When we discovered Laura Lombardi back in 2009, we sensed we’d struck gold. Three years later, we can barely keep up with the jewelry designer’s doings.
After chatting her up, we’re pleased to announce she’s only gotten cooler. Her jewelry follows suit: Lombardi has a way with vintage brass and copper, turning out wearable pieces that take cues from equal parts sculpture, art, and history. We can’t wait to see what the next three years bring.
Name: Laura Lombardi
Neighborhood: Ukrainian Village
Occupation: Jewelry designer
What are your favorite places in your hood?
Bite Cafe for brunch, Empty Bottle for shows, Agent Gallery for art, objects, and inspiration.
Morning coffee joint?
I recently quit coffee for the most part, but every once in a while I will stop in at Gaslight Coffee Roasters in Logan Square.
What’s on your nightstand?
Crystal quartz, candles, iPad.
You may have noticed it’s freezing. Are you a hibernator? If so, any odd rituals? (We’re partial to fleece leggings and thick men’s socks.)
Chicago has turned me into a total would-be hibernator, but winter is my busiest season, so I am rarely home. Whenever this time of year comes around, I try and make the studio more comfortable with homey accents like candles, reorganizing the space, stocking up on snacks at Green Grocer, and living in oversize sweaters.
How have your designs changed since we wrote about you back in 2009?
Now when I design, I’m creating collections as opposed to one-off items. I’m more focused on building a narrative and a relationship between pieces. The line has evolved into something more cohesive, and the pieces themselves are stronger.
You’ve been known to rock a weave and shave one side of your head, among other things. Where do you get your hair did?
My friend Jason Fanning at Art + Science.
You posted a pretty Instagram pic of your inspiration wall for fall 2013 – what’s on it?
Sculpture by Mattia Bosco, Ned Smyth, Robert Morris, images of marble and stone steps, Iceland, Lily McMenamy, the color green, miscellaneous internet finds.
Pizza and Law and Order, on their own or combined.
You have one day of absolute freedom in Chicago — all the time and money in the world. What do you do?
I’m going to go ahead and say I would have all the appetite in the world, too. I would spend my afternoon on the patio at Big Star, have dinner at Schwa, and head back to Wicker Park for drinks at Violet Hour.
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Photo: Courtesy of Laura Lombardi