About Rarefy Studio & Michele Lee

I am a designer and maker of studio jewelry, a potter, a print maker and a lover of fine good things...

My work is inspired by the natural world. Leaves, bugs, swallows, knotholes. Shadows and light. Paint cracked and chipped by the elements, basalt columns rising up from cool creek beds, ice crystals forming in a puddle. Sky, water, fields of softly waving grass. A fallen tree, grieving birds. Fire. Amanitas. Ocean dunes and kestrels hovering. Slugs intertwined. Soft curves and jagged angles. The four seasons of motion and dormancy, blossoming, waiting, and the first cautious leaf bud unfolding. 

Change and stasis, then change again: a caterpillar, a chrysalis, a butterfly.

I entered the world of jewelry under odd circumstances—I wanted to find a way to incorporate human ashes into decorative pieces, as this was the final wish of a dear friend of mine, a potter and jewelry artist herself. I embarked on this adventure twenty years ago, formulating ash glazes for my ceramic wares. A few years later, I discovered precious metal clay and began working ashes into jewelry pieces, bells and other objects. I no longer work with metal clay, as I far prefer the more direct and immediate process of forming and forging sheet and wire.

Now I work in my Peterborough, New Hampshire studio handcrafting sterling jewelry and ceramic vessels both with and without the addition of ashes. I love my work and wouldn’t trade it for any other. Hammering sterling and giving it a rich, warm patina, forming the interlocking lid and body of a ceramic box, carving and inking blocks for printing—these are the things I spend my days doing, and this, indeed, is a fine good thing.


Interested in becoming a Rarefy retailer?  Please visit Rarefy Studio's Contact Page!