llyn strong fine art jewelry in Greenville SC is a small custom jewelry business solely run by six women who are not afraid to get their hands dirty. It was founded in 1989 by a woman (llyn strong) who often referred to herself as “pigpen” while working, whether it was working in the shop producing her jewelry designs, painting, gardening, or cooking. Creating jewelry is a dirty job! It often takes getting down to the nitty gritty to make precious metals sparkle and shine.
Today, at llyn strong fine art jewelry, Sydney Strong (llyn’s daughter) runs the show. Sydney grew up in her mom’s studio and decided early on that getting her feet dirty was much more to her liking. She embraced soccer, playing in school and on a club team, then in college, then coaching and playing after college. Sydney came back to llyn strong fine art jewelry to get her hands dirty after realizing coaching soccer was not her passion. Digging into the business part of the business, learning QuickBooks, and keeping up with the dirty costs of doing business, is how she started. Then she really dug in and found her true passion – “rocks”. After earning a Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America, Sydney has loving been deemed “The Doc of Rocks”. Just so you know she still gets her feet dirty playing co-ed soccer and kickball, and her hands dirty playing with her dog, Mia.
Kate Lowrey is our first dirty girl. She came to llyn strong fine art jewelry as an intern while earning a Bachelor of Art Degree with a concentration in sculpture at Furman University in Greenville, SC. Before Furman, Kate got her hands dirty by studying jewelry making at Greenville’s Governor School for the Arts. Two days after her graduation llyn sent her to her first jewelry CAD class in Moline Iowa and since then has taken five more advanced classes. Kate’s background, as an artist, gives her an artistic sense most CAD technicians do not have. Her background in hands on jewelry making and sculpture enables her to understand the functional demands needed to create a piece that works beyond the rendering. At home she gets her hands dirty playing with Obi-Wan, her cat, and playing board games.
Erin Stuart is our next dirty girl at llyn strong fine art jewelry. She is our head goldsmith and has been doing bench work since starting at llyn strong. She keeps our custom jewelry and stock jewelry process going with hands on care and attention to the most minute detail to ensure each piece is a work of art. Erin attended the Greenville County Fine Arts Center in Greenville, SC, concentrating in jewelry making and went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (concentrating in jewelry and sculpture) from Winthrop University. Being an artist is a dirty job and Erin has continued that in her career. She has taken stone setting and metalsmithing classes and she trains and oversees the work of our other two dirty girls who work on the bench producing our jewelry. While at home she continues getting her hands dirty producing her own line of jewelry with hand-dyed 3D printed nylon combined with silver, gold and colored stones (shown in our Gallery) Erin also gets dirty working in her yard and playing with her two dogs, Chicken and Dookie.
Next is our third and youngest dirty girl. Faron Justice started her career at llyn strong fine art jewelry while attending Wade Hampton High School and Greenville County’s Fine Arts Center. She was never afraid of getting her hands dirty and once she started working at the bench she fell in love with it. Faron was a quick study, starting with buffing and polishing jewelry (which is absolutely the dirtiest part of the job) she moved to welding, soldering, and cleaning castings and is now setting stones and finishing very intricate pieces. All the other dirty girls at llyn strong have loved watching her grow and become so proficient with what she contributes to our dirty girl team! Faron gets her hands dirty at home as well with her love of animals. She has two Persian/Himalayan cats: Alex (short for Alexander) and Earle and a Kenyan Sand Boa snake named Lulu. She also creates her own line of jewelry, using lots of beautiful colored stones which is shown and sold at llyn strong fine art.
Azniv Chorbadjian is our latest, but certainly not our least dirty girl. She is our newest employee and started working and getting her hands dirty at llyn strong fine art jewelry approximately one year ago. She attended Wade Hampton High School and Greenville County’s Fine Art Center studying jewelry. After high school, Azniv traveled the world extensively, frequently coming back to Greenville, SC and helping her dad (Sarkis Chorbadjian) in his Greenville based art studio, painting, doing faux finishing and gold-leafing. She is a self-taught jeweler and creates her own line of botanically based jewelry designs. As the newest part of the dirty girl team, Azniv does the investing and casting of the jewelry, polishes, and buffs, and has been learning many aspects of setting stones. When not at work, Azniv still helps in her dad’s studio and gardens and continues to create her own jewelry designs.
It takes all six of us digging in and getting our hands dirty and working as a team to produce the beautifully artistic creations at llyn strong. Even though we all get our hands dirty to different degrees and in different ways, we work well as a team. Making jewelry is a very dirtyjob! We hope that you look beyond our dirty hands and just see the sparkling beauty we achieve as result.