Alexandra Lee is a Southern California native who received her BA in Studio Arts with a focus in metal and jewelry. Raised in a household where everything was either repurposed or handmade, Alex grew up with an affinity for working with her hands. Feeling a little lost in the graphic design courses at Cal State Long Beach, Alex took an introductory metals course and felt an instant connection to the practice and community. During her time taking metals courses, she also explored other studio practices such as fibers and printmaking, learning a variety of other mediums that help inform her work and re-affirm her love of studio work. She is currently learning jewelry production at Long Beach City College to further her practice and build an at-home work space for the future. Her work is inspired by the duality of nature, architectural design and meditative processes of metalworking.
As someone who struggles with anxiety, working with metal has become a meditative experience for me. Processes like sawing, hammering, and raising have continuous rhythmic movements which cause me to mentally and physically focus. Metalworking and jewelry making allow me to disappear into a cathartic, fantasy world where I’m not limited by my anxiety and get to have complete control in a creative outlet.
Creating and developing styles for production jewelry with an audience in mind, has been very challenging for me as someone who mostly made for myself or for coursework. That shift in design focus coupled with the studio’s closing and limited access to tools, I felt very depressed and uncertain about continuing to work with jewelry. I feel really fortunate to be part of Straw Factory, where we have been able to share ideas, knowledge and help encourage each other to push through uncertain times and continue on. Being part of this student collective has eased those feelings of anxiety and inspired me to continue working on my skills as a maker and jeweler.