Our diverse jewelry selection just expanded with the addition of a new designer at Eden! Kiowa Rose jewelry is designed and created by Rosie Long, our newest Featured Artist. We chatted with Rosie about her background, influences, aesthetic, and love of beading. This woman has a really deep passion for what she does, and it shows in her intricately crafted jewelry and (we think) this interview! Read on…
Rosie Long: I have a very vivid memory of being 8 years old. It was the day after Halloween. At the bottom of the porch steps was a broken strand of Victorian hollow black glass beads – I was awestruck! I think that was my first realization of what beauty was. I carried them in my pocket all day feeling the coolness and the shape of the beads as I ran my fingers over them. I still wear those beads today, and they are still so beautiful.
My mother bought me a bead loom when I was 10 years old. I learned quickly and would create little pieces of loom work but wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. In my early teen years, I started buying seed beads at the craft store. I figured it out all myself as at that time, there were no classes or books. It was really a matter of evolving. I remember trying to do Native American style beading when I first started, but that did not satisfy me. I just started doing what satisfied my soul. As I continued to learn through experimentation I realized that possibilities of what one could do with beads were endless, which is why I have always loved this medium: you never get bored. The only limit is your imagination! There are no rules, you can make anything work. If you have an idea, you can make it happen. It may not always be easy, and therein is the challenge: figuring out how to put it all together. People ask what inspires me, and all I can say is everything! I am one of those people that sees the beauty and the “silver lining” in everything. Each day inspires me. I wake up inspired and excited that I get to do bead work today.
I never intended to open a store, it is another thing that evolved. I was approached by some photographer friends with the idea of sharing studio space in a store front in a historic old town area, and I said “yes.” The space was 9 1/2 feet wide by 50 feet deep. I had the front half, so I moved all my studio items in there. Niles is a town that tourists visit on the weekend, so I thought, why not sell my things out of the studio? I set up a space in the very front with some beautiful antiques because I love interior design in addition to beading. I made it very pretty and opened the doors on the weekends. After the year lease was up, my partners decided to abandon me for greener pastures. I had a choice: either close the shop or figure out how to make the full rent! I had to be able to make $23.00 a day to pay the full rent. (That sounds so easy now!) I decided that I wanted to continue with the store, so that meant teaching beading classes, so I figured I might as well sell beads too. And there you have it!
Eden: If you were to have taken a different path in life, what do you think it would have been? (Something creative or artistic, but in a different medium, or something totally different?)
RL: I was going to school to be a geologist, and I wanted to be a park ranger. I also did historical research and recreated 1500s portrait jewelry and did Elizabethan costuming. I loved doing that and still do some of the portrait reproduction work. I dabbled in some other are forms, but I felt they were limited; for me, bead work is not. I am still learning and creating new styles and stitches. As I have gotten older I found I truly enjoyed and I am good at interior design. The bead work has always been there for me, and I have a husband of 30 years who has always encouraged and supported my artistic endeavors!
E: What other pursuits do you enjoy – hobbies, travel, interests… what activities outside of making jewelry inspire you to make jewelry?
RL: I garden, and I love to bead in the garden but beading is really about it, I am pretty obsessed! I like to read. I wish I could hike, but I can’t, so my husband hikes and I sit at the trail head and guess what? Yep, I bead. It is really all I want to do. I probably get at least 3 or 4 ideas for things to make at day, sometimes lots more. I am happy and very content!
E: You’ve mentioned that Art Nouveau is a principle interest in your jewelry designs. Can you list a few other influences?
RL: I am inspired by Egyptian-themed things. When they discovered King Tut’s Tomb in 1922 there was an explosion of themed furniture, textiles and jewelry, which I love. I am also very fond of the Elizabethan era – I did lots of research about jewelry from that period and made jewelry inspired by it.
Another huge influence is other artists! For instance, I know a guy named Bob Burkett that does amazing cast bugs, bats, fairies, etc. I am working on 2 pieces right now whose idea stemmed from his pieces. The ‘fruit bat’ is a piece I am doing with one of his bats and Bob’s dragonfly I am using with a vintage sash pin and shoe buckles. His attention to detail is amazing.
E: What is your creative process like when you are beading? Do you create a color story first, determining colors of beads you want to use or make your designs starting with feature beads that you like and going from there?
RL: Quite often a single component will spark the idea. Then I usually have an idea of colors I want to use and a basic shape. I will go through all my seed beads, crystals, Czech glass and vintage items and pick out all the things that I think I might use. Sometimes this can be quite a pile. This piece started with a branch from a curly fig tree; it will be a wall hanging. My favorite and the most exciting beading I do is the bead embroidery. With this technique, I begin with a central component. The whole time I am beading the first row I am thinking, “what I will do for the next row?” It is a very consuming and exciting process.
E: What sort of a space do you work in? A dedicated studio, a relegated space in your home? Do you have a ritual for getting in the creative mind space to make things?
RL: I recently moved here to the Portland area. I have taken the living room and I use that room for a studio. I am still getting it all organized and things put away, and it will be so amazing when it is done! I don’t have to do anything to get into the creative mind space; that is where I always am, really!
Thanks, Rosie! To see more of Rosie’s jewelry, stop into Eden or click here.
We’re tremendously excited to announce an upcoming trunk show featuring three very talented local designers!
On October 4th, to coincide with First Thursday, we’ll be offering first dibs on three incredible and really unique accessory, clothing and jewelry collections: Reif by Lindsey Reif, Ann-Ya by Anja Verdugo and Jesseca Anne by Jesseca McCloskey. Add to that fortune telling courtesy of Psychic Siamese Terror, cocktails and snacks, dance tunes, and of course, a fashion show… it’s going to be so much fun!
You’re invited – please join us to preview these designers incredible fall collections, have your fortune read and welcome the change of season and advent of fall!
Previously, we interviewed Jess about her jewelry design and the launch of line Jesseca Anne (which you can read here.) Anja’s photography has appeared on our blog before: she took some phenomenal behind-the-scenes photos for the Eden Look Book we shot last fall; she also designs and sews clothing and accessories for a (semi-) eponymous line, Ann-Ya. Lindsey Reif is a clothing and accessories designer whose designs channel a vintage influence with urban appeal, balanced with a regard to natural landscapes.
We asked each of these talented ladies a handful of questions about inspirations, trends and what they’re looking forward to as we turn the corner into fall:
Eden: In regards to your newest / most recent collection, from where have you drawn inspiration?
Lindsey Reif: My most recent collection was inspired by 60s French Ye-Ye singers, in particular Francoise Hardy. The thing I love the most about these ladies is they appear to be sweet but are really no-nonsense, cool chicks, which is the type of woman I design for. The song that I used for my video lookbook, “Laisse tomber les Filles” by France Gall, is all about a girl who is tired of getting played and she’s telling the guy that he’d better stop breaking girl’s hearts or he’s going to find his broken one day.
Anja Verdugo: The pieces that I am creating for Eden will be unique to the shop, and I am definitely being influenced by the aura of dark beauty that inspires the space. The vision powering this collection is that of an old rose found within a charred, post-apocalyptic environment, preserved but imperfect. A memory of beauty in a harsh environment.
Jesseca McCloskey: My biggest inspiration this season came from watching the 1927 film, Metropolis. I have always been drawn to style of the 1920′s and l instantly fell in love with this 1920′s version of the future! I’m also forever inspired by art deco and art nouveau jewelry and strive to reinterpret those classic styles in new, modern ways.
Design by Reif.
Eden: Can you talk a little bit about the creative process of conceiving and executing this collection?
Lindsey: I usually go through and collect images that I like from the internet and magazines, and then I organize them into categories, like era or mood. Then I just let things develop organically – I’ll usually design one key inspiration piece for a collection, and then the rest just seem to flow around that. Right now I sew everything myself, so it’s a very hands on process – I spend a lot of time with each garment.
Anja: I’ve been inspired by dark textures and shapes, and the way that they can be infinitely combined, working together to create a subtle but powerful aesthetic. I’ve been searching extensively for the right materials, and have allowed them to dictate my design choices.
Jess: This one actually surprised me since I wasn’t trying to design a new collection when the inspiration struck… I was just trying to be lazy and watch a movie! But as soon as I started watching Metropolis I was flooded with ideas (I kept having to pause it to sketch!). The sketches that I made while watching the film are the foundation pieces of the collection and I’ve built upon them as I’ve sourced materials. I chose to use some semi-precious stones this time like labradorite, pyrite and green adventurine and I’m so excited to share it with you!
Eden: What type of style might the person who wears / carries your designs possess?
Lindsey: The woman that wears my pieces isn’t a slave to trends, yet still likes to look modern and relevant. She has a solid idea of her own personal style and isn’t afraid to take a risk and wear something edgy like studded shoes with a vintage dress or bold accessories. Overall her style is classic and effortless, and she buys pieces that she knows will be versatile in her wardrobe and look good for seasons to come.
Anja: They are a person who selects clothing and accessories thoughtfully, but decisively, understanding their own personal talismans and what makes them feel powerful. It’s less about the exact styles and more focused on the idea that aesthetically-driven people can pinpoint certain things that they want to channel and the way they dress can help to draw these things up from within. I want people to wear or carry my pieces when they feel that it belongs with them, working in unison with their existing selves and adding to their personal magic.
Jess: I love the range I’ve seen in the type of women who wear my designs. I think my jewelry appeals to women who possess their own unique sense of style. My ladies pay attention to the current trends but don’t often care to follow them. They like to set themselves apart from the crowd and know that the secret to a great outfit is all about the jewelry!
Design by Ann-Ya.
Eden: What styles are you excited to wear or see as the weather cools down and people start dressing for fall?
Lindsey: I’ve been seeing a ton of galaxy prints and I love them. I am excited to see people rocking that print on leggings and bodycon dresses. Also, VELVET EVERYTHING.
Anja: In the winter I love dressing in shades of black and gray, multi-layers and different textures that work together to make me feel ultimately comfortable and in my zone. In Portland I think it is a lifelong project to create your ultimate winter look, since protection from the rain is so crucial. I’m still working on my perfect suit of armor.
Jess: Fall has long been my favorite time of year and I can’t wait to start layering again! I’m always a fan of over-sized tops and cozy sweaters, wedges and lots of jewels! Anja recently described her style inspiration as “Futuristic Flapper” (a concept that definitely relates to my new collection!)… I would absolutely love to see more people interpret that style!
Mark your calendars for October 4th… see you there!
Blogs like My Daguerrotype Boyfriend and F*ck Yeah, Victorians are always inspiring us with their excellent scans of early photographs of dapper fellows, darling children and pretty dames, and we’re excited to announce that we’ve recently received a large collection of vintage tintypes, featuring long-ago images of babies, children, married couples, brothers, sisters and little old ladies.
Find our full selection of tintypes available here in our web store and in our brick-and-mortar shop. Interested in learning how to make your own modern version of a tintype? If you have a smartphone, you can, using these instructions (via Instagram.)