With tall tales of his family and troves of history in his mind, Andy Lifschutz has let his imagination run wild since boyhood. He honed that essence of the past and visual storytelling into metallurgy. Having trained in Portland, O.R., San Miguel De Allende, Mexico and Brooklyn in the art of jewelry making, he now crafts his own collections of his BK studio. With raw materials like reclaimed metals, wood, bone and stone, he makes organic pieces that emote. We caught up with Andy to find out what he's working with now.
What's your favorite metal/stone to use right now?
What is really getting my engine going of late is Rose Silver. It is an alloy of 20% copper and 80% silver that comes out looking like Rose gold. This alloy has been around for thousands of years, and was common in ancient Grecian times, but has only recently been re-introduced to a mainstream market. I love its color, and that I can offer my clients something unique and beautiful at an affordable price. Check out my River Light ring in Rose silver, I love the way that the clear quartz and the Rose Silver look together.
Where's the strangest place you've sourced material?
That's a tough one! Probably this old scrapyard outside of Portland, Oregon. I was building a collection for a runway show and wanted to use all scrap materials, most of the materials that I used (large metal springs, sheets of copper, steel pipe, and other metal parts) came from the junkyard. Everything was covered in rust and dirt and I cleaned it up, soldered, formed, and welded the forms together and put a whole collection down the catwalk.
Longest you've ever worked on one project and why?
In 2009, I received a free invite to show at fashion week in Berlin and at the same time was asked to design a collection of rings for the runway in Bryant Park. I had one month to create two full collections. I had been a solely craftsperson jeweler up to that point in time, but knew I had the ability to translate my work into marketable and cohesive lines of work. For that month leading up to those two show I slept an average of 3 hours a night, sometimes staying up for days on end with the Rolling Stones, Santigold, and Prince blasting shaking the walls of my studio building. I do not recommend trying this at home, but I did pull it off and in effect launch my brand. Passion.
What has been your most thrilling sale?
I have sold to celebrities and am grateful that stars with good taste are digging my wares. However, getting to design custom wedding rings for people has to take the cake in terms of overall thrill factor. Knowing that what I create will be a part of someone’s life and happiness for the rest of their days is truly moving. Getting to design the bands for my childhood friend Nick and his bride Elizabeth are at the top of that totem pole.
What's the sexiest part of a woman's body, and how do you accentuate it with your jewelry?
I have to choose one?!? For me the sexiest part of a woman is really her disposition rather than a specific part of her form. How she carries herself, the smile on her face, the way that she feels comfortable in her own skin. I feel that my pieces help to empower women, and give them the confidence to gracefully flaunt their beauty.