some of the most beautiful jewelry on etsy can be found at lee ohio. this lovely shop is owned by jennifer, who also creates each piece. she is my etsy featured seller this month.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
The visual arts in general, and painting in particular, have always been my passion. I moved away from the state of Maine to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design and earned my Bachelor's of Fine art in Painting with a minor in art history. At the time I was also working as a design assistant for a costume jewelry designer. The basic training and skills I acquired as an assistant along with my formal training as an academic painter was the perfect combination to open up the world to me as a the creator of wearable fine art.
At present I live and work full-time as an artist and designer on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.
What made you want to start your Etsy shop?
When I began this adventure as full time artist in 2007 I was unaware of Etsy. A friend showed me it and at the time it seemed like a natural extension to any company or artist working in the growing global marketplace. With the current state of the economy it has become an essential part of my business plan.
What inspires your jewelry designs?
Ironically, my work is inspired by the ephemeral (ironic I say as each piece is carefully created to be anything but). Fleeting looks caught in old photographs, an awareness that something special is being captured, nostalgia, and tiny details no one else will notice. As well I pull from the more permanent: the past century and a half or so, Louis Comfort Tiffany's stained glass, Art Nouveau architecture and Miriam Haskell's costume jewelry of the 20s-50s.
On my many sites I state over and over again that, for me, "It is not about creating a large volume of work - but creating a concise, interrelated body of work that is exceptional." Every piece is so very carefully conceived from conception to completion - so much so it may border on the level of ridiculous. Many pieces take weeks or months to complete because I'm waiting for just the right stone or antique element to finish it. But whatever the piece, whether it has one of my hand-selected natural curiosities or a coveted antique element, each of these statements is true: the designs have a subtle elegance and delicate glamour; each is individually composed, almost all one of a kind, and hand-fabricated by me in my studio.
I take the old to make it new and I take the new and give it history.
Do you have a favorite piece that you have made?
That is a hard question. Most of the time I am very pleased with my work but every so often I have a finished piece, or an element within a piece, that I become quite fond of. I think it is a tie between the Martinete brooch and the Lisle necklace with an antique Art Nouveau brooch.
Other than creating beautiful jewelry, what are your favorite things to do?
I'm an avid collector of depression-ware, jadite specifically! I just love to collect, I should say that. When it is warm I garden a bit. I also love to travel and am a bit of a political junkie. I am a proud supporter of the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and other organizations dedicated to the prevention of cruelty to animals and the protection of wildlife. My two dogs are the loveliest creatures on earth.
Jennifer has been so kind as to offer my readers both a coupon code and a giveaway. Use the coupon code THANKYOU at check out at her etsy store to get 15% off. If you'd like to enter the Jadite necklace giveaway (see photo above), please comment on this blog post (Winner will be picked at random on January 10th. You can only comment once or you will be disqualified). Jennifer describes the necklace as "Chrysoprase & green onyx charm necklace with blackened & bright sterling silver".