I am not sure where I first discovered Emilie Shapiro's gorgeous rough designs. Perhaps it was during my early days on Tumblr, but wherever I first saw her designs, they have remained in my mind. Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Emilie in person, seeing her studio and trying on all of her jewelry designs. As I was heading there on the subway I texted Chris saying, " I am about to meet my very favorite jewelry designer!" His response? "You do that every day." Very true, I am lucky, but I was especially excited to meet Emilie. And, she did not disappoint.
"I started making jewelry when I was 13 and haven't stopped since! I began with beading and repurposing old pieces. I like to consider that the "gateway into jewelry making."
I studied jewelry and Metalsmithing at Syracuse university and also did a program at Alchimia, a contemporary jewelry design school in Florence, Italy.
After graduation I worked in the industry as a bench jeweler and production manager for amazing companies like Pamela Love and Allforthemountain.
Ultimately I left that world to pursue teaching jewelry classes, which had always been a passion of mine and starting my own line."
"All of my work is created by lost wax casting. I start with a hard piece of jeweler's wax which almost feels like plastic, and carve shapes and textures into them. The wax models are cast into metal and then finished by hand in my studio."
"Growing up close to the water has been a huge inspiration. My work is inspired by textures, colors and movement in nature. My father is a fisherman so we spent lots of time on the water and scouring beaches for treasures."
When I asked about her favorite design, she said, "One of the best things about being a maker is my favorite piece always changes. I'm very inspired by my process and find new ways to create a new piece that's really exciting, or find new things about and old piece that I love."
When Emilie isn't designing she loves to cook and have friends and family over. "In the Summers my husband and I love to cook Friday night dinners with an open invitation to everyone to come on by. (If you're ever in the neighborhood!) I also try to get out of the city pretty often and spend time out on eastern long island at my family's place - hiking, searching for oysters on the lake and heading to the beach."
Some of Emilie's favorites are also mine, Todd Reed and Variance Objects. "It's really amazing how artists can have very different processes yet end up with similar feelings in their work."
Currently listening to: The Beatles Anthology 2 can get me through anything!
See more of Emilie's designs here and hold tight for a review of her new book, as well as a special giveaway.