RIDING OFF INTO THE SUNSET
Christmas in Los Angeles slants sharply toward the surreal for me. Holiday lights twinkle by night while roses and gardenias bloom in yards, and palm trees sway far overhead.   
The perfect gift: spending some days with my daughter, who was in LA to meet with colleagues and catch up with friends she misses in NYC.  I celebrated my first Chinese restaurant Christmas dinner with Nora & co. amid animated conversation and laughter.   
                    And so, a toast to the New Year, 2018!    
               May you all have a healthy, happy, fulfilling year.   
Big changes are coming!
Some of you have already heard the news, and this newsletter is my official public announcement: I will, as the headline suggests, be riding off into the sunset soon after the American Crafts Council Show in Baltimore at the end of February.  Yes, it's time for me to move on to a new phase in my life after 35 years of ACC shows and 45 years in all, working as a jewelry artist.  What a journey it has been! 
My jewelry career began in Boulder in the early 70's. Here's my first business card, handmade by me, and my current card. 
I'm choosing "permanent sabbatical" over "retirement".  No shuffle boards or golf courses for me! To answer everyone's first question, "what are you going to do!?"  I don't exactly know, but I'll finally have unfettered time to figure that out.  Explore life, expand my learning, make better progress on the mountain of books by my bedside.  Craig and I plan to travel more, starting with 9 weeks in Pátzcuaro, Mexico, in March.   
In response to popular demand, I will continue to send out my monthly newsletter, though it will become more of a life/travel blog. 
I've met so many wonderful people over the years- customers, store owners, fellow artists, who have become friends.  Ultimately, art and business are about relationships, so thanks to all of you for being part of my life
Evolution of a jewelry artist 
I've been having fun looking through images of the thousands of pieces of jewelry that  
have come out of my studio.  When I began as a student at the University of Colorado, I had come recently from an independent study on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, where I'd met real live silversmiths for the first time.  The crude necklace on the left was one of my first halting efforts, combining Navajo influence with hippie "cosmic symbology."  By the mid-80's (center) both my craftsmanship and design had evolved.  On the right, further growth into design and materials incorporating 22k gold, carved ebony, and copper.     
Glazed-over gaze at my first craft show, ACC Rhinebeck, NY, in 1983.
2017 ACC Baltimore.  Craig has been a vital part of my business since we married in 1998.  I'm lucky to have such a partner.

Survival skills
 As is often said, the only thing constant is change. Survival in any form depends on being adaptable.  Artists, by definition, march to their own drum, but when your art is also the business that supports you and your family, it's imperative to pay attention to what's going in outside your studio.    
  Pins were popular for years, so much fun to design.  Maybe they'll come around again. 
While I've never closely adhered to fashion trends, I notice them and look to see what customers like or don't like.  Huge 80's earrings gave way to more refined shapes.  What are people wearing- chokers or longer chains?  Cuffs or link bracelets?  Over the years my customers have contributed some great design suggestions that I've followed.

Only a few of hundreds of bracelets. 
Being a Luddite won't benefit you.  As soon as I realized that websites were imperative, that social media was the way to make my work seen, I jumped on those vehicles for marketing. The craft market was slowing, so I went to Las Vegas to the JCK show to expand my wholesale business.   
Gold prices skyrocketed and stayed there, so I returned to mixed metals, and honestly, still prefer the contrast of colors.

 I've always been partial to long earrings.  
Passing the torch
My studio assistants are talented jewelers in their own right.  I could never have had a successful career without their teamwork.  Since 1983, I've both mentored and received studio assistance from over 20 people!  For most, it was a temporary job, an opportunity to learn some metalsmithing skills and the basics of running a business. But two of them, Tammy and Janine, have been steadfast pillars of Sydney Lynch Studio. 
Tammy Rice has been my right hand since 1994, and has been exhibiting her jewelry at regional shows for a few years.  Janine Cairns-Michael was a chief assistant and our resident humorist in the studio for 23 years until last spring, and is pursuing other art mediums.  The newest addition, Drew Curtright, is also working on her own jewelry career.  I encourage you to take a look at what Tammy and Drew are creating in their studios:
Tammy Rice 

 See more work on   

 Drew Curtright
See more work on
The Spanish word for "retired" is "jubilada," which I interpret as "jubilation."  Cheers! 

© 2015 Sydney Lynch Jewelry, Inc.

2949 Plymouth Ave.          P/F: (402) 435-2920 
Lincoln, NE 68502             E: sydney@sydneylynch.com