We’re Sandy Sanderson and Lauren Springman. We live in Big Pine, CA and together are the team behind “Mountain Scene Jewelry”.
This blog will probably become quite the hodgepodge, because the set of ideas that finally inspired this blog hang together around the fact that our life and work are conjoined. As hard as I’ve tried to separate what’s relevant to the business from the details of our life, the life begs constantly to be shared for 2 reasons:
Sandy’s jewelry mirrors and interprets his world, his love of our mountain environment and the interaction between them.
And, second, his clients have commissioned custom pieces that symbolize their loves – of nature, family, animals – whatever they’ve wanted, Sandy has built. Over a 34 year career, Sandy didn’t advertise. Through word of mouth only, locals and travelers from all over the world have had Sandy create jewelry that reminds them of the most important aspects of their lives.
Together, these ideas highlight the conjunction of our life and our clients’ lives, with Sandy’s jewelry as the link.
What this hodgepodge blog won’t do: ramble and divulge unnecessary details or veer off into personal opinions about politics, religion or the like.
Our Life and Work Environment:
We work together in our house – me, Lauren at the front with a view of the Sierra Mountains out my window, Sandy constantly back and forth between his computer room and his workshop at the back of the house with a view of the White/Inyo Mountains. We meet all over, excited, exchanging ideas, terrible frustrations, taking time out for bike rides on the dirt roads just a block from home.
Our town is small – pop. 1300. We’re surrounded by beauty that just stretches on and on in all directions. If you’re interested, check out our Flickr pics. We adventure often, from spontaneous short trips to blow off some energy, to days and days just driving around on dirt roads with no direction, camping wherever it feels friendly.
We stay connected to the world through the internet. We have favorite sites that we visit often and also always try to stretch and find new people, places and ideas.
I am a jeweler, sculptor, designer, and a third generation local in the beautiful Mono Basin.
As the son of a gold miner and old western sheriff, I grew up tunneling, drilling, blasting and shovelling, learning applied natural sciences, while filling all my spare time creating beautiful things.
I discovered that jewelry making would integrate all my passions: love of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, art, science, and a strong desire to create.
This always changing relationship has evolved into 34 years of jewelry making experience, giving me the knowledge and skills to accomplish my most complex and artistic visions.
After 60 years I’m still living my dream on the eastern cheek of the High Sierra – sharing my Mountain Scene Jewlery with folks from all over the world.
I created and maintain the websites, do most of the blogging, take all the jewelry pics you see on the website, and manage all the business related tasks. Until the first of this year, I taught sociology and anthropology at our local community colleges in Bishop and Mammoth Lakes, CA. My graduate training focused on Social Network Analysis, so I developed some decent skills with internet research, learning new software rather quickly along with some stretching into mathematics, especially matrix algebra and statistics (taught stats for 4 years).
I began learning html 5 years ago when I realized that website design software generated a lot of ugly and embarrassing code. Unfortunately, I read all the early talk about CSS and ignored it. I was spreading myself a little thin then, spending 40+ hours a week on teaching and waiting tables at a local hangout for fun and extra cash. Now with this blog, I’m crash coursing with CSS, and beginning to dream about the jewelry website with CSS layout.
I decided to work with Sandy full-time when our website finally came up on the first page of search engines for terms like “mountain jewelry”, around the 1st of this year. Now we’re making our living almost entirely through web sales. My first post on this blog begins to tell how this story has been unfolding. And it’s the reason that I finally began to blog. We really didn’t want to blog just to blog. Now the ideas for posts are stacking up and I’ve got to get to work.
This is a good story for us because 2 years ago we moved from Crowley Lake, about 40 miles north of Big Pine, where Sandy had a jewelry store for 19 years. The move was really exciting and scary because we weren’t sure how we were going to sell jewelry without a storefront. The web has become our store. I’ve done the work of keeping the coding as clean as possible, while trying to make the site attractive in such a way that the quality of Sandy’s jewelry is very clear. Foraying into not only coding, but design, has been really fun for me. To take a set of ideas and attempt to make this show in the design of the site has been challenging and interesting to someone who has been an art idiot really.
~ Lauren, 9/6/2006