Monday, July 23, 2012

Meet FredMADE - Member Spotlight on Elaine Butcher

There is TALENT among our ranks.  FredMADE is pleased to introduce you to Elaine Butcher,  the jewelry artisan extraordinaire and owner/creator of Elaine B Jewelry.

Not only does Elaine create clean, sophisticated and incredibly inspired jewelry with her mad metal working skills, but she's a glass blower (how AWESOME is that??!), world traveler and a wonderful representative of the Charlottesville community.  You can find her art (because it's not just's totally art), in shops all over the state of Virginia, and you can find a great interview highlighting an incredible area talent and the hip, crafty soul that is Elaine Butcher below:

The Skinny on Elaine
Member:  Elaine Butcher
Etsy Shop Name:  Elaine B Jewelry
Age:  28

Where in our area do you live?
I currently live in downtown Charlottesville.  I grew up in Denver, CO but spent summers in Charlottesville with my mother.  I attended college in Forest Grove Orgeon, at Peidmont CC in Charlottesville and finally finished with a fine arts degree from VCU in Richmond.

Where can we find your handmade items?

Elaine's Craft
Describe your crafting aesthetic in three words:
Airy, Geometric, Well-Made

What item do you feel is most representative of your style?
I would say the 5 cube necklace.  It has a very geometric quality, but it is also super light, strong and easy to wear.  It is every day materials and shapes yet totally unexpected.

If you could impart one piece of wisdom to aspiring handmade entrepreneurs, what would it be?
If you do it now, later it will be done.

What was the best piece of wisdom you ever received?
"Originality is the obscurity of your sources."  -Jack Wax

Favorite crafting background noise?
I am addicted to internet radio.  I have listened to every This American Life and Radio Lab ever made, some twice.  I am pretty much an NPR junky, but after I get sick of hearing the news over and over, it's Pandora.  Then around 7pm it's a glass of wine and Netflix on the computer while making earring hooks and jump rings until I cannot stand it anymore.

Crafting tool you cannot live without?
Magnetic Tumbler for finishing.

Crafting tool you have always lusted after but never purchased?
I want a bigger car for traveling to shows (I have a 1992 Toyota Camry)

Elaine's Life
Do you have a skill other than making amazing jewelry?
I went to school for glass blowing as well as metal, so I know my way around a hot shop.  Since I grew up in Denver, I have been snowboarding most of my life.  I spend all my money travelling, I have been to 4 continents with a trip to SE Asia in the works now.

What do you love the most about your family?
I have a very small family, but they couldn't be more supportive.  Really a supportive family is the most important part of being a successful crafter.  And my sister is absolutely amazing and inspiring...she is in the Peace Corps in Indonesia.

If you couldn't be a crafter, what would you be and why?
I would like to have some really smart sounding job that no one really knew what I did...that's how I feel about most people's jobs.  "Jeweler" is so descriptive (of course, it's a lot more than sparkles).  Also, I think it would be fun to have a job that you could dress up for.  I wear my dirtiest clothes in the studio.

What is your very best trait?
I pride myself on efficiency.  I was trained well by my family's restaurant that we had for 19 years...the last few years of which I was the only waitress.

What is your worst trait (if you feel like fessing up!)?
I say "yes" to everything, even if I don't want to do it or I don't really have time or I don't really know how!  One of these days that is going to get me in trouble.

Elaine's Community
Describe a perfect day in your community...
Getting up early on a beautiful day, going tubing on the James River with friends.  Then driving back to C-ville and sitting on a patio downtown and having delicious food and drinks.  The great thing about Charlottesville is that you see people everywhere, and some how, the table just grows.  Then to bed by 12 so I can be productive the next day.

Favorite local shopping?
I love to shop at craft fairs.  Because nobody really needs anything you get them, I like to support makers and buy unique gifts.  Plus, support your new friends and neighbors.

Favorite local place to eat?
When I was in art school at VCU, we would walk to Ipanema on Grace Street.  We went there 3 or 4 days a week.  Every time I go back, I want the smoked gouda sandwich and a High Life (no PBR here...that breeds bathroom graffiti). 

Is there one "local" spot you've always wanted to visit, but have yet to go?
I have always wanted to go to Luray Caverns.  I've seen the signs on the highway, but never quite made it.

Favorite thing about living in Virginia?
I love how green it is in Virginia.  And how close things are, relatively anyway.  Growing up in Denver you are super far away from any other big city.  But in Virginia, you can hop on a train in either direction and go to NYC or Charleston.

To learn more about the utter coolness that is Elaine Butcher, check out the following links:

1 comment:

  1. oh my goodness, that jewelry is stunning! Thanks so much for introducing her to me! I'm so excited! :) lovely blog