The Artisans

Seraphima McLean

Owner-Jewelry Designer

Seraphima McLean was born and raised in Ipswich, Massachusetts. She studied art history at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and upon graduation found herself back in Boston working for one of the longest standing art galleries on Newbury St, Child’s Gallery. In 2001, with encouragement and support from her family, Seraphima and new husband Brian relaunched the family business, Gallery Byzantium and have never looked back. Seraphima feels blessed that she can do what she loves: pursue a career that encompasses her absolute love of the arts and all things Byzantine, jewelry design, and her faith. She has enormous gratitude in the ability to use her love and knowledge of art history, design sensibility and love of fashion and faith to inspire and create beautiful jewelry. It is her hope that in this preservation of ancient Byzantine treasures and heritage that they now become modern heirlooms for future generations to come. In her free time you will find Seraphima cooking something delicious for her family or reading the next book on her list. She also finds time to volunteer at her children’s elementary school on the Council group and planning the next school enrichment program.

Brian McLean

Owner-Creative Director

Brian McLean was born and raised in Walpole, Massachusetts. He received his BA in Fine Art with a focus on Illustration from the Art Institute of Boston. Upon graduation, Brian worked as a freelance graphic designer. In 2001, Brian and wife Seraphima relaunched the family business, Gallery Byzantium. Brian is not only the head jeweler but the Creative Director of Gallery Byzantium. He works side by side with Seraphima on new designs and jewelry concepts and is instrumental in all new product development. Brian has also taken on the role of graphic designer and photographer; Brian is grateful to be able to support his family with his artistic passion. Should Brian have any free time, he loves spending it with his two children Lucy and Angus whether it is tossing the football, skiing, or jamming out on the guitar and piano.

Fr Herman Pugsley

Bench Jeweler

Monk Herman is an official Air Force Brat. Just months after his birth in Cheyenne, Wyoming his family would be stationed in Germany for the next 4 years. Eventually his family would settle in Illinois where he would spend 12 years. In 1972, Monk Herman followed family tradition and joined the Navy; he served as a Navy cook. In 2005, Monk Herman moved to Ipswich where he found himself becoming a member of St. John the Russian Orthodox Church (ROCOR). A few years later he was tonsured a monk and resides on the church property. Fr. Herman is a full time jeweler and manager of the workshop at Gallery Byzantium. In his free time Monk Herman tends to ongoing maintenance of the church, rebuilding computers, biking and baking and sharing his family recipes. He is also known to have taught himself how to crochet and crochets beanies or “monk's hats” per request.

Fr Spyridon Schneider

Founder

Fr. Spyridon Schneider is the Founder of Gallery Byzantium and an Orthodox Priest at St John the Russian Orthodox Church (ROCOR) in Ipswich Massachusetts. After years of travel throughout the Middle East, Asia Minor, Istanbul (Constantinople) and Greece and searching for products reflecting the aesthetic traditions of Byzantium and being produced in this Byzantine manner, he came up short and was disappointed. In 1991, it was with this disappointment that Fr. Spyridon resolved to establish Gallery Byzantium. It was his great hope that people of Eastern European and Middle Eastern heritage, as well as lovers of the Byzantine and Slavic aesthetic, could now enjoy heirloom quality jewelry produced in faithfulness to this tradition. In 2001, his daughter Seraphima and husband Brian would relaunch Gallery Byzantium. Fr. Spyridon is the head rector of St. John the Russian Orthodox Church. When not attending to his pastoral duties, he enjoys collecting antique icons, and spending as much time as possible with his wife, Matushka Xenia and his grandchildren. Some of their adventures include exploring the backwoods of New Hampshire, hikes at the Audubon society and joyous tea parties.

Kristina Smith

Manager-Marketing and Communications

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Kristina Smith serves as Marketing and Communications for Gallery Byzantium. She graduated a Commonwealth Honors Scholar and Magna Cum Laude from University of MA Lowell with a BA in English and also studied fashion design at MassArt. With a passion for Fashion history and fine jewelry, she is excited to apply her education and skills to working with a local business. When not marketing and promoting Gallery Byzantium, you will find Kristina with her nose stuck in a book (she has a passion for all things Southern Gothic, vintage Hollywood, and Russian Novels), teaching herself to knit, sew, bake, or craft miniature woodwork (It’s a niche hobby...) or immersed in the glamorous world of the Golden Age of Hollywood.