Lex Camille Sova was raised in Lawrence by parents who worked as metalsmiths.
In high school, she loved punk rock and hated the idea of going into the family business. But a metal-smithing class made her fall in love with jewelry-making.
“I thought, ‘I can’t avoid this. it’s really cool,’ ” Sova says.
Now Sova lives in Kansas City and makes jewelry for a living. Lately, she’s been making necklaces out of crystal growths, bracelets out of stingray skin, and earrings out of leather saturated with turquoise or deep red dye. Check them out at kazijewels.com.
Sova’s jewelry makes a strong statement, just like her style.
The budget-conscious artist gets inspiration from a wide variety of sources — from Vogue magazine to websites such as lookbook.nu — and does most of her shopping at thrift stores. Her favorite is the Goodwill Outlet Store, 1800 N. Corrington in Kansas City, which adds new merchandise several times a day.
“Every hour they put out tons of new stuff,” Sova says, “and you can get a whole cart full for $10.”
Silhouette is super-important to Sova, who wears body-hugging pieces for safety when she’s working with blowtorches. She also likes oversized sweaters and jackets: Her favorite is a gold motorcycle jacket her mom used to wear in the ’80s.
Sova says she loves patterns but avoids them because solid colors make her jewelry stand out more. Not that you could miss her handmade pointy sterling silver nail rings, which wrap around the tip of the finger and resemble metallic claws.
“I get that a lot, that my work has a really aggressive quality to it,” Sova says.
Sova’s style isn’t as aggressive as it was in high school — she used to wear bullet belts from Army surplus stores — but it’s completely striking and constantly evolving.
Recently, Sova chopped her hair off and didn’t love the results. She bought some wigs on eBay — one is long and black, with blunt bangs that show off impeccable eyebrows — and found a whole new way to experiment with her look. Now she’s on the hunt for the perfect lavender wig.
“I used to have bright pink hair,” Sova says, “but it’s just so much maintenance.”