Karl Lee began his career in the arts out of the “Art Barn” at The Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California during the 1960’s. Karl went from ceramics to metalsmithing and by the 70’s had perfected his skills in traditional methods in metalsmithing both in casting and hand fabrication.
With an eye and passion for gems, construction, creativity and design, Karl quickly developed a loyal following of galleries and collectors around the world. By the 1980’s he worked primarily in gold and platinum on hand fabricating pieces mixing 22k gold and silver. Karl’s work emphasizes and showcases his gem collection.
Karl’s son Aurthur was born and raised in Big Sur, California. Aurthur apprenticed under his father from the late 1980’s and later went on to work as a bench jeweler for Kocek in Carmel, California in 2000.
Carrie Armstrong, apprenticed with a sculpture from Italy where she gained skills of welding, metal forming, patina, cutting, filing and soldering skills. She then progressed on to earn a BFA from Southern Oregon University with an emphasis in printmaking. Carrie began apprenticing with both Karl and Aurthur Lee, encouraging Carrie to create her own designs. A congruence runs amongst all three jewelers works that can be easily observed, yet each artist offers variation in design and techniques.
The family jewelry business was established to include both Karl Lee, Aurthur Lee and Carrie Armstrong.
Continuing on this tradition of handmade excellence, all jewelry is entirely handmade using traditional old-world methods in hand fabrication such as: fusion, Keum-boo, wire weaving, gypsy setting, reticulation and granulation. All metals are alloyed and milled in the studio using reclaimed silver and gold. A wide variety of gemstone materials are used with an extra emphasis in tourmaline, ruby, sapphire, diamond, garnet and turquoise. Most of the gemstones we use are from Karl’s collection which began in the 1960’s.