Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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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