Our latest profile is of an artist who’s work is a perennial Fire Opal Favorite. Elise Moran has been designing jewelry and creating “little treasures” for twenty years. Her work is feminine, flowery, and fluid with pieces that will add sparkle to a special occasion or simply enhance your everyday collection. Working with gold, silver, and cubic zirconia, Elise’s extensive body of work offers something for everyone. No matter if your taste is traditional or modern, simple or elaborate, there is no doubt there is something for you in the Elise Moran Collection. Come by the JP store for First Thursday on June 6 from 3pm – 8pm to meet the artist and peruse her stunning pieces.
How has your jewelry changed since you started your studio in 1993?
It’s funny because I’m still making some of the same designs from 1993…they reflect some of the interests I started out with and still have. But if my designs have changed, I think they, maybe, have gotten a bit more elaborate, yet refined…?
Even as a kid you liked working with your hands, what drew you to jewelry making as an artistic outlet and eventually a career?
I was fortunate to attend RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) where you are required to declare your major by the second semester of freshman year. It was a difficult decision because I wanted to try so many different things, but when it came time to check-off the box that would determine the direction of my studies I picked “metalsmithing”, just thinking it sounded cool. It turned out to be the perfect fit for me. Metal is treasure, I love making little treasures.
What are three words you’d use to describe your aesthetic?
Eclectic, refined and delicate.
When did you start making wedding jewelry? What do you like most about designing for weddings and engagements?
I didn’t necessarily start making wedding jewelry, it’s more that some of my designs lend themselves very well for that special occasion. However, I have always made specially commissioned engagement/wedding bands. It’s an honor for me to be a part of choosing a design and to create something that symbolizes that special bond between two people in love.
What is your newest collection? What inspired you to add it to your line?
One of my latest designs is the apple blossom series. I was inspired by the apple tree outside of my boyfriend’s house. A couple of years ago, after a devastating fire, the apple tree was one of the few things left. I was struck by the enduring beauty of this tree and the solace it’s Spring blooms brought during the rebuilding process. I enjoy it so much I planted one outside of my own kitchen window.
Your collections are all inspired by nature. Everything from botanical flowers to bones to clouds are represented – do you have a favorite?
No favorites. Like children, I love them all for different reasons. They kind of reflect different states of mind like music does.
What is your design process like? Do you sketch first or start directly with the metal and tools?
I will often think about an idea for years before I make it. When an idea is taking form, if it “sparks me” I’ll sketch it. Eventually I’ll figure out how to put it together in metal and/or other materials. However, sometimes it starts with a metal technique or material that I want to use or try.
What is your favorite kind of jewelry to wear?
I like to wear very simple jewelry, always a pair of earrings and a pendant, sometimes rings, usually silver. Bigger jewelry when I’m feeling fancy or girlie. But lately, I’ve been living in a little pair of teardrop shape cz earrings that I made for myself in college, inspired by the movie “Beauty and the Beast” by Jean Cocteau and a cloud pendant, greatly inspired by Magritte
You grew up moving around but finally settled in New Hampshire and have made it your design home for 20 years, What is your artistic community like in Portsmouth?
The NH seacoast has a great arts community, there is a real appreciation for creativity here. Portsmouth has a lot going on and is a great home-base.