ILWACO — Luisa Mack always knew she wanted to do something original and interactive. On Friday, October 5 the goal became reality with the official opening of Luisa Mack Jewelry & Art, a gallery and working studio at 177 Howerton Way Suite 4 in the Port of Ilwaco.
Mack was a part-owner of the ArtPort Gallery for two years before reopening the space to focus on jewelry. The reconfigured gallery now includes a jeweler’s bench and serves as Mack’s working studio.
“I always wanted to do something creative and hands on,” Mack said. “It will be exciting to have people come and see me work.”
Latest pieces feature local gold
Mack creates rings, pendants and earrings. Her latest pieces feature gold from Benson Beach fused into silver.
“I just started using it about a month ago,” Mack said. “They call it flour gold.”
Flour gold — essentially defined as ultra-fine gold — is recreationally recovered from the black sands of Cape Disappointment’s Benson Beach. Several pieces of the gold can fit on a single grain of salt.
“The gold is so fine, I was afraid I was going to blow it away with my torch,” Mack said.
Mack brings new style
Mack grew up in Germany and studied jewelry design at the Pforzheim University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 2015. After graduation, Mack moved to the Pacific Northwest to live with her husband, Hannes, and started making silver jewelry in her home studio. It can take an hour to several days for each piece, depending how complicated or intricate the designs are. She brings a ‘modern’ approach in her jewelry designs.
“With traditional jewelry you often have a faceted stone or diamond that’s high polished,” Mack said.
“I use stone that is cut in a cabochon, the rounded stones rather than the faceted. I do a lot of softer, matte finishes combined with hammering and more texture. It’s fun for me to bring this modern look here.”