One of my all-time favorite pieces is her Ruby Sea Urchin pendant. Like many of her designs, it is reminiscent of the world around us without being a perfect representation. I love that her designs have a modern take on a classic symbol or element. Shakti seems to draw from her own inner strength and the energy in the world which surrounds us.
So, I hope you enjoy this week's Feature Friday Q&A with the alway stunning, Shakti Ellenwood!
1. What prompted your passion for jewelry and jewelry design?
I was very sick in India in the early 1990’s and an Israeli man nursed me back to health. He sat on the floor, in the corner of the room, at a tiny bench, hammering away and I became transfixed. When I was better, he presented me with a gold and Tibetan turquoise ring and I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
2. What is your favorite piece or collection?
Right now my favourite piece is my Inti Ring. It has such a happy feeling to it, like the sun, which is why I named it after the Incan sun god. My, long term, favourite jewel is my snake pendant Snakey. It is over 10 grams of gold and so feels really solid. I like to wear it just above my navel. There is something magical and powerful about it and I adore snake symbolism.
3. What would your perfect “jewelry day” involve / be like?
My perfect jewellery day is every day. I love my work and usually can’t wait to get started. Most of my day is spent at my bench but I always spend at least two hours answering emails, promoting my work on social media sites, taking photos and keeping up with accounts. I even dream about jewellery at night and quite often wake up with a design in my head.
4. Thus far, what would you say is your proudest jewelry moment or memory?
I was quite happy when Kate Moss bought a couple of my jewels.
5. Where do you find your greatest inspiration?
My greatest inspiration comes from the Ancient Egyptians. Not only did they create wonderful jewellery but they wore these jewels as protection. They created amulets through symbols and colours and that is what I aspire to in each piece that I make.
6. In your personal wardrobe, do you find that you gravitate to one particular jewelry accessory (rings vs. necklace vs. bracelets vs. watches, etc.) more often than others?
If I was forced, to make a choice, it would always be a pendant, but generally I wear all of the above. I like to wear the jewels I have made to see how they feel.
I personally don’t mix metals as I am obsessed with gold but my Willow rings are really popular as a set and they come in yellow and red gold and platinum. I also love to wear my grandmother’s 22k gold vintage watch that was passed down to me. The only other jewellery I wear is that of my mentor, Hratch Nargizian, who is a fifth generation Armenian Master Goldsmith. I was fortunate enough to be able to train with him in San Francisco and he gave me several pieces of his work.
8. Layering seems to be a trend that is here to stay, for now. What are your feelings on the layered look? How do you like layered necklaces with layered bracelets plus layered rings?
I love layering, particularly, my Animal Amulet jewels on string. They look great in summer layered on the neck and wrists.
Make only what your heart tells you and never give up your dream.
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