Meet Your Truckee Merchant: Artist enjoys community support
June 19, 2013
What: Lorien Powers Studio Jewelry
Location: 10007 Bridge Street
Lorien Powers' ring covers the width of three fingers. The stone is watermelon tourmeline, a deep pink gem outlined in green.
Her silver and gold necklace is delicate, but defined. She wears her leather cowgirl boots with dresses and has the tangled crazy unkempt hair of an artist.
On a given day you can find her — a piece of walking art herself — at her studio on Bridge Street, sometimes accompanied by an apprentice, and always accompanied by her daschunds, Barnaby and Hanna.
This May, Powers celebrated one year at her new location in downtown Truckee. Next to the Truckee Hotel, her studio is where she makes and showcases her pieces as well as other artists' work.
“All I wanted to do was pursue my art, and the community has supported me.”
Powers is expanding her space to include more retail. The Michigan native says she was ready to move from the "tin shed" she worked out of in Brickeltown.
"The local support enabled me to even consider making a move," Lorien says of her new location. "Here, there is so much more exposure and I'm able to tap into it more.
"All I wanted to do was pursue my art, and the community has supported me."
When first moving to the area from the Pacific Northwest, Powers knew she's be in Truckee for about six months or so, but she didn't know she'd have space in Riverside Studios within 10 days of moving.
Eight years later, Powers has been embraced and supported by the community, which has allowed her to grow and succeed as an artist and now business owner.
Like so many people starting out, Powers said she worked two or three jobs to be able to support herself while she made jewelry.
"I was going to need to do something to get me by until I learned how to make money with my art," she said.
For many years, Powers was a gold and silversmith by day and a waitress at Cottonwood by night.
Now owning her own shop and running a successful business, Lorien says it is "liberating" to be "following her heart and fulfilling herself."
The young woman's specialty and passion lie in custom jewelry, making one-of-a-kind pieces for people who have ideas in mind.
Powers is currently working on abut 10 wedding rings. She says the young community has propelled that side of her business.
"Being able to create something someone will wear the rest of their life is very humbling," she said.
Lorien describes her artwork as industrial and contemporary. Her work is at the same time earthy, her shop full of plants and shells, gems and rock.
"Even though she makes feminine pieces it's not feminine," said Riverside Studios manager Kathy McGaughey. "It's strong."
Lorien Powers Studio Jewelry sells earrings and necklaces, bracelets and rings for women and men. New retail also includes art, cards, books and artistic gifts.
Before opening the studio, Powers sneaks off to Boca Reservoir by the early morning hours to paddleboard with no one but herself.
She says she watches the eagles, spots their nests and enjoys the peace and the calm of the water before the wind comes.
Also an avid Phish fan, Powers is known to kick up her cowgirl boots at the band's shows, traveling as far east at New York City or Chicago to catch up with friends and see a good live show.
Apart from her peaceful paddleboarding mornings and the occasional Phish concert, Powers says gems and stones are a great inspiration to her work.
"They are my No. 1 inspiration because of their character and quality," she says as she points out the complexities in the large stone set across three fingers. "The power they carry with them is pretty spectacular."