All little girls (and big ones too) love fairy tales; ordinary girls becoming princesses after being sprinkled with pixie dust or meeting their handsome prince after drinking a magical potion. Local Los Angeles jewelry designer Elle Newlands creates custom pieces filled with magical energy, inviting fashionistas to “sprinkle themselves in Pixie Dust” through her creations.
Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Elle currently works as an actress and songwriter, in addition to designing her necklaces, bracelets and rings. I had the chance to speak with Elle about her jewelry technique, her inspiration, and gluing beads to her nose.
Chelsea: How did you first get started making jewelry?
Elle: As a young girl, I always had a pencil and sketchbook in hand and would copy the models from my older sister’s fashion magazines, adding my own pieces and drawing on oversized earrings and necklaces. As I got older, I would take jewelry pieces that I bought, take them apart and reassemble them in my own style. I wasn’t allowed to get my ears pierced until I was 13, so I experimented with different beads glued to my ears. When I was 11, I gave my mum heart failure when I glued a bead to my nose and pretended that it was pierced.
C: Tell me a little bit about your different techniques.
E: The first basic jewelry technique I learned was how to wire wrap and from there, my creativity exploded. In all of my pieces, I only use precious metals. I enjoy mixing materials – silver and copper are a favorite pairing of mine as well as mixed metals and gems. I also love using odd sized components, like large silver hoops, paired with smaller copper circles.
C: What is the inspiration behind your jewelry?
E: When I decided I wanted to create my own jewelry business, my mission was to create small works of art that suited every style. I love to create custom pieces based on people’s personalities and preferences. In the process of creating, being able to visualize the shape of a person’s neck, wrist or ears really helps the design come to life.
C: What is your favorite piece you’ve made?
E: My favorite piece is a three strand purple peacock pearl choker I made as a surprise gift for my friend’s fiancé. It was made of dark purple pearls wrapped around velvet and lace ribbon. The back chain enclosure was embellished with a beautiful spotted guinea fowl feather giving the choker, like all my pieces, a very unique flair.
C: Where do you find and buy your jewelry materials?
E: I buy my materials from gem shows, local bead shops and Etsy.com.
C: Who is your favorite jewelry designer?
E: I’m a fan of the designer Chan Luu whose wrap bracelets have inspired many of my own pieces. Many of my other favorite designers are Etsy artisans. I often buy myself handmade designs from the website including jewelry, scarves and wood sculptures.
C: Is there anything new you’ve been experimenting with in your jewelry?
E: I’ve recently been studying crystals and their reported healing qualities. I’ve been trying to pair complimentary crystals in some of my pieces. I also just learned how to create with Precious Metal Clay (PMC). Developed in Japan, the clay comes in a sheet of copper or silver that can be cut, shaped, and fired in a kiln. I’ve started creating dog tags and pendants with handwritten messages out of the PMC.
To add some pixie dust to your jewelry collection, visit Pixie Dust and Potions on Facebook or on Etsy.