Work by more than 100 Artisans inside new Carmel more

Indiana Artisan Lydia Gerbig Fast
Fort Wayne
Metal-smithed jewelry
Lydia Gerbig-Fast

“In a culture increasingly given to mediocrity and instant gratification, it is essential to combat that attitude with a commitment to excellence in quality and hard work. My work reflects that excellence which comes from hard work and sets it apart from the standard fare.”

At Ball State on the path to becoming a medical illustrator, Lydia Gerbig-Fast took an elective class in metals and jewelry design and had an epiphany–she knew she had to be a part of this craft. She promptly added metals as a second art major and has since been producing and selling her work for 19 years.

Lydia’s love for fashion contributed to her entry into the craft. She finds that making jewelry satisfies much of her need for self-adornment and working with metal and gemstones exhilarates her because of the “ease of expressing fanciful, theatrical and sculptural concepts in a manageable and wearable size,” she says. Watching her father do lapidary work when she was a child also piqued her interest in working with colorful stones and minerals.

The jewelry Lydia creates is unique and awe inspiring. Although she references ancient Classicism and mid-20th century costume jewelry in much of her work, she does not copy them. “I reinterpret history through my own design vocabulary, resulting in truly unique, one-of-a-kind compositions,” Lydia says. She does keep up with contemporary metalsmithing but does not let the styles of other artists influence her work. Some of her most distinctive designs include combining plating and etching detailed images for further enameling and using gems and minerals to construct floral elements in the jewelry. Her work is even represented at the International Sculpture Objects and Functional Art Exposition, which has an international audience of collectors.

Lydia applied to Indiana Artisan with the hope that it would help her business grow and gain a following and would help artisans transform the reputation of Indiana as a place for the arts to thrive and a place for others to come for quality crafted arts. “I am perplexed, even disappointed, when Indiana institutions and cities purchase expensive works of art from artisans outside of Indiana, as though there were no talent here,” she says. “It’s encouraging that Indiana started this organization to highlight and encourage the arts here at home.”