Monday, October 17, 2016

Jewelry! The amazing Kelle Cross shows off some of her designs and talks about the creative process--and how she likes her coffee


Oh yes, every once in a while, I want to branch out and talk to people who do other creative things. This time, it's jewelry, and the extraordinarily talented Kelle Cross, of Venus Envy Bijoux. These designs are completely gorgeous. Thank you so much for being here, Kelle. 

How did you get interested in jewelry and who did you make the dream of doing it a reality?

Apparently it’s a family thing. I have rocks and metal in my blood. A couple of family members are or were metal smiths. My father took me to rock shops when I was small. He made jewelry from old coins. Fast forward to the late nineties. I was working for a very fashion forward boutique in Houston, traveling to New York. I was seeing jewelry I loved but couldn’t afford. So I began to teach myself. That same boutique sold my work. At the time, very dainty rosary chain styles. Remember “Y” necklaces? Melrose Place? Like that. (Laughing). I’ve been very spoiled that my work has always been in a boutique or gallery because I was also working there. 

I am gobsmacked by your designs, especially the ones with fabric. How did you think of that? And how do most of your ideas come to you?

Thank you. The fabric pieces were a happy accident. I inherited a bag of fabric scraps that were too lovely to just throw away. Tassels were popular so I thought it was a natural thing to do. It was a very organic thing. Ideas come to me when I am doing something else. My brain tries to figure it out, over and over so that when I do actually make the design it’s like I already did a few times. This was especially true when I was sick. I had horrible insomnia. I tried to make it creative time. 

Which brings us to the creative process. How do work? Do you have rituals? A set time?

Ah, now here is where I am supposed to make you believe my process is full of Instagram worthy vignettes. It is not. (Laughing.) I get up, have some coffee, check my email, social media sites and storefront. Then I take care of the cats. Do the breakfast dishes. Then I get to work. And because this is a one woman show, that might be making jewelry. Or it might be taking photos, packing orders and making a post office run.

 Making tassels is an assembly line process. The scraps are four layers thick and quilted together. I have to pull the layers apart and pull out the loose threads. Next they are sorted by color. This is when they start “talking” to me. Colors or patterns will grab my eye. 
Wire wraps are more mathematical. And what people are calling my “Spirit Necklaces”, are all intuition. For those I need a little quiet and to just step out of the way so the design can just become. 

Because I have mostly made jewelry in and for a retail environment, I am very good at making on the fly. For the better part of twelve years I stood at a workbench and put together custom designs while the customer waited. 

What don't we know about you that we should know?

I am very grateful to be able to do something I love. Especially when I get to do it for people I love. 

What's obsessing you now and why?

Things that need to be packed and mailed. We live in an Amazon world and buyer’s expectations are high. 

What question didn't I ask that I should have?

How I take my coffee. (Creamy and sweet).

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