Call it cosmic intuition, but we felt positive vibes about pairing up our next collaborators long before they ever met. Considering Sarah and Joseph Belknap’s astronomical works of art and Lindsay Lewis’s futuristic crystal jewelry, this trio was destined to design something out of this world. Nevermind that the Belknaps had never worked with jewelry and Lindsay was new to the collaborative process. Drawing inspiration from a stony iron meteorite found in 1861, they created a galactic brass-and-resin necklace that—wait for it—GLOWS IN THE DARK.
Sarah and Joseph made molds of the Vaca Merta meteorite discovered in Chile, then poured resin with mica powders and pigments inside. A glow-in-the-dark powder was added before the “rock” cured. Lindsay then took the rocks and created a simple brass setting for each that references space: a planet-like circle and a long metal triangle in the shape of a comet tail.
Below, they ask each other about everything from commercial success to their dream customers (s/o to Stevie Nicks).
SB: What is the biggest obstacle you face in your work?
LL: Making things that other people will like that I also feel proud to call my own. It’s very tempting to make things that are popular and trendy, but really I want to make the craziest stuff that no one will probably ever wear. So the hardest thing is finding a balance between the two.
SB: What pieces in your current collection are you most proud of?
LL: When I first started making the prisms, I thought they were the coolest because they were different. But now I’ve made so many of them that they’re getting a little old and I want to move on to the next thing.
LL: You have commercial success collaborating with big brands (like CB2) while being true to yourself as an artist. How have you managed this, and what advice to you have for other artists?
SB; When working with larger brands, the most important thing is that you want whatever you make to be successful for the business. Your design has to sell well for that company or you won’t be doing business with them anymore. In one case, we proposed a couple of pieces ended up making only one of them because we couldn't make the other piece for the price they wanted. We put it on hold until we can figure out sourcing.
LL: Do you guys ever disagree on things?
SB: All of the time.
LL: It’s probably more of a challenge with when you two collaborate with another person as opposed to one on one.
SB: I think it’s harder because it can be that feeling of two versus one. We need to be careful that the other person doesn’t feel like we are ganging up on them cause we are married.
LL: I never felt like that. I loved having a second and third opinion. When I work by myself, I make every decision, which can be a little stressful because you don’t know what people are going to think.
SB: How would you define your personal style and your style as a designer; how are they different and how are they similar?
LL: When I am in the studio I wear jeans, a t-shirt, and a hoodie, and I am covered in dust. Sometimes I will wear the same thing three times in a row. But now I go to events and I’m around people that are in the fashion industry, so I care more.
SB: We have a little closet that’s all studio clothing, and a walk-in closet for our nice clothes.
LL: If you had to walk away today, would you be satisfied with your body of work?
SB: Yes and no. What do you think?
JB: Satisfaction is a weird term. We’re constantly hungry.
SB: What if told you that you could live on this beautiful island, but the only thing you’d be allowed to do was eat good food and not make art.
JB: I’d be completely satisfied.
LE: You guys would make sand rocks.
JB: We would be sandcastle artists!
LL: Do you think your work will ever go in a different direction than it is now?
SB: It’s hard to know because Joseph and I have only been working together for about five years now. Before that, we made our own art. I do imagine that there will be a point where the work will change.
JB: Yeah, we’re always interested in failures. We have to experiment in surprising ways. I want our work to keep changing and changing and changing.
LE: What’s everyone’s guilty pleasure TV show?
LL: This is actually really embarrassing. I started watching a couple episodes of Gossip Girl, and it’s not horrible.
SB: I liked Buffy the Vampire Slayer!
JB: I liked Gilmore Girls.
SB: Who would be your ultimate customer, dead or alive?
LL: It would probably be a woman who has kind of witchy style. I can picture her in a long black dress.
LE: Are you describing Stevie Nicks?
LL: That’s perfect!! We can go with that. A very strong woman who knows what she wants—the perfect mix of rock and roll, country, and witchy.
JB: Steve Martin is mine. He is an art collector, and incredibly intelligent.
***Lindsay Lewis and Sarah and Joseph Belknap produced the Comet Necklace, pictured below. Shop the necklace here. Limited quantities available.***