Local News

Story published: 11-27-2012 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Artisan Studio Gallery to host next mob


Designing jewelry has been a passion for artisan and gallery owner Debra Locher since she was 14 years old.

It was at that age that Locher was invited into the design and production areas of local jewelers and soon desired to be a jewelry designer and craftsperson herself.

Her wide ranging interests took her career in many different directions including floral art and hair styling before she landed in Jonesborough.

Ultimately, she knew jewelry was her greatest passion.

“I felt I had to make a change. I applied at Zale’s Jewelers after gaining some experience working in a friend’s jewelry casting company,” she said. “Zale’s welcomed my experience and taught me a lot. I later developed my own nautical line of jewelry, See Life Enterprises, and traveled the west coast of Florida while working part time coordinating special events for Zale’s.”

Then, in 1992, while visiting friends, Locher took her first drive through Jonesborough. She knew at that moment that one day she would be part of the community.

Six months later, Locher moved to Jonesborough where she took her career and studies to a new level.

She enrolled at East Tennessee State University’s Department of Art and Design as a studio art major with a double concentration in jewelry metalsmithing and ceramics.

After years of study, Locher jumped at the opportunity to open a store on Main Street, and in September 1999 she set up a gallery showroom and studio in the White’s building on the corner of Boone and Main streets.

Working mostly with sterling silver, stones and glass, she has been sharing her skills, knowledge, and sharing the jewelry process with visitors and residents ever since through her store, The Artisan Studio Gallery.

For years, her Jonesborough store, now located at 139 1/2 E. Main St., has offered jewelry and gifts from near and far, including gemstones, fossils, crystals, minerals, and her handcrafted one-of-a-kind art jewelry. Her store also includes handmade glass and some lapidary work.

The Artisan Studio Gallery includes cases and displays of stones including texture, goddess and spiral of life, pendulum series gemstone and sterling silver, flowers of the earth wire wrap pendants, copper heart pendants, dichroic glass jewelry, turquoise, amber focus, quality quartz points, gem nugget necklaces and more. Prices range from $25 to $400.

On any given day, you’ll find her inside the store perfecting her craft.

“I will soon be changing the way I work and casting again, no more hand fabrication,” she said. “I will be revisiting my past works that focus on modern antique reproductions and some organic series that incorporate the natural elements such as land, air, water and cosmic. I will be bringing back some of the old favorites and expanding some others.”

Other new items Locher plans to produce will have a customized Jonesborough appearance, reflecting architectural elements found in buildings like the Chester Inn and banisters, windows and event scrolls on buildings.

The Artisan Studio will host the next cash mob in the town’s ongoing ‘We Dig Jonesborough’ campaign. It will take place Saturday, Dec. 1 at 11 a.m.

During the cash mob, the store will offer 10 percent off handmade items and 40 percent off fashion jewelry.

For more information, visit artisansg.com, or call 913-2278.