Robbi La Londe
Artistry in Sea Glass & Metal
Splash Gallery Member since 2022
Authentic Sea Glass Creations by Robbi La Londe
Wear a Piece of History!
My fascination with wire began early, using up my grandfather’s soldering wire in his musical instrument repair shop to make Ojos de Dios when I was a little girl. By age 12 I bought a book called Making Wire Jewelry and soon sold my first brass fringe choker necklace to a “Hippie” shop in Santa Barbara. I began working with silver in my late teens, soldering cuff bracelets and forming hand made chains, but that gave way to becoming a watercolorist in my mid 20’s.
At first I studied at UNLV with the artist in residence, then participated in workshops with many famous watercolorists who were delighted to bring their trainings to Las Vegas, and finally became a juried member of the Nevada Watercolor Society. After moving to Hawaii in 1986 I continued framing my paintings myself and selling them on the Big Island through “The Gallery of Great Things” in Waimea during the 12 years I lived there. After earning my teaching credential at UH Hilo, my life became dedicated to the demands of teaching AP English and French One at Moorpark High School for 10 years in Southern California. Unfortunately there was very little time for art during those busy years in education.
In the next period of my life I had the good fortune to live in the Caribbean for 4 years, first on the island of Dominica, then on the French Islands of Guadeloupe and tiny Marie-Galante. Once again I was able to paint, hold shows and sell my work through galleries on each island. Then one day, I happened upon a beach on Marie-Galante that was completely covered in seaglass of all sizes. I was fascinated and immediately inspired to return to making jewelry with the beautiful shapes and colors of these perfectly smooth glass gems. I would spread them out over a white table and sort by color first, then size and shape. The shear quantity of glass made it possible for me to keep only the most impressive samples and to match similar sizes and shapes for pairs of earrings and various symmetrical creations.
I began selling my work through gift shops at the largest hotel and one of the Gold Medal winning rum distilleries on the island. Eventually caring for my mother who suffered from dementia the last 10 years of her life became too much for me to handle on my own on the island and we were forced to return to the United States. Before leaving I packed and shipped my collection of seaglass for future artistic endeavors. My work continues to feature only these authentic morsels of glass that are true pieces of human history, each taking a minimum of 20 to 30, and frequently hundreds of years to be formed by the sea and sand. It is this mystery and uniqueness that informs my desire to create one-of-a-kind objects of beauty to wear on the body or to adorn the home. My prices are based on the rarity of glass color and size along with the complexity of the setting.
I especially enjoy a sculptural approach and have been deeply influenced by the jewelry of Alexander Calder. I no longer employ any soldering but instead rely on wrapping, shaping, and forging. I work with Argentium silver, stainless steel, copper, bronze and brass, depending on the color of glass I am using and the required strength for the finished piece.
I enjoy making delicate sophisticated items as well as more structural ethnic looking pieces, so my style varies according to the creative inspiration. My newest work includes Tabletop and Hanging Meditative Mobiles- each a mindful collection and balanced arrangement of artifacts to inspire peaceful moments. I like to think of them as jewelry for your home on display for all to enjoy.
Nothing is more rewarding than knowing that something I have put my heart and soul into making brings pleasure to another person. Recently I have decided there was no time like the present to start working with my very best pieces of sea glass, and these are them!