Thursday, September 1, 2011

We're Fans: Edera Jewelry

Today we're lifting the bejeweled curtain of Edera Jewelry and inviting you in for a quick look around. Read on to see how Ivy dreams up her ideas and turns them into the intricate yet delicate baubles you can see in her shop's collection. Thank you, Ivy, for sharing such great insight with our readers!

Behind the Scenes of Edera Jewelry's Fall/Winter 2011 Collection

Hello! I'm Ivy Long, the artist behind Edera Jewelry, a luxurious collection of handmade lace and textile jewelry. Over the past few months I've been planning and designing my Fall/Winter 2011 collection. The Two Wedding Belles were kind enough to ask me to share a peek inside the creative process, as well as a look behind the scenes in my studio.

Inspiration Gathering

In addition to doing numerous commissioned pieces for brides, each year I create two main collections of jewelry: Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. Each collection begins with a gathering process, bringing together images, colors, supplies, etc. that speak to me. My work is deeply influenced by historical costuming and art, so when I am first starting a new collection I will often begin by perusing books in my reference library for inspiration. My eye might fall upon an unusual color scheme or find an interesting shape in the decoration of a painting for instance, and it may end up as a jumping off point for a jewelry design.

I recently discovered the wonderful site Pinterest, which is a way to bookmark and organize interesting images online. For the past two seasons, I've used it to "pin" images from various online sources to create a mood board for the collection. You can see the mood board for this current collection here.


Over time I begin to see a theme emerge, a touchstone for the look of the collection. My Spring/Summer 2011 line was inspired by what I call a "fairy tale" aesthetic, with inspiration from medieval and rococo textiles, fairy tales and fantasy, and the architectural details of Versailles. For this current collection, I am very inspired by a Neoclassical style: the richness of the French Empire Period (c. early 1800's--think Empire gowns, the opulence of the Napoleonic court), with echos of ancient Greece and Rome. I've been looking at lots of images of old, embroidered gowns from the Empire era, as well as art, pottery and jewelry from the classical civilizations.


I am extremely inspired by colors. At the start of making a new collection, I will create a general color palette. Right now I am using rich, deep gem tones and muted neutrals, with lots of gold accents. I have a lot of designs planned that feature silks and stones in berry colors, chocolates, emerald greens, cobalt blues, and garnets.


I never know when inspiration is going to strike, so I always have a sketchbook handy to jot down ideas. My sketches are loosely drawn and done in black and white. I let the colors present themselves later on in the process when I'm ready to begin work on a design. The hardest part is narrowing down the jewelry ideas that I will ultimately use. Because of the labor-intensive nature of my work, my collections are small, so I select my strongest and most interesting concepts, taking care to include a variety of sizes and shapes and price points.


Now comes the fun part! Very often a design will start looking one way in my sketchbook and soon take a very different and exciting direction once I begin creating the actual piece. I design all of my own lace patterns and I love the challenge of tackling a new shape I've never created before, or trying out a new technique. This season I've been experimenting with cabochon cut stones, wire wrapped vines, and creating open lace "frames" to show off beautiful stones. I sometimes experiment by making multiple motifs until I get the pattern exactly right. Everything is then recorded in my sketchbooks with notes.

The final stage of this whole process is making the work available to the public. I take my own photos and enjoy the styling process, choosing props that further the "story" or theme behind the collection. Here are some early examples of designs from my Fall/Winter 2011 collection, including the necklace in the work-in-progress photo and sketch above:

My wedding designs can be found at:
and soon on my website:

For more behind the scenes posts on my jewelry line, please visit my blog:

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