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Laurel Burch (d. 2007) was an American artist, designer, and business woman. She was raised in California.  When her parents divorced, her mother (Anne) supported Laurel and her sister Suzi with her work as a seamstress and designer.

When Laurel was 19, she married a jazz musician, Robert Burch. They parted after a few years together, Laurel becoming a single parent herself. With two children to care for, she supported herself by making jewelry with occasional help from Anne, then sold her designs to several businesses.

Laurel Burch went on to launch her business, now called Laurel Burch Artworks, in the late 1960s. She began making paintings and was commissioned by restaurants, businesses and private collectors. "I found metal in a junkyard and hammered it out on the back of an old frying pan," she stated.  She began selling her jewelry out of tackle boxes on the streets of San Francisco.  In 1969, a shop in Ghiradelli Square offered to sell her jewelry.  Some local stores also began stocking her creations. 

A businessman took some of Laurel's work to China; she followed in 1971.  China is where she discovered "cloisonne" - a type of enamel work, with which she designed paintings then had the designs made into earrings.  With financial backing from the Chinese businessman, Laurel went to work on cast metals and wood, and included spinoff products on paper, porcelain, and fabric. 

In 1979 she formed her own company, Laurel Burch Inc.  In the 1990s, she licensed her designs to a dozen or so companies that now make and distribute her creations worldwide.

Laurel Burch, sadly, died in 2007, but her designs live on!
 
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