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April 15, 2014

Makers 01 // Lindsay Troutman of Copper and Torch

Lindsay Troutman is a friend of mine and also a brilliant maker of metal and glass vases and jewelry. Her designs are a wonderful marriage of modern geometric shapes and natural finds -- most are meant to display collected treasures like flowers, feathers and moss. Lindsay also takes antique lace and encases them in her glass designs, popular with women everywhere! These necklaces are both rustic and feminine and always make a statement. I am a big fan of her work and wanted to share it with you guys today! -- Natty

Lindsay: I started working with glass when I was in high school. Although I have worked with many other mediums over the years, I’ve always come back to soldered glass! I don't know what it is, but it's gratifying to take a coil of metal, melt it and watch it harden again. 

I use traditional stained glass methods and tools, so the creativity comes in the designing alone. Like most makers, I enjoy experimenting with my craft. I spend lots of days coming up with new prototypes for possible products through trial and error. The process is always the same though: score and cut the glass, copper foil, flux, solder, patina, repeat. I've created pattern sleeves made out of old library book envelopes -- I typically choose one of my designs and begin work based off of the pattern, but sometimes I like to veer off course. That's how many of my favorite pieces were born!

I really love taking a large sheet of flat glass and giving it a three dimensional life. Whether it be a terrarium vase that holds found objects (or a bouquet of wildflowers!) or a lace necklace sandwiched in glass, made from a family's so rewarding to use a clear medium that allows the world's beauty to shine through. It's almost like the actual glasswork takes a backseat to the items placed inside. I'm perfectly happy with that!

I find inspiration for my products everywhere. The other day I noticed one of my craft cubbies full of leather, and I thought, hey! I'm going to make a leather encased valet tray for men -- it’ll be the perfect place to toss keys, a watch and loose change on the dresser but while also keeping it neat and tidy. So I drew out a plan and made it on the spot! Look for it in my online shop soon (just in time for Father’s Day!)

Of course, I draw a lot of inspiration from the process itself. It's a linear medium, so with every cut I make, I see new ways that it can be displayed or laid out. This often leads to creating a whole new design, which is fun! Lately my eyes are drawn to the colors and patterns of woven Navajo blankets. You'll likely be seeing these in my designs later this summer.

A few more fun facts about Lindsay:

When she's on a deadline, she "watches" (listens) to horror movies to get her adrenaline pumping and keep her moving!

Lindsay has four children and gave birth to them within four years, (no twins!)

Even though red hair is supposed to be going extinct, there are three redheads in Lindsay's house of six.

All of Lindsay's lace necklaces are made from vintage lace and tatting, some of which is from her great-grandmothers sewing basket. All of her laces are named for her grandmothers. She loves paying tribute to the women who made her who she is.


Who else is head-over-heels for Lindsay's beautiful work?! I have her nature walk triangle necklace (shown above, with the spotted feather), and I love it. I get so many compliments on it when I wear it out and about, which is about to happen more often now that this dreadful winter is over and I can pack up all my turtlenecks for awhile! 

Lindsay has also graciously offered a special to NMP readers: a free air plant with any purchase at! I think one of Lindsay's hanging vases + an air plant is the perfect, unique gift for Mom this Mother's Day. Done and done. 

Be sure to check out Lindsay's website,, and follow her on Instagram to keep in touch and stay updated with her newest products, here

Photographs courtesy of Lindsay Troutman and Kristen Bach. Portraits of Lindsay by Theresa Paterson

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