Interview with Elle Blackburn for Flanelle Magazine
Elle and Noemie are two girls living in Montreal, sharing a passion for the Earth. They love yoga, gardening, traveling and sipping on to a hot chocolat while watching documentaries. They share a workshop togheter and design amazing jewelry.
Flanelle : Tell us a little bit about yourself :
Elle is a free spirit, believing in the whole life cycle, where life emerges from death and light, from darkness. After a long time searching and experimenting for what she wanted to do, she decided to make her passion, her living. She learned how to work metals, from liquid to solid form, and finally decided to study Gemology after realizing her lifetime love for crystals.
Noemie graduated in fashion design and in clothing production management with the aim of starting an eco-responsible business. She has the desire to create innovative products by transforming organic materials into something that can be worn.
How did the idea of creating Elle Blackburn emerge ? How did it all started?
It all started with common interests that lead us to be friends before becoming partners in 2012. Elle Blackburn emerged from a passion for wonders of nature and a desire to accessories the body by exploring different materials. Our handmade jewelry, accessories and basic garments are shaped by the idea of incorporate organic elements such as bones, recycled leather, organic cotton and hemp fabrics into crafts that reflects our values.
What medium do you use, and why did you choose this medium ?
We want our creations to travel many lifetimes on the body of human beings, preserving the quality by choosing precious metal such as sterling silver help to extend the life cycle of Elle Blackburn jewelry. We also like the idea of giving a second life to bones that basically go to trash after human consumption. Bones can be very strength and we are quite sentimental with materials with a story. We like to use recycled leather because it’s sustainable and also reflecting the cultural heritage of our native ancestors. Increasingly incorporate rough gems and minerals into our crafts is the next step for Elle Blackburn.
What is your favorite piece you’ve created – and what made it so special?
Elle: My master piece would be the “Sierra Madre Santa Maria” necklace. This mountain/moon/eye inspiration came from a trip I made Guatemala, where I hiked Volcano Santa Maria on a night of a full moon, sleeping on top to see the morning sun. The mountains we see on the necklace are exactly what I was seeing from the top of the volcano. This rising awareness experience changed my life and so did this mountain, which is now my sacred temple.
Noemie: I don’t really have a favorite piece because my new favorite one is always to come! But the most special would probably be my first ring made out from silver clay and my bone bangle which is so tiny that only fit on my own wrist.
Have you always tried to live a green life?
Unfortunately, we haven’t been raise as green as we are right now
Elle : Though, I remember having one of the first recycling basket in my hometown. My parents were very strict on garbaging, composting and recycling, but it never really went further than this.. Today, we want our strong personal values to be communicated through Elle Blackburn’s philosophy. Always prioritize an ecologic responsible supplying and making green choices is a major part of our mission.
What kind of person wears your jewelry?
Mostly, we like our pieces to be uncategorizable (asexual) and simply be worn by who will feel the desire to. Both genders can wear Elle Blackburn’s collection. We want people to feel powerful and stimulate their energy by wearing our creations, like if our pieces were totem figures for those who seeks a deeper connection with the Earth and their inner divine..
How do you get inspired? What piques your interest?
We are women deeply connected with our first mission, which is basically the creation of life. Strongly following our intuitions and our senses is then logical for us, so we get inspired by what we find every day under our feet. Unfortunately, the majority of people don’t see these beautiful things and we want to show them that life itself and the Earth has everything to offer, and more!
What is the most challenging part about being a designer?
We both think that the most challenging part would be to always renew ourselves. We decided to have an online boutique. But Internet is a kind of poisoned chalice. Having an online store makes ELLE BLACKBURN more accessible and worldwide. Internet generates a lot of visibility, but also, a lot of competition!
What is the greatest thing about working in your industry? And what would you change if you had the opportunity?
The greatest thing is the fact that we can completely conceptualize a project that truly reflects our values and throughout we can share our creative liveliness to people around the world. But there is a lot of things that we would change. Though, doing this by ourselves is not possible. We live in a society that always looks for a solution to a problem and never try to find the source activating it. This is why we strongly believe that doing a little, day by day, people by people, we will eventually get to somewhere.
“ When you heal yourself, you heal others around you.”
On a final note, what advice would you give to aspiring talent who is working to establish themselves in the jewelry industry?
Its really important to be true to yourself and know where you’re going, to believe in what you create, which comes from your sacred womb.. It’s important to set goals and to always innovate. Never be scared of competition because it’s all around with cheap jewelry and internet where everything is accessible. Just believe in yourself and be always focused.
Website : http://www.elleblackburn.com/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/elleblackburnjewellery