(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is the next installment in a series of articles highlighting local artists who create wearable art. These Fashion Friday features will be published each month on First Friday.)
Nik Lenios and Jean Stabley Lenios together run Nik's Goldworks, 1604 E. Third St., Loyalsock Township.
Nik Lenios is from Rhodes, Greece, where he learned filigree goldwork. He brought this unique skill to the Susquehanna Valley in 1976 and is the only goldsmith in Pennsylvania who can create this delicate and specialized style of jewelry.
Above are a couple of pieces of jewelry made by Nik Lenios of Nik’s Goldworks. Lenios, a native of Rhodes, Greece, learned filigree goldwork in Greece before moving to the Susquehanna Valley in 1976.
The following Q&A is about Nik Lenios as told by Jean Stabley Lenios, his business partner of 10 years and wife of three years.
Tara D. McKinney: Filigree goldwork looks like a very complicated process, how did Nik learn to make it?
Jean Stabley Lenios: Nik has a truly diverse work background. His family members were farmers, but Nik was apprenticed out at the age of 12 to a goldsmith where he learned how to create filigree goldwork. He also served in the Greek military, has a degree in chemistry and worked at E.R. Kinely Jewelers in Williamsport for 10 years.
TDM: Can you describe the process of designing a new piece?
JSL: He sits down and melts the metal and rolls it flat. The filigree is rolled into a tube and pulled down to special, tiny gage. We don't use many molds like most jewelers, everything is pretty much created by hand.
TDM: How does Nik get inspired to design and create filigree goldwork ?
JSL: Nik frequently goes home to Greece and wanders around the ancient ruins and downtown in Rhodes. He likes to sit on rocks and daydream his designs into creation.
TDM: Can you give me an idea of what some of Nik's pieces might cost ?
JSL: A simple silver pendant with a chain would run about $100 whereas an 18k gold filigree piece, depending on the price of gold, would run anywhere from $300-400.
TDM: Does Nik incorporate style trends as they come and go, or does he stick to his own style aesthetic?
JSL: Nik really has his own style and it's like nothing you'll see anywhere else in Pennsylvania. He is the only one who can do filigree work and that really sets him apart from other jewelers.
TDM: Can you describe a piece that embodies Nik's signature style ?
JSL: I'd have to say a filgree piece with a Mediterranean accent. A lot of his work also looks somewhat East Indian.
TDM: Does Nik's Goldworks have any sales coming up ?
JSL: Yes, we are offering 60 percent off of all silver jewelry until graduation.
TDM: What do you and Nik enjoy about working in the Williamsport area ?
JSL: At Nik's Goldworks we have a lot of clientele that come back year after year. We have developed relationships that we have really come to enjoy with our patrons.
TDM: Is there anything Nik wishes he had known before he became a goldsmith ?
JSL: I know he wishes that he had known that jewelry business was going to be so competitive and that the price of gold was going to quadruple.
TDM: What else does Nik's Goldworks offer the community besides beautiful jewelry ?
JSL: Nik's Goldworks has a cash for gold program that people can take advantage of. We offer a good price for people with gold jewelry that they would like to turn into extra cash.
TDM: What type of person is most likely to wear jewelry from Nik's Goldworks ?
JSL: Someone eccentric with great taste. We have a lot of clients, both male and female who appreciate the fine craftsmanship we offer here at Nik's Goldworks.
Store hours for Nik's Goldworks are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.To commission a custom piece of jewelry or special project, contact Nik's Goldworks at 322-1726.
McKinney may be reached at email@example.com.
To submit an artist for consideration, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 326-1551, ext. 3109.