DELMARVA ALMANAC

Heidi Lowe

by Dana Kester-McCabe

Meet the jewelry designer behind the Heidi Lowe Gallery and Innovative Jewelry Studio.

Heidi Lowe grew up in Rehoboth Beach and caught the jewelry making bug in her teens when she made her first silver ring in a high school art class. Her entrepreneurial spirit began around the same time. She would take window screens from her mother's home and decorate them with ribbons and fill them with beaded jewelry that she had made to sell to shops downtown. She attended Main College of Art in Portland, Maine.

Heidi went to graduate school at SUNY in New Paltz, then interned at a jewelers in New York returning to Rehoboth Beach nine years ago to open the shop she has now the Heidi Lowe Gallery and Innovative Jewelry Studio. Her current work involves creating a set of limited edition of fine art prints using an etched silver plate, then fashioning complimentary custom jewelry from that silver plate.

Heidi Lowe:
"My latest body of work is a cross between printmaking and jewelry. I start with a place, because I am so connected to a sense of place. I love living in place that I love. And then I notice how much people love this place. So I started doing prints of their homes, their beach homes, really special places here. And then I cut up the print and make jewelry from it. I just did one for a family of fourteen people and we did their beach house. Everyone from the two year old to the ninety year old got a piece of jewelry. So it was kind of cool."

"I love the connection between the client and me. I never thought I would love that. I didn't think I wanted to listen to anyone but I love understanding what they have an idea of, or what they what symbolize or what they want to represent; or that special moment, and then creating that piece, that they'll never see one like it."

"I would describe my jewelry as art jewelry. So, creativity is the force behind it. Less about status, lest about, you know, what the market drives: the trends. So mine is definitely form a creative point of view and that is what I show in the gallery as well."

Heidi says that each of her projects begin with sketches, researching art history for ideas, and listening to the client. Heidi has built up a steady business of custom wedding bands. She has a specific process to help couples develop their own design.

Heidi Lowe:
"The couple is asked to come up with five words about their relationship, what they do what they like, what makes them different than other couples, and what brings them together. Then she asks five words about their style. Then she asks five words to describe what they know they want in their ring."

This seemed like the best approach for her. "It is succinct." And she says that it is mindful of the intimacy and vulnerability the couples are going through finding something just right for them. She arrived at this intuitive way of doing things after a family retreat spent in the mountains of the west coast. She says that jewelry making requires a combination of creativity and precise planning.

Heidi comes from a family of artists. Her mother, brother, and sister are all painters. They had a joint show last year. This background gave her a foundation of art as community which led nicely to her decision to have not just a jewelry shop but a jewelry gallery with visiting artists. She says that she has a soft spot for emerging artists.

Jewelry designer Jill Gower will be the next exhibiting artist beginning July 11th. Heidi gives classes here and at Towson University. She also has an annual summer internship which jewelry students can apply for via her website. Visit heidilowejewelry.com for more information about this, Heidi's work and the current schedule of exhibitions in her gallery in Rehoboth Beach.