Interview: Lissa Flemming of Silverwaves Jewelry

Here in Bayfield, Lake Superior is a very important element of life. The connection many people feel to the water is distinct and real, and it is something that many couples strive to incorporate into their ceremony.

Fortunately, local jeweler and artist Lissa Flemming, owner of Silverwaves Jewelry, creates beautiful and unique pieces including wedding rings and cuffs inspired by the beauty of the Big Lake. She works with a variety of materials, including Lake Superior agates and greenstone. If you are looking for a unique wedding ring, jewelry piece, or bridesmaid gift Silverwaves Jewelry has you covered. Read our interview with Lissa Flemming and get to know this local artist who is able to create custom pieces that embody both the spirit of Lake Superior and your own special bond.

Bayfield, WI Silverwaves Ring
Wedding ring made by Lissa Flemming of Silverwaves Jewelry

Tell us a little bit about yourself and Silverwaves Jewelry.
What a journey… What an adventure: life. Silverwaves Jewelry, it seems to have woven itself together. This is probably my doing as I think I have finally found what I’m supposed to be doing with my life- seriously- I get to be creative for my job. It feeds my soul. When I see someone walking down the street with one of my pieces on them I just smile. Who would have thought that when I lived in Baja studying whales or guiding sea kayaking trips that I’d be way up north 20 odd years later making jewelry and soaking in the magic of Lake Superior? Who would have begun to imagine that I would be asked to make wedding rings inspired by the couples’ thoughts and ideas? What an honor.

What inspired you to become a silversmith?
I first started making jewelry from the shells that I collected on the shores of the Gulf of California. I learned from Mexican silversmiths- through classes, workshops and melting a lot of stuff. It really was only three years ago that I decided to dedicate myself to jewelry- best thing I ever did.

What are some of your favorite materials to work with?
My favorite materials to work with are regional stones like Lake Superior agate, greenstone, and datolite. Native MI copper, Lake Superior sand, sterling silver, and copper are some other materials that I love to work with.

Silverwaves Ring Lake Superior Agate
Lake Superior agate wedding ring

What is the process you go through with couples looking to custom order a wedding ring?
It really starts with just chatting with the couple. I like to get a feel for their personalities and hear their ideas. I then talk about the mechanics with them and how I could make it work. This is so much fun for me!

What are a few of your favorite wedding pieces that you’ve made?
Two of my favorite wedding pieces are a Lake Superior agate + greenstone wedding band and an Apostle Islands cuff! The bride’s cuff (pictured below) had a greenstone compass rose and two significant islands marked with beach glass from the islands themselves.

Lake Superior Bride Cuff
Bridal cuff made by featuring the Apostle Islands

Aside from jewelry, do you offer any other services for weddings?
I’m a minister with The Universal Life Church out of Modesto, CA, so I can marry couples too. I got the certificate so I could marry two very close friends on frozen Lake Superior!

Are there any recommendations you have for couples looking for a unique wedding ring?
I recommend for couples to keep an open mind. There is so much in the media about the perfect diamond, but [that’s] not for me. I create a non-traditional ring, like an amazing turtle backed greenstone or waves.

Matching Silverwaves Wedding Rings
Matching wedding rings featuring a wave design

To learn more about Silverwaves Jewelry visit their website + Facebook page!

Lissa will be opening a gallery and shop in downtown Bayfield in spring 2016. It will be located at 204 Rittenhouse Ave. and she will offer classes and workshops in addition to selling her jewelry.