Two years ago, after a trip to the infamous hippie art experience that is Burning Man, Cassandra Lourie was inspired to start making her own jewelry. She crafted some fun feather earrings and other pieces and wore them around. But soon, out at a bar or walking around town, people started handing her money, literally buying the accessories off of her body. So the now 28-year-old (a nanny and college student) started Broken Revolt, a line of necklaces, earrings, and headdresses.
Lourie hits up thrift stores, estate sales, and even the streets of Denver to find an eclectic collection of materials: animal bones, pieces of clocks, bullet shells. "I sit down on my patio with good music, and I'll put things together," she says. "I just let it come to me." The result is jewlery that has a punk-rock-meets-feminine aesthetic and becomes the focal point of any outfit.
Everything is one-of-a-kind (Lourie can't always find the same salvaged materials) and can be custom-made upon request. Pieces start at $45, and can be purchased through her Facebook page or website (though the latter is in the process of getting a facelift). "I would never sell a piece I wouldn't want to wear myself," Lourie says. "Don't be afraid to think outside the box with your style."
In Person: Lourie is just one of 26 local artists representing Denver in the RAWards Semi-Finals. RAW:natural born artists is a national, independent arts organization that connects creative folks with tools and resources to help grow their careers. Head to Casselman's Bar & Venue on November 8 from 7–11 p.m. to cast your vote in seven categories, from visual artist of the year to accessory artist of the year. The popular vote—plus those of three judges—will be tallied, and the seven finalists will represent Denver at the national awards on November 18.
—Images courtesy of Broken Revolt; from top: belt buckle, $90; animal-bone necklace, $120; steampunk necklace, $65
Follow assistant editor Daliah Singer on Twitter at @daliahsinger.