A Washougal jeweler has an interest in all of the items he sells.
Those pieces, available to purchase in Jewelry Creations By Mark Lewis, include Laramar, a Caribbean blue jasper from the Dominican Republic, in a cast sterling silver setting with abalone inlay. There is also a AAA-grade pear-shaped amethyst in a wire wrap setting, as well as mystic quartz, amber and Ethiopian fire opal.
Lewis, 56, also works with Swarovski faceted crystal beads for earrings, pendants and bracelets. He incorporates fossils into some of his designs. They include an amanite (nautilus shell) in a sterling silver wire setting.
Lewis has been fascinated with the art of making jewelry since he was 17 and he watched a man in Florida make a ring with malachite.
“I just fell in love with it,” he said. “I knew that was what I was going to do.”
After spending four years in the Air Force, Lewis earned an associate’s degree in computer engineering from Tampa Technical Institute. He worked on electronics for 17 years, installing and setting up data transfer systems for several companies.
Prior to opening his shop in Washougal, Lewis had been primarily selling his jewelry online.
“When you sell stuff on a website, you never really meet people face to face,” he said. “I sell five pieces to a lady in Texas, and she emails me. It’s a disconnect. The money is good, but you are disconnected. It is good to be connected with people.”
Lewis said he enjoys everything about working in his new store.
“I absolutely love it – the people and the creativity,” he said. “I have a clear slate everyday. I probably have 10 to 15 things I could do. Whatever I feel like doing, I start with that design.”
Prices range from $30 to $300.
Lewis, a silversmith for 15 years, moved from Florida to the northwest in 1990. He has lived 19 years in a log home he built outside the city limits of Washougal. Lewis also built a two-story shop where he pours and casts silver next to his home.
In addition to jewelry, he sells polished stones, such as rose quartz – in shades of pink – and fluorite – in purple, cream and green.
“Interior decorators buy them and display them to go with the furniture,” Lewis said. “It’s organic. It feels good in a house. It’s very peaceful.”
Jewelry Creations By Mark Lewis is located at 1436 “A” St., Ste. 107, in downtown Washougal. Days and hours vary. For more information, call 936-7957, email email@example.com or visit www.marklewisjewelry.com.