Selective Focus: Yarrow Mead

Yarrow Mead is a metal smith who works with Northern Minnesota “gems” including local stones, agates and seaglass. The pieces she creates proudly show tool marks and uneven, organic shapes that reflect the North Shore.

I am a silver and gold smith working with primarily local stones, beach glass, and American sourced metal. I was trained in jewelry by Stephen Hoglund, who is a very talented smith out of Grand Marais, as well as through my time working as a Props Master at the Hamline University Theater Department, under Theater Director Bill Wallace. My personal style has been influenced by both of these men, as well as my childhood on the North Shore of Minnesota. I am greatly inspired by the shapes and textures along the shores of Lake Superior, as well as my personal Nordic heritage.

Raw Earrings: Lake Superior Agates set in Sterling Silver with 14k yellow gold accents.

I have been working with metal since 2014, and have been focusing specifically on jewelry since 2017. I have always been a very tactile person, and working with my hands has been something I’ve been doing my whole life.

Cluster Earrings: Lake Superior Beach Glass in Fine Silver

The rewards of my work are extraordinary – I am able to support myself doing something I love, and can express my feelings for my surroundings in a way that is very fulfilling. The art community in Duluth is an incredibly supportive group of people, and I feel so lucky to be a part of them.

Engagement Ring: Isle Royal Greenstone and 14k White Gold

There are challenges to this line of work as well – running my own business is not something that comes naturally to me, and art doesn’t always provide the steadiest of incomes. There is also the constant pressure to create work that is unique, marketable, and “good” – whatever that means. It can sometimes feel like a lot of pressure.

Wearing Lake Superior Beach Glass Hoops Earrings and Thunder Bay Amethyst Rings.
Photo by Menique Koos

I do the majority of my sales on, and post all of my work on Instagram at Yarrow Mead Metals, and Facebook at Yarrow Mead Metals. You can also see my work at the Duluth Folk School and 47 Degrees Gallery in Knife River.

Nordic Agate Ring: Sterling Silver and Raw Lake Superior Agate

I have been in business for just over a year now, and I am currently working on refining my voice to create a cohesive line of jewelry for 2019, an exciting and intimidating process! I have also been asked to participate in the Flasks Exhibition at the Nordic Center in Duluth, and am currently working on my piece for that exhibition. Creating something that is both beautiful and utilitarian is a fun challenge!


Rune Rings: Sterling Silver Midi and Full Rings
Photo by Hillary Olsen

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