As a child, Mark Lisota wanted to be an explorer in movies like “Indiana Jones” or “Romancing the Stone,” he says, “where there is the adventure of finding the treasure myself.”
The Lafayette native followed his own sense of adventure by earning a degree in engineering technology from Purdue University, and then later discovering his love for creating handcrafted jewelry after a gemstone hunting trip in Arizona.
“Inspiration comes from many sources,” Mark says. “Nature, the clean lines of geometry, jewelry designs from ancient civilizations, and the shape, color and qualities of the precious stones I am working with.”
A relative newcomer to jewelry making, Mark started in 2012 with stone cutting, then learned chainmail weaving, and finally metalsmithing.
Mark honed his lapidary skills to create meticulous jewelry designs that accentuate the natural beauty of each stone. Those stone-cutting skills and precious metal work are what sets his work apart from other jewelry makers, he says.
“Some of my designs are driven by the gemstone, and others I have a clear design in mind and find gemstones to suit the design,” he explains. “I use traditional hand-fabrication techniques combined with modern techniques such as CAD designs, 3D model printing and casting.”
The Indianapolis artist, who spends nearly every day working in his studio near Butler University, says he’s inspired by the work of masters past and present.
“Their work not only shows me what is possible in terms of design and construction, but inspires me to push my skill level and realize a lot of good comes from being uncomfortable,” Mark says.
He applied to Indiana Artisan (three times) for validation that he was “among the best artists in the state.”
“I want people from other states to see that Indiana does have great artisans,” he says.
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