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Author Topic:   What is "Ohio Silver"?
Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1758
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 07-22-2003 11:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I bought this handmade silver wire object (a hair piece I think) because of its interesting marks. It is stamped "Sterling" and "Ohio Silver". My guess is that it dates between 1900 and 1925.

Does anybody know what Ohio Silver is? Since the piece is also marked Sterling, it can't be a euphemism for silverplate (like Yukon Silver, Brazil Silver, etc.).

Speculation is welcome!

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Patrick Vyvyan

Posts: 640
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 08-12-2003 03:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Patrick Vyvyan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the on-line Yellow Spring News
[gone from the internet - ysnews.com/directory/]

"Ohio Silver Co., 245 Xenia Ave., (937) 767-8261. Beautiful handcrafted jewelry at affordable prices since 1972."

Although, I must admit your piece looks older than 1972. Mmmmm?

quote:

Ohio Silver celebrates 40th
By Diane Chiddister
Published: November 17, 2011

The longtime local jewelry store Ohio Silver will celebrate its 40th birthday in Yellow Springs this Friday, Nov. 18, from 6–9 p.m. during the Third Friday Fling. Everyone is invited to the store at 245 Xenia Avenue for refreshments, a drawing for a free jewelry gift and a look at the store’s new holiday collection.

Begun in November 1971 by the Viemeister brothers, Tucker and Kris, and Kerry Moore, the store was originally called Standing Room Only, or SRO, and located in Kings Yard. Initially the store sold the owners’ original jewelry designs, along with leather products.

Moore and current owner Marcia Wallgren purchased the store from the Viemeisters, and Wallgren, an owner since 1974, later bought out Moore. The store moved to its present location on Xenia Avenue in 1977.

Ohio Silver draws customers from all over the region, and features original jewelry from both American and international designers, including amber from Poland.


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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1758
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 08-12-2003 05:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Patrick, that is an interesting find. It sure seems older than 1972. Also, while it is handcrafted, I wouldn't consider it a "beautiful" piece of jewelry but then again, ads embellish products sometimes.

Not that this always means sometime, but I got this from an estate group of jewelry & silver all dating from 1900-1920 (it is the same group that produced the Gorham billfold mount I posted under "Gorham Whatzit" in the Gorham forum).

I thought either it was some kind of souvenir from an Ohio silver mine (do they have silver mines in Ohio?), or perhaps a product from some kind of artists group or Native American group who marked their pieces Ohio Silver.

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wev
Moderator

Posts: 4084
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 08-12-2003 05:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, I don't know much about jewelry, but I spent a lot of time in San Francisco c 1969 and saw these all over the place. Hair clips of this type (in wood, metal, leather, etc) were de rigueur, along with bell bottoms, love beads, and tie-dyed shirts. Used one myself, a diamond of copper engraved with a sun sign. They can still be found here at nearly every swap meet and garage sale.

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dragonflywink

Posts: 971
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 08-13-2003 12:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd have to agree with wev, looks like the hair clips we wore in the late '60s and early '70s. It's missing the spike that holds it in (I was always losing them). They were a popular item at arts and crafts shows, and I can remember seeing many pieces very similar to yours.

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 08-13-2003 11:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would agree with the hairpiece late 60's onward. If you go into any fairly large occult/ metaphysical/ Wiccan/ Pagan shop, there will be a large variety of handmade silver items of this type. The one you show would probably be called something like Celtic or Viking in design.

Here is link to a living silversmith and artist who displays her creations.

Abby Willowroot


The site is very interesting overall. If you enter the main SpiralGoddess page, there is music by Ennya.

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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11321
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 04-12-2017 10:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:

Tucker Viemeister
Product/Industrial Designer

Profile
Professional Experience:

....

1971–73
Ohio Silver, Yellow Sprints, OH. Owner/Operator. Successful “hippie” jewelry store experimenting with design, manufacture, and retail of precious metal jewelry, stained glass, and leather goods


....


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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11321
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 04-12-2017 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
November 2, 2006

Ohio Silver celebrates 35 years of handcrafted jewelry

Marcia Wallgren, proprietor of Ohio Silver, is celebrating the store’s 35th anniversary.

By Virgil Hervey

As you walk into Ohio Silver, you are struck by the magic of the light and color emanating from the display cases. The shop, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary, is a sparkling wonderland of brilliant handmade jewelry created from exotic stones and metals. Proprietor Marcia Wallgren, who has owned the Ohio Silver Co. for 32 of its 35 years, threw a party during the Oct. 20 Art Stroll to celebrate, and the store is holding a sale that runs until Nov. 5.

The business was originally started by Kris and Tucker Viemeister, sons of Bev and Read Viemeister, along with Wallgren’s ex-husband, Kerry Moore. Originally called Standing Room Only, and popularly known as “SRO,” it was housed for its first year in a small building in Kings Yard, Wallgren said, until the owners in 1972 moved it to 253 Xenia Avenue, where Global Gallery is now.

The Viemeisters and Moore sold handmade silver jewelry and leather work, and their style could be called low-key. On warm days customers were likely to find a sign on the door that said “Closed today due to weather,” according to Wallgren.

Wallgren met Moore while they attended college at the Dayton Art Institute, and they soon began working together. The couple created handmade jewelry, which they sold at the Rainbow Gallery on Brown Street in Dayton to earn money for school.

In 1974 Wallgren and Moore bought out the Viemeister brothers’ share of Ohio Silver. Included in the purchase were a box of silver sheets and wire, some stones, some Mexican tin lamps, and homemade display cases made of barn board, Wallgren said. The store moved to its present location at 245 Xenia Avenue in 1977.

Wallgren, who grew up in the Washington, D.C. suburbs in Maryland, said she learned her love of jewelry from her grandmother, Irene Wallgren. She remembers being fascinated by stones ever since she was a small child, and her father, who she described as an engineer, inventor, and craftsman, bought her adult tools when she was only three. At 16 she was watching her father work with fine silver wire, and realized that the left-over scraps could be used to make jewelry. After her father taught her to silver-solder, her career as a jewelry maker was born.

Wallgren sold the jewelry she made in shops in Georgetown and attended the Corcoran School of Art. She moved to Dayton in 1969 to attend the Dayton Art Institute, where she earned a BFA, majoring in printmaking and also studying painting and photography. She moved to Yellow Springs in 1974, having been attracted to the village since she visited here on her second day in Ohio in 1969. Drawn here by the Glen, she found a strong community spirit that made her want to stay, Wallgren said.

In the early days of Ohio Silver, all the jewelry was produced right in the store, either hand constructed or cast in sterling silver. Wallgren and Moore also did custom work and repairs, made jewelry for other stores, and attended craft fairs both in Ohio and on the East Coast.

According to Wallgren, she was one of the first to use such reactive metals as niobium, titanium and tantalum, coloring the metal by charging it with electricity, a technique she learned from New Yorker Ted Muelling, who had been a roommate of Tucker Viemeister.

Wallgren found the results especially appealing because the process produced “interference color like that on a feather or a shell,” she said. Muelling had been using a car battery as an electrical source, but after Wallgren described the process to her father, he built her a voltage generator to assist her in the process.

With the move to its current location came increased traffic. Wallgren and Moore were unable to keep up with demand by handcrafting their own jewelry, so they began to add the work of other crafts people. In 1978 they were able to afford to hire sales help for the first time.

Wallgren bought out Moore’s share of the partnership in 1984, she said. Eventually, she could no longer keep up with production and began selling handcrafted jewelry by other American designers and from around the world, including fair trade jewelry from Thailand and Nepal, and Baltic Amber from Poland, as well as jewelry set with ancient Ming Pottery fragments, and jewelry set with fossils, meteorites and colored stones. Some of the rare semi-precious stones that can be found in the store include larimer, which is only found in one square kilometer of land in the Dominican Republic, and moldavite, which, Wallgren said, was formed when a meteor struck in Bohemia.

Her philosophy has always been “that pieces be well-designed, well-made and affordable,” Wallgren said. She still makes jewelry, only now just for friends. She still likes to do artwork as well, she said, but finds little time for it, “since running a business has big time demands,” she said.

Ohio Silver’s staff consists of Joseph Williams, manager, Daria Mabra, Dorothy Walters, Dinese Kearney, Marie Rose Biggs, and Terry Whorten.

“They are the most important part of the store,” Wallgren said. “Over the years, the business has provided jobs for a lot of people in transition — people contemplating career change, mothers whose kids walked over from Mills Lawn after school.” Two members of the current staff have worked there over 10 years.

When Ohio Silver began, other downtown stores included the Bonadies Glasstudio, the Pottery, and Love and the Great Outdoors, which was located at the current location of the Winds Cafe. Epic Books and Earth Rose were also here when she started, Wallgren said. Early efforts by store owners for a successful downtown included raising money to plant trees downtown and coordinating efforts to promote themselves.

“Every time we’d produce a map with business locations, it would be obsolete in six months,” she said.

According to Wallgren, over time two shopping districts and two malls outside the area tried to woo Ohio Silver to move to their locations. She believes that the store could have prospered more quickly in those locations, but being able to walk or bike to every place in town, plus her love of the community and its surrounding natural beauty made staying here an easy choice.

Eventually, the store did prosper in downtown Yellow Springs. According to Wallgren, repeat customers come from all over the Miami Valley and Cincinnati, and half of her customers are local. One customer who had recently been transferred to Wright Patterson Air Force Base came into the store looking for an item he had seen in Georgia that had been purchased at Ohio Silver, she said, and another customer reported having seen an Ohio Silver business card in a bar in Alaska. According to Wallgren, Ohio Silver was voted the number one place to buy jewelry in the Miami Valley in a readers’ poll conducted in 2001 by Impact Weekly.

Wallgren said that she and her life-partner Bob Thompson, a professional musician, spend a lot of time hunting for arrowheads in farm fields. They live in Yellow Springs and also have an earth-sheltered passive solar home on Paint Creek in Fayette County.

“Love of nature, art, history and rocks are the themes that run through my life,” she said.


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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11321
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 04-12-2017 11:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Design Glut
Just another weblog

Tucker Viemeister

January 26, 2009

....

You’ve been involved in starting up many creative companies. What was the first?

    My brother and I started a jewelry store in Ohio, called Ohio Silver. When we started it, I read this article that said, “Most businesses fail within their first year.” When we made it over a year we were like, “Woohoo!” And it’s still in business.

    We set it up to be a place where we could make whatever we wanted. Jewelry, stained-glass windows, leather goods, anything. It was a place for us to make things, and then to support that habit we would sell the stuff. I learned two important lessons at the store. One, I learned that the price really didn’t have anything to do with the actual value of the thing. Sometimes we would make something and it wouldn’t sell. So we would lower the price. And it still wouldn’t sell. Then we would try raising the price higher and it WOULD sell.

    Two, I learned that the industrial part of industrial design was really great. When we sold something, “Wow, we made money,” but then it was like, “Oh no, we have to make another one!” After I did that for a while I realized why mass-production was a good idea, rather than being the machine myself. So that’s when I went back to being a real “industrial designer” again.


....

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