Arts and Entertainment

When guilty pleasures and art collide

One of the stars of “Nip/Tuck,” Julian McMahon/Dr. Christian Troy (right) stops for a look at Lauri Hewitt’s work in between takes on set.  - Courtesy photo
One of the stars of “Nip/Tuck,” Julian McMahon/Dr. Christian Troy (right) stops for a look at Lauri Hewitt’s work in between takes on set.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

NK glass artist Lauri Hewitt’s hand-spun beads worn by Roma Maffia on the season premiere of “Nip/Tuck.”

Ever since college, North Kitsap-based glass artist Lauri Hewitt said her guilty pleasure has always been the soap opera “Days of Lives.”

She never wanted to tell anyone, but now it’s out. It’s in the lead graph of this article nonetheless. And it’s an interesting point, because sometime soon you might be seeing one of Hewitt’s glass works around the neck of Sami Bradey or Dr. Marlena Evans on screen.

Last April, Hewitt got the chance to meet and mingle, and even sell some of her jewelry to Days’ stars Allison Sweeney and Dierdre Hall when a longtime friend of hers, Kathleen Plate (also a distinguished and accomplished glassmaker), invited her along to visit the Hollywood sets for “Days” and the show “Nip/Tuck.” It was a gift, of sorts, for Hewitt’s 40th birthday.

“She knew, from college, that I would come home from filling my head with literature and philosophy and decompress by watching ‘Days of Our Lives,’” Hewitt said. “It’s still my guilty pleasure.”

Nowadays, Hewitt is a mother of two, married to a mortgage broker, living just outside of Suquamish, making glass beads and jewelry with torches and tools, technically termed lampmaking, in an eight-by-ten studio in her backyard. She works for her own company, Spin Glass Works. Still, she tunes in to “Days” now and then, she says, and ever since that weekend trip in April, she’s been watching even closer.

But this week, she’ll be watching “Nip/Tuck.”

Roma Maffia — the actress who plays the anesthesiologist Liz Cruz on “Nip/Tuck” and also the one who invited Plate and Hewitt out to peddle their wares on set last April — sported one of Hewitt’s one-of-a-kind handmade beads on a necklace for the season premier of the show Jan. 6.

It was a necklace that Hewitt had gifted the actress in return for her kindness in inviting she and Plate out to the set. And Maffia returned the favor by wearing it on screen.

But it’s difficult to tell which was the bigger honor for Hewitt — seeing her work on the season premiere, or simply meeting the stars on a refreshingly personable level backstage.

“It was humbling at first,” Hewitt described what it was like. “They were so cool, so complimentary to us and so grateful we were there ... it was kind of, they appreciate what we do, we appreciate what they do, sort of thing.”

While it’s too early to tell what kind of effect, if any, the high-profile appearance or Hollywood mingling might have on Hewitt’s career, it’s clear, she said, that people still appreciate handmade one-of-a-kind works.

Even with industries across the country gone haywire in the faltering economy, Hewitt — an independent artist who mainly sells her work online, through special shows and exhibits, and at one “brick and mortar” on Bainbridge Island — has yet to see a decline in sales.

Knock on wood.

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