Art From the Earth; Yarrow Mead Metals
Yarrow Mead is a Northland Native, Now Working as a Metalsmith in the Armory Arts and Music Center Along London Road
DULUTH, Minn. – They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but for one Northland native, diamonds don’t do a thing.
The Armory Arts and Music Center in Duluth is now home base for a new metal-smith.
“There are so many amazing rocks here. Right across the border there’s like huge amethyst mines,” said Yarrow Mead, creator of Yarrow Mead Metals.
Powerful purples, vibrant blues and emerald greens create a colorful collection of materials for Mead to work with. Inspiration, is just steps away from her work space.
“We don’t need to go anywhere else to get amazing stones,” said Mead. “The north woods are amazing. The whole arrowhead region is so gorgeous.”
For Mead, life after college includes a lot of trial and error.
“I’m trying to make things that really represent where we live; I think that’s really important to me,” said Mead.
After attending Hamline University in Saint Paul, Mead already had experience under her belt. She happened to be involved with theatre and technical theatre programs during her time in college.
This is where she first started to dabble in creating art with metal.
After college, a new adventure opened up for Mead.
“I had the amazing opportunity to apprentice with Stephen Hoglund, who’s a really well known, talented jeweler in Grand Marais,” said Mead.
After this, Mead was moved to make a go of it for herself.
“From that point on its always been the thing in the back of the head saying, you’ve got to do this!”
She now works alongside other jewelry makers, glass blowers and blacksmiths.
“It’s great because you never know who’s going to be here,” said Mead.
Mead set up shop more than a month ago inside the Armory along London Road. She’s already getting a wealth of support from her customers.
“I’ve had a really kind of shockingly awesome first month,” said Mead.
Her design for jewelry starts on paper. It’s then transformed in a matter of hours under intense heat with the use of delicate tools.
“Obviously nothing ever happens exactly the way you sketch it and it shouldn’t, it’s a bit more fun to let it happen naturally,” said Mead.
The work at Yarrow Mead Metals is created with a nordic theme in mind. Mead creates custom orders, but is also working to create an inventory of rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces.
“I’m also not trying to make things look like they came out of a factory,” said Mead.
The 23-year-old artist loves local and authenticity.
“When you buy something from me you’re going to see tool marks, hammer marks, because that’s the look I’m going for,” said Mead.