Letters

Letters 02-15-2016

No More Balloon Launches In the recent Wedding issue, a writer noted a trend of celebratory balloon launches at weddings. Balloon releases are nothing more than a wind-born distribution of litter, not an appropriate way to celebrate a marriage or commemorate cancer victims and survivors...

Plenty Of Blame In Flint Many opinions have been voiced about the Flint water crisis; all have left many questions unasked, such as: Lead is the culprit, and a there is a ban on lead in paint, as well as one on lead in new plumbing materials. There are still many service connecting pipes made out of lead in service. Why? Have any been installed despite the ban?

Stop Balloon Releases I was appalled by the column on the wedding traditions article that suggested making new traditions like releasing balloons at the conclusion of the ceremony! I am the president of AFFEW (A Few Friends for the Environment of the World) in Ludington, and we clean beaches four times a year....

Roosevelt Had It Right 202 years ago the British Royal Navy bombarded Fort McHenry during the War Of 1812. While being held captive aboard the HMS Surprise, Francis Scott Key composed the immortal “Star Spangled Banner” poem. 202 years later I ask, “Oh, say can you see” one of the most appallingly dishonest presidential election cycles since the Adams/Jefferson election of 1800...

Avoid Urban Sprawl In Petoskey I urge Resort Township, the City of Petoskey and Emmet County to dissuade Bay Harbor’s proposal to add new business and residential development along U.S. 31 near the main entrance to Bay Harbor...

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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