Collaborations have been one of my most favorite parts of this creative journey that I am on. Each collaboration that I have been a part of has been so special - each one has pushed me out of my creative comfort zone, challenged me to try new color palettes, and exposed me to new styles and ideas. This collaboration with Emily Anne Art Studio is no different. I want to take you behind the scenes into the process of this collaboration from the beginning all the way to the launch.
I was first introduced to Emily's work through my friendship with Greta Lindquist - one of the greatest things about being friends with other artists is you are always getting exposed to other artists. I loved Emily's artwork immediately - her ability to be loose and free with her brushstrokes and create beautiful marks blows me away. I also loved that she was a boy mama - like me. I followed her and watched her for quite a while - simply enjoying the peace and tranquility that her artistic process offered.
This past Summer, Emily started a new series in which she painted "mini" pieces of artwork. Tiny little abstract works of art. She continued to challenge herself to paint smaller and smaller and as I watched this progression - suddenly it clicked. If she likes to paint small - why not paint on earrings??
I immediately sent her a message - literally one of those like, "hey girl..." messages - I didn't even know if she knew of my work at all. I just asked her if she would ever be interested in creating some earrings with me and to my relief, she responded with almost more enthusiasm than I had at that time. Actually, the first thing she said was, "I am 100% on board." She was so excited, which made me even more excited. We started planning the collection and talking color palettes right away.
We knew we wanted to stick with neutral and muted colors. We decided to go very neutral with the clay colors - to give Emily a completely blank canvas to add any colors she felt drawn to. I hand mixed and conditioned the clay into a soft and beautiful ivory. I also decided to add some speckle into some of the pieces - which ended up being Emily's and my favorite.
Once the clay was mixed and properly conditioned, I had to decided which shapes would best compliment Emily's work. I cut the clay and then baked the clay pieces. This beginning part of the process (mixing, conditioning, cutting, baking) can take upwards of 3 hours. I always bake clay for longer than the recommended time and place the clay between sheets of paper and clay tiles to reduce shininess and bubbles.
After the clay cooled, I sanded the pieces and got them ready to send to Emily.
I carefully packaged them up and mailed the pieces off to Emily.
When Emily received the pieces, she immediately began experimenting. I have only ever used acrylic paints on clay and she did not want to use acrylics - she had other ideas and she was determined to make it happen. It took a little trial and error (RIP to a few clay pieces) but Emily was able to prep the clay in a way that allowed her to use many different mediums to create her artwork.
There was nothing I could do from thousands of miles away except impatiently wait for Emily to share photos and videos of her process. In my opinion, she was working literal magic. I love the freedom of her brushstrokes and her mark-making is breathtaking. I could not have imagined more beautiful work for these pieces. She also signed each pair on the back - so each pair is an official, signed piece of wearable artwork.
She ended up varnishing the pieces before mailing them back because sometimes painting with certain mediums on polymer clay can result in a slightly sticky feel. She also bagged them individually to further ensure that they would arrive safely.
When I received them - I literally screamed. They are TOO beautiful and I was so excited to get to work finishing them. Finishing earrings is one of my favorite parts of the artistic process - adding resin and earring components elevate the work so much.
My first step to finishing these earrings was to resin each piece - which is lengthy process. I applied UV resin to each piece, carefully smoothing it out and spreading it to the edge. I then torched each piece to get rid of any air bubbles and then cured them under a UV light for about 3-5 minutes each.
Then I got to choose the composition of each pair of earrings. Which earrings should dangle? Which earrings should remain studs? Should I use brass components or wood? I had to choose earring components that not only complimented Emily's work but elevated it. I laid each pair out and switched out components and compositions until I found the perfect designs.
I drilled the pieces that needed to be drilled, adhered stud posts, and attached earring components. I slowly watched the collection come to life. And it was gorgeous.
This collection was special. I gained a new friend and got to be a part of making something truly beautiful.
It launches Saturday, October 9th 2021 at 1PM cst.
I am always looking for collaboration ideas so if you have an artist that you think would be interested in creating a possible collaboration - reach out and let me know!