Lena Echelle

Published: 14.04.2022


My family includes both ranchers and conservation biologists. My earliest memories are of playing outside in the red dirt and making “stuff.” Eventually, I studied fine art at Oklahoma State University, and after graduating in 2001 I began to develop a line of studio jewelry. Until 2009, when my husband and I moved from Dallas, Texas, to a farm outside a small town in the mountains of western Argentina, I sold my work at juried art and craft fairs throughout the United States of America. Currently, my studio is open to visitors via appointment. My jewelry has been sold under the names Lenastudio, Lena Marie Echelle Designs, and Lena Echelle.


My work has always been centered on the idea that the value of nature and natural elements extends beyond perceived similarity to or usefulness for humans and human society. For many years I thrived on the paradox of presenting this idea in precious metals. However, the social, natural, and cultural realities of living close to the land in rural Argentina made me step back from the line of work I had been producing and helped me discover new materials and ways to express myself. Where my previous pieces were made in metals with occasional elements borrowed from nature, my current pieces are made mainly from natural or found materials and only occasionally include precious metals. 

Becoming a mother made me more interested in social critique, and this in turn has transformed my choice of materials into a personal vocabulary. I use rawhide as an ironic metaphor for manliness, bone for historical continuity, fingernail polish for superficiality, etc. At the same time, many of my botanical designs are deliberately created with animal-based materials (rawhide and silk) to question the anthropocentric hierarchy of valuing animal life over that of plants and other living things. The rawhide I utilize comes from free-range (non-native) animals slaughtered for local consumption, and I usually process it myself.

CV      View / hide description

Events      View / hide events

Exhibition  17 Sep 2021 - 20 Sep 2021  Valor Agregado (Added Value).
Exhibition  15 Mar 2021 - 15 Apr 2021  Women's Day / 8M.
Meeting  03 Dec 2020 - 21 Dec 2020  Brazil Jewelry Week 2020.
Exhibition  26 Nov 2020 - 26 Dec 2020  From the Workshop, There is Something that Needs to be Told.