telling a story through jewelry: lisa and scott cylinder

Photo of Lisa and Scott Cylinder in the late 90s.

For 30 years, Lisa and Scott Cylinder have designed and created whimsical works of art that tell a story—both to their wearers and their admirers—creating connections among those interacting with their work. Their goal has been to create meaningful and well-crafted jewelry that’s collectible, affordable, and accessible. Lisa and Scott Cylinder met in 1984 while studying jewelry making at the Tyler School of the Art in Philadelphia; four years later, in 1988, they pooled their talents and experiences to establish Chickenscratch.

Lisa and Scott describe themselves as birders, hikers, and gardeners, using the natural world as a “visual guide.” Their inspiration is drawn from their surroundings. They say their work has always been literary- and observation-based, with humor playing a major role in the design and creating process.

Tomato Cage Pin, 1992, (left) and Red Hatchling Earrings, 2017, (right).

 

Throughout the years, as technology in jewelry making and the materials used have evolved, Lisa and Scott have grown as creators and designers and so has their process in creating. Through their curiosity as makers, Lisa and Scott began using alternate materials and methods, using the casting process, plastics and epoxy resins, various patinas, leafs and powders, as well as found objects. The evolution of their making techniques resulted in them creating more sculptural and mixed-media works of art. While integrating new methods and techniques, they still, to this day, create each jewelry piece by hand from start to finish.

Each piece of jewelry is a collaborative effort—the product of two minds and two sets of hands at work—starting with the idea of the design to the finished adornment. Lisa and Scott have developed very defined roles, sticking to their strengths, but overall it’s an equal work effort. One piece will go back and forth between the two as it’s being created.

“We feel that this is our biggest strength, this yin-yang of our two ways of seeing and making.”
—Lisa and Scott Cylinder

Scott (left) and Lisa (right) working in their studio.

They even sit down together to brainstorm each piece’s cheeky title. They explain that sometimes the title comes first in determining what they will design; other times, the design is executed and then the title falls into place. Reflecting on the humorous side of their business, Lisa says, “We love to crack each other up; it is so much fun! And then to watch customers react—priceless!”

Jewelry artists Scott and Lisa Cylinder.

To celebrate their 30 years of creating captivating jewelry, Lisa and Scott have reintroduced their favorite 30 designs made throughout the years. It’s an exciting collection showcasing the evolution of their work.

30th Anniversary Collection (image from Chickenscratch’s 30 Pieces for 30 Years book.)

You can find a sampling of their anniversary collection on Artful Home. Most of the styles are from the early years of Lisa and Scott’s careers, including the Rocket Fuel Earrings. A personal favorite of Lisa’s, this set came about in 2001 thanks to Scott’s tendency to make a strong cup of coffee! Lisa says that his “strong cup of joe” sent her to the moon, hence the rocket-and-fire design. The Rocket Fuel Earrings are certainly a fun set for coffee lovers.

Another piece from the 30th anniversary collection is the William Tell Pin, from 1989. This pin is an early example of Lisa and Scott’s work in which the piece itself tells a story. Here, the pin tells a story of trust—the core of their working and family life.

Explore more of Lisa and Scott Cylinder’s wearable works of art at artfulhome.com.

By |2018-08-31T09:49:09+00:00August 31st, 2018|artist spotlights|

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