Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Art · A certain irony for jeweler Alice...
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A certain irony for jeweler Alice Landis

Priscilla Miller - August 18th, 2008
How does one choose a direction in art? For Alice Armstrong Landis, it came down to filling a need.
Alice was living in Biggerville, Pennsylvania, and had been teaching art for 10 years, when a friend invited her to “come along” to a meeting of artists in the area. During the meeting each person in attendance was asked to introduce themselves and tell what their media was. “When it was my turn I told them I wasn’t sure -- that it might be pottery, weaving, or jewelry,” Landis says. “When I learned there were 12 potters, 13 weavers and no jewelers in the group, the choice was easy.”
She began making jewelry with the intention of doing a few shows. Initially, she worked in both pewter and silver, but after discovering that pewter wasn’t as popular, she began working exclusively in silver.
Landis left the classroom to pursue her craft and did her first show in 1974. Several years later she moved to Traverse City and went to work on Front Street, at a shop called the Silver Exchange. When Traders Alley antique center opened at Chums Corners south of town, she worked there for a brief time and recalls using roller skates to get around the large building.

MOVING ON
In 1980 she joined NMAC (Northern Michigan Artists and Craftsmen) and opened a gallery in her Traverse City home. Landis admits to “not being a morning person” and says, “I stayed up well past midnight many times and sold my jewelry late at night, while wearing my pajamas.”
When her niece Jill Jeffers and Melody Litwiller, a family friend, expressed an interest in working with silver, the ‘teacher’ in Landis took over and she began teaching them the craft.
With the passing of her mother, Landis inherited the family homestead in Alden. In 2003 she moved her gallery from Traverse City and opened Grandma’s Parlor in the house, which is located adjacent to the parking lot of Alden’s United Methodist Church.
The home once belonged to her great-grandfather, John Armstrong, and the fact that she now creates her silver jewelry in the same house, holds “a certain irony” for Landis because, in 1880 her great grandfather was blinded by an explo-sion while working in an Idaho silver mine. Several years later, her great uncle, Benjamin Armstrong, subsequently lost his life in a silver mine accident.
Landis always enjoys trying new things and for the last couple of years, has been doing her own lapidary work. She polishes a variety of semi-precious stones which she incorporates into her jewelry and often collects Petoskey stones in and around the Alden area. After polishing the stones, she cuts them in half for use in her reversible, Petoskey stone pendants. The pendants feature a silver backing with a cutout in the shape of Michigan, thus allowing the stone on the other side to show through.
Over the past 20 years, Landis has become known for her signature line of jewelry. The delicate, hand-crafted floral design still proves to be as popular today, as it was back when she started.
Both of Landis’s students mastered the art and became silversmiths as well. This enables Landis to keep Grandma’s Parlor open during the summer months, and to also do about 20 juried shows
a year.
On Saturday, August 23, Landis will be one of 86 artists participating in Alden’s Annual Art Festival. The juried show will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Depot Park in Alden.
 
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