Big Sur Goldsmiths

Big Sur Goldsmiths
Karl Lee 1945 - 2012
 
A tradition continued by Carrie Armstrong & Ali Lee 
 
Karl Lee began his passionate, rich and prolific career in the “Art Barn” at the famous Esalen Institute on the rugged Big Sur coast of California. While he often worked solely in gold his most famous jewelry pieces were frequently a balance of sterling silver and 22 karat gold. The silver shank of his rings made for “everyday” wearability and affordability. While his various studios eventually moved from the California Central Coast to Kauai, Hawaii to coastal Oregon, Karl’s spiritual grounding was always in Big Sur.
 
Since his passing in 2013 Karl Lee’s studio has grown into a family affair of jewelers. His son Ali Lee and daughter-in-law Carrie Armstrong continue that path that Karl followed for over fifty years. Together Ali and Carrie continue to produce signature Karl Lee designs as well as to create their own unique styles. The passing of the generational “baton” maintains the high level of respect for delicious gemstones and minerals, fine metals and skilled craftsmanship. 
 
Karl used to say that his jewelry was created to be worn. Not just as a form of occasional “dress up” expression but as an everyday part of our lives, a representation of our daily selves. In Big Sur people still do “chop wood and carry water”. And to this day they frequently can be seen doing so wearing a Karl Lee design.