Black Locust Company is the work of artist and educator Tracy Steele. I am an art teacher and as such I have a diverse background in many studio arts. I am a jewelry designer, a metalsmith, an avid knitter and seamstress, a photographer, videographer, printer and lover of clay. It comes naturally for me to combine methods and materials in all of my work.
My work for Black Locust Company is comprised mostly of jewelry although there are some upcycled soft sculptures, home goods and accessories. I like to think of my work as rescuing memories, using recycled materials, antiques picked up in my travels, flea markets and yard sales (or even abandoned houses), giving mundane items often forgotten in a closet or a drawer a new life or purpose. The pieces often tell a story of days or lives gone by.
People often ask, “Why Black Locust? What is that?”. Well, the black locust is actually a type of tree, a beautiful tree. It’s wood is hard and resistant to life’s hard knocks. In spring it has fragrant blossoms and in summer develops long pods that drop in fall. They grow tall and strong and are especially fun to draw. Why Black Locust? Why not?