Stacey Lee Webber is a Philadelphia-based artist and contemporary metalsmith. Webber utilizes American coins for the basis of her work. With permanent installations in locations such as DC’s own Smithsonian Renwick Gallery and the Fuller Craft Museum in Massachusetts, Webber has spread her love for metal and jewelry work widely across the United States. Today, her limited production compositions and unique jewelry pieces are found in galleries and Americana stores across the country (like ours!). Read more about Stacey and her celebration of American liberty and labor in this week’s blog.
“As a contemporary metalsmith, Webber cherishes working with found materials whose history is physically evident. Her work is often described as meticulous, pushing the boundaries of everyday recognizable objects to the point of unidentifiable. Through material, she strives to make artwork that interests a broad range of viewers and challenges their preconceived notions of the objects that surround them. Webber’s sculpture is often painstakingly laborious which she uses as a continuous theme throughout her work. The pieces make the viewer question the value of her labor and the work ethic of blue collar America. Her practice incorporates a wide range of techniques including coin cutting, embroidery, metal fabrication, weaving and resin pouring. All of these techniques and more are used to declare the importance of the handmade while challenging these same systems. Webber’s objects are haunting celebrations of liberty and labor” (Staceyleewebber.com).
Meticulously cut, designed, and placed coins is the name of the game for Webber. She focuses her work on found materials, using coins that have a history of their own. Many of the pieces she chooses to work with are old, either mid to late 20th century or out of production, and their age most likely shows.
Coins are found all around us; from simple grocery store transactions to the paycheck at the end of a week. The coins that Webber uses were once passed through hands and exchanged.
Webber describes her work as “haunting celebrations of liberty and labor.” Labor in this instance relates to both the labor implied with the exchange of money and the labor that Webber herself endures to cut, embroider, and affix the many coins of a single composition. The time that Webber takes to cut a single coin by hand with jewelers tools has become a part of her signature. While machine cutting is possible and most likely more efficient for mass production, Webber has chosen to cut the coins by hand to retain a high level of accuracy and detail, as well as to maintain the fundamental ideal of American labor.
Webber’s jewelry and objects use coins in innovative ways. From dollar bill embroidery to landscape scenes made from cut coins, each limited series of works emulate her ongoing themes of liberty and labor. The Imagine Series: M.I.A. is just one of the large wall compositions now available from Webber’s collection. M.I.A features her signature hand-cut coins in a circle composition. Even though there are multiple pieces available in the collection, no two are exactly the same.
Stacey Lee Webber has been in the spotlight for a while since opening up her business in 2015. She has partnered with famous designers such as Oscar de la Renta and famous institutions such as the National Archives Foundation. We have been a fan of hers for quite some time, and her unique cufflink designs fit well into both our DC and Colorado shops.
Cut coin cufflinks and lapel pins are a unique way to accessorize a suit or tux. The coins retain their original size, often times with the outer rim remaining and the inner space cut away. Our clients love them for their unique craftsmanship quality and authenticity.
You can browse all of the Stacey Lee Webber cufflinks now available on our website here. Keep an eye out for new Stacey Lee Webber pieces and unique finds soon to come!
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With Thanksgiving in mind, we are highlighting our informative 1887 White House Cook Book. Whether you like a traditional chicken pot pie or you crave a more daring ox-tail soup, this cookbook provides a how-to for any successful meal.