The Alternative Jewelry Shop

Music by Vandaveer

Danny and Libby Barnes, owners of The Alternative Jewelry Shop, are familiar with the traditional means of creating jewelry, such as wax carving, lost-wax casting, fabrication, soldering, and finishing.  They also provide in-house services  that are the latest in technology like CAD/CAM solutions, CNC machining, and 3D printing.  Moreover, The Alternative Jewelry Shop offers jewelry repair, jewelry fashioned by other local artisans, and jewelry created by artists from around the world.  At The Alternative Jewelry Shop, the customer may choose from different colors and karats of gold, opt for wearable art which is made from recycled materials like the customer’s old metal and stones, and much more. The possibilities are endless!  


The Alternative Jewelry Shop was started on May 1, 1991 by Danny and Libby Barnes, two artists interested in offering quality handmade jewelry to the public.
Danny Barnes, was born in Sylva, North Carolina in 1963. He graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 1988 earning a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in jewelry design and metalsmithing. Danny received his Master of Fine Arts in jewelry design and metalsmithing from East Tennessee State University in 1990. Danny is a 2003 graduate from the Gemological Institute of America in Diamonds and Diamond Grading.
Libby Williamson Barnes, was born in 1966 in Hazard, Kentucky. In 1988 she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a major in painting and a minor in jewelry design and metalsmithing from Eastern Kentucky University. Libby attended East Tennessee State University as a graduate student from August 1989 until 1990. Libby then received a Masters of Fine Arts in mixed media from the University of Kentucky in 1998.


The Alternative Jewelry Shop incorporates a variety of skillful techniques to produce unique works of art.  They offer many types of stone setting such as bezel, tension, bead, and setting the stone upside down.  The Barneses work with different colors of gold like rose, green, yellow, and white.  They also work in sterling silver, platinum, and different karats of gold (10 karat up to 24 karat).  Danny and Libby alloy, refine, or trade the customer’s metal.  They encase the customer’s personal mementos, such as ashes, flower petals, or photographs, in resin.  They fabricate, solder, and in many cases do lost-wax casting.  In the lost-wax casting process, these artists consult with the customer and create a 3D digital rendering of the proposed piece in a CAD computer program. The CAD data is transferred to a computer numerically controlled mill or 3D printer where the model is either carved from a block of wax or grown through a thousand or more layers of resin.  Next, the wax or resin piece is sprued, invested (in a flask), and subjected to high heat in order to remove the wax.  The negative space in the investment, which is created from the removal of the wax, is injected with molten metal.  Then, the cast piece it cut from the sprue and finished into a one-of-a-kind piece jewelry.


Phone: 859-885-4109

Address: 118 ½ North Main Street, Nicholasville, Kentucky 40356

Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 9am – 5pm and by Special Appointment