a story. We carry Lorie with us as we create each piece. We often find ourselves saying, ‘Lorie would just love this one.’”
But York became more than just the inspiration and namesake behind a fabulous collection of out-of-the-ordinary jewelry. Her story would serve a much higher purpose: to raise funds for breast cancer awareness in the North State and encourage women to heed an important message. “Knowing your body is the biggest thing. Don’t put off going to the doctor because you are afraid. When you get to the point in your life when you need the testing, have it done. Be proactive instead of reactive,” Twyman says.
Twyman and Berg never miss an opportunity to aid in the fight against cancer by donating their unique creations to local organizations for silent auctions and raffles. They have donated 10 percent of their profit to the cause. In addition to finding their pieces at local fundraisers, Lorie Lynn Jewelry can be found at Enjoy The Store, Palo Cedro Gift Gallery, Vintner’s Cellar in Portland, Ore., and at various local vintage markets, including Roses and Rust and The Burlap Harlot Show. Lorie Lynn Jewelry is also available online at www.lorielynn.etsy.com.
“I never plan a piece out. It’s not in my nature. I will change things out a dozen times before I am happy with it. It feels right when I can look at it and say, ‘I didn’t know it, but that’s where I was going with it,’ ” Twyman says. Everything from the design process to the finished product is an adventure for the design duo. The whimsical, free-spirited nature of each piece and the mixture of unexpected elements in the most refreshing ways seem to create physical manifestations of York’s boundless zest for life.
Twyman and Berg are proud to note improved techniques and a more refined eye for a finished product as the most recognizable part of their evolution as a design team. In addition, Twyman has opened a design studio called Space-2-Create at 585 Markwood Drive in Redding, in an unused part of the building which houses her husband’s plumbing business. “I feel that I have evolved enough to share my knowledge with others.” The studio serves as a place where people can take or teach classes, rent studio time, use the available tools and feel at home among a network of fellow artists.
In addition to teaching a few classes at her own studio, Viki has expanded her schedule to teach some classes at Altered Wing Studio, located at 810 Lake Boulevard, Suite A. Altered Wing Studio, which opened its doors in early August, is the brainchild of Kimberly Snowden and Ginger Mallard, and has expanded to become a cooperative effort amongst a wildly creative group of entrepreneurial artists. Altered Wing Studios will offer a host of classes taught by local artists and will feature a retail boutique showcasing beautiful handcrafted wares, including the work of Lorie Lynn Designs. Both studios will serve as a place where creatively inclined North State residents can take classes and feel at home amongst a network of fellow artists.
Particularly in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Twyman hopes her jewelry tells a story of love, friendship and an enduring passion for life, and is an ever-present reminder to take care of yourself and your loved ones, and to live your life with abandon.
www.lorielynn.etsy.com www.Space-2-Create.net Find Lorie Lynn Jewelry, Space 2 Create and Altered Wing Studios on Facebook