Liz Bucheit and Michael Seiler draw, sculpt, paint and cut and form stones. That’s a lot to put on a business card, so they go by jewelry makers.
Bucheit has been in the jewelry business for more than 30 years. She has been trained regionally at the University of Iowa and internationally in Norway and Ireland. Since 1994, she has sold her artwork at Crown Trout Jewelers in Lanesboro.
In 2009, the store hired Seiler, who trained at some of the top jewelry stores in the Twin Cities. Seiler specializes in wax models and stone cutting.
With Seiler on staff, Crown Trout stopped dealing with wholesalers. Everything in the store and on their website is handcrafted by Bucheit or Seiler.
Bucheit: This particular media envelopes everything that is cool about art. It involves drawing, sculpture, stone-setting, stone cutting, drafting, all of that. It’s kind of like the best combination of all of the arts.
What is your artistic process when making a piece of jewelry?
Seiler: I take an experience, and I try to draw three major points of that experience into one focal point. Then I carve the wax, add the symbolism and cut the stones that may represent that, and I end up with a finished piece. It’s an emotional process. When the idea hits you, it’s there, and you have to act on it, create it.
What has it been like to work with Seiler the past five years?
Bucheit: He brought in a fresh new artistic approach. Not just to the jewelry in general, but also with his arrival, we branded ourselves as just our own work. Between the two of us, we don’t carry anyone else’s jewelry anymore. …What’s nice is that we can bounce ideas off of each other, and every single thing that Michael has said ‘Let’s try this’ has been successful.
With so many big cities nearby, why do you stay in Lanesboro?
Seiler: I think the No. 1 thing is that it’s a beautiful area, so it’s inspiring. You’re not walking out your door and only seeing concrete and traffic. We have the Root River and the surrounding bluffs around this area. That’s the No. 1 reason. The No. 2 reason is that we’re in an age where you can be everywhere, but only be in one place. So if you need to reach out to somebody across the world, you can easily do that. It’s a pretty amazing time to live. Living in a big city, you may have more traffic, but you also may have higher rent. You may have more insurance. You may have the same amount of wasted time that everyone has. As long as you have a post office, a website and some place to make something, you can make it.