Lori McLean is a self-taught jeweler and metalsmith whose foundational background includes formal training in printmaking and design. She began making jewelry in 1990 in San Francisco, where her line of sterling and enamel pieces soon became known for their layered planes of colorful, translucent resin on textured silver backgrounds. This work was influenced by classic modernist design, and in 2000 Lori was asked by the Museum of Modern Art to create an exclusive collection of jewelry based on the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright.
In the late 1990’s, she moved her studio to New York City's TriBeCa neighborhood. She continued wholesaling until 2004 when she set her sights on a new venture - owning a small, well-curated shop stocked with local artists and work from handmade lines. The West Village store opened in December of 2004. In 2006, Lori retired her signature enamel jewelry line to focus on a small range of higher-end, custom designs, and assembling a rare collection of vintage and antique jewelry dating from the Georgian Era through the Art Deco period.
In 2011, Lori began to make her way back to jewelry design. To return to her craft with a more exact knowledge of classic metalsmithing methods and design, she began studying stone setting with a Japanese master metalsmith in his Chelsea Studio. Obtaining a Graduate Certificate in Diamond Grading at the Gemological Institute of America helped further pave the way to sourcing the perfect vintage stones to incorporate into her new collection. In part inspired by the vintage jewelry she was selling, Lori McLean’s new line hearkens back to 18th and 19th century American and British design, while staying true to what has always been her trademark: unique, wearable settings and finishes.
The shop’s move to the East Village in 2015, after ten years on Grove Street, has only strengthened Lori’s resolve to make “Jewelry for the People.” She is here for the modern bride, the eco-conscious consumer and all who are interested in simple, handmade treasures that celebrate classic style. As in the past, all of Lori’s work is created entirely by hand, in New York City.