in her brooklyn studio, full of power tools and metal, we catch up with lindsey, the designer behind LM White. lindsey's designs are strong, statement pieces built to last in both materiality and style. welded from tough stuff like brass, copper and steel, their simple, industrial appeal are as eternal as their form.
do you find you design for certain person in mind? is there a muse?
i design for real-world women who want to wear items that give them strength and confidence, while being timeless and effortless. like myself, a lot of customers tell me they never really wore jewelry until getting some of the "nuts and bolts" pieces i offer. i really enjoy it when my piece of jewelry catches people's eye on the subway and provides a sense of odd beauty. the way i see it, we're all making a subtle statement to the world with every wardrobe decision.
how have your creations evolved since you first started?
in the beginning, a lot of my designs came from happy accidents. through trial and error i’ve learned to look at my mistakes with a non-critical eye and appreciate what they can teach me. i haven’t had any formal training in metal-smithing or jewelry making, aside from my dad showing me how to use his welder while i was visiting home. i’ve found freedom in the fact that i was breaking all of these rules i didn't even know existed. proper training can be great, but sometimes it builds authoritative walls that'll box you in creatively. with each new season, i’m figuring out how to develop better techniques with more appropriate tools, while still bending the rules when possible!
your focus is on jewelry but you so beautifully departed from that for the alice and olivia SS 2016 presentation when you made crowns. what else do you see in store for LM White jewelry?
yes! first, i must say that i had no idea how much fun it would be to wear a crown out at night, but it is! aside from crowns, i’ve been very interested in moving into the realm of lighting. my dad and i are working together on a few lamp samples this winter (luckily he’s an electrical engineer). you could say circuitry is the ultimate father/daughter bonding experience. i find any excuse to fly down to houston to work and develop with him!
in the studio lindsey's working on a custom brass crown and nail burst necklace, made with 100 year old nails.
squeezing a flint stryker in one hand she lights an oxy acetylene torch in the other.
she solders brass flowers and leaves together using the torch in tandem with flux and silver wire.
almost simultaneously she forms and shapes the crown with pliers in both hands. she repeats this over and over again until its just right.
while the crown sits in a bath of pickling solution to remove flux she turns to her tig welder. with a steel tig rod and her badass hood she welds 100 year old nails together in a perfect arc. the nails were given to her by her father.
initial polish is done with a 3" brass wire brush attached to a drill press. lastly she uses a flex shaft tool for finer polishing to remove discoloration and smooth out edges.