Lotus Gallery Featured Artist of the Month - December - Elly Bead

LOTUS (Local Opportunity for Training in the US) is Creative Women of the World's sister-store. Located directly above the shop, LOTUS gives local artisans the opportunity to develop and grow their own products and helps them display and market them! We will be featuring one of our LOTUS artisans each month and holding an open house so that you can get to know them and see more of their work. We'll be starting with out fabulous jewelry artists Sandy and Nicole from Elly Bead!

Originally from Chicago, Sandy has now lived in the Northwest Ohio area for more than 18 years. She has been part of the graphic design/printing industry for 25 years plus, but when she moved to Hicksville, Ohio, she had to reinvent myself, and find other artistic ways to express herself, and make a living! She has worked in many mediums over the years, but making jewelry has been the most gratifying of all. She loves that she can incorporate many different and unusual materials in her pieces, such as a mix of found and recycled items, hand-forged wire and metalwork, handmade lampwork glass and clay beads, high quality semiprecious stones, freshwater pearls, and a little bit of nature, which allows her to present ever-evolving original pieces of "art to wear". Sandy strives to make people, women especially, feel truly excellent about themselves and their choices, and she believes that all the love, wonderment, and passion that she puts into making one of her jewelry designs, will be felt by the wearer. Sandy is currently the president of the Black Swamp Bead Club, a member of the Toledo Artist Challenge group, and the Toledo Rockhound Club.

Sandy's daughter Nicole has recently joined Elly Bead, and as a jewelry artist, Nicole deeply believes that her creations begin their own special life once in a client’s hands. Nicole is passionate about creating unique, funky pieces. While Nicole received professional training in various art areas including cosmetology, her scarf making is mostly self-taught. A fan of handcrafted jewelry herself, one of Nicole's goals is to provide the general public trendy and well-made handcrafted designer jewelry without the high price tag. Many designs are limited editions featuring rare colored materials collected by the designer herself from all over. Nicole's Designs are noted for their vibrant colors, often funky yet meticulous construction and the delicate balance between the style and materials used.

Since first introduced to the public in June of  2014, these girly, sweet, funky and easy to wear designs have been treasured by customers all over.

How did you begin creating and where do you draw your inspiration from?
SANDY: I have always been intrigued by nature and anything unusual or ""offbeat"". I draw great inspiration from the magic that lies just beneath the “ordinary”, and  I try to capture that along with the art & beauty of the natural world in all my designs.

NICOLE: I began creating at a very young age with my mother. She was my inspiration.

What’s your favorite piece of work that you have created?
SANDY: My favorite piece would have to be my signature piece that I started  my business with, which is my Funky Art Bracelet (F.A.B.) It is still my biggest seller, and I still love to make them! Each one is so different and colorful, and they are double sided so it's like getting two bracelets for the price of one!

NICOLE: My scarf necklaces.

What are you working on at the moment?
SANDY: Currently, I am working on a series of jewelry I call "Modern Geometric Meets Organic Nature" which was inspired by, the often unnoticed, everyday life of the industrial material world amidst the living, organic world. Using cold-form fabrication, I create  a visible interaction with geometric forms and nature. Each design has a calm, serene feeling with a twist of fun mixed in.

NICOLE: Currently working on learning how to arm knit.

What are you doing when you’re not creating? What (other) hobbies do you have?
SANDY: I am a Zumba Instructor, and I love it! I am certified in Zumba®,  Zumba Gold®,  Zumba Toning®,  and Zumba in the Circuit®
NICOLE: Taking care of my son and my other hobbies include cooking and spending time with my loved ones.

Do you admire any artists? What about their work speaks to you?
SANDY: In the jewelry world, I truly admire Kate McKinnon, her work is totally amazing! She inspires me to always find a new or different way of looking at my work.

NICOLE: Banksy. Mr brainwash. It's different. It says so much without saying anything.

What would people be surprised to know about you?
SANDY: I think people would be surprised to learn that when I was much younger, I was a run-way model.

NICOLE: Everything. I'm very mysterious!

Where else can we find your work?
www.etsy.com/shop/ellybead /www.facebook.com/EllyBead

Please join us for their open house on Friday, December 12, 2014 from 12:00-2:00. More event details on our facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/events/1530668240508258/