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Lord of the Rhode Island Rings

Erika Young of Lazuli Handcrafted turns shells and stones into centerpieces for her nautical jewelry

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Like most native Rhode Islanders, Erika Young has always had a love for the ocean. Having majored in geology, she also has a love for rocks and minerals. Both are evident in the jewelry she designs in her Newport apartment/studio, into which she incorporates rough minerals, small shells, sea glass and surf-tumbled wampum. She uses small seashells found on local beaches as the centerpieces of her copper rings, which are designed to be stackable. For her sea glass necklaces, she uses copper wire to take advantage of the unique geometry of each piece of glass. She also designs cuff bracelets with clusters of tiny shells and sea glass pieces. Naturally, she uses a large piece of locally found driftwood to display her jewelry at various pop-ups and markets.

Ever inspired by the natural world, Erika is equal parts scientist and artist when crafting her designs. She likes to think that those wearing her jewelry enjoy having a “piece of Earth so close to them.” She hopes that when someone puts on one of her pieces, “they take a second to acknowledge the Earth’s role in creating it” and are reminded of their duty to protect and care for our planet. Erika’s designs are available on LazuliHandcrafted.com and at Bohemian Bias in Newport