Christina Kelley: Jewelry Designer
Jessica Gilbert: Christina, being a huge fan of your jewelry, I’m just so thrilled to have you in TSM. 🙂 Thanks so much for fitting this interview into your busy schedule.
Christina Kelley: Thank you Jessica. I feel honored to be included in your magazine featured among such a fantastic variety of incredibly talented and inspiring people.
Jessica Gilbert: What inspired you to start making jewelry? And for how long have you been doing it?
Christina Kelley: I have actually been making jewelry since I was a young child. I attended an after-school program that had a wonderful counselor named Bill. He offered us an activity option of of learning to create Native American jewelry. I was the only child that stuck with it and I could get lost in the beads for hours. He taught me that each piece should be unique to itself, to the moment and the emotion that goes into it. He made designing…creating… seem so profound.
The inspiration to create Lapidato came from going store to store trying to search out that “just right” piece of costume jewelry to complete an outfit. And always leaving in frustration because it could never be found. Besides, I really didn’t want the same “off-the-rack” item that everyone else was wearing. I wanted something different. So, I started creating pieces for myself. Then friends started asking me to design items for them. In a domino effect….it just went from there!
Christina Kelley: That’s a pretty tough one to answer. They are my designs, so of course, I have a fondness for them all. One of my personal favorites is a piece that I designed for the extraordinary artist Kat Monroe. I used a variety of unpolished metal links and dangles in different tones and textures. Complimenting the design with a movable dolls eye set into a metal barrel mount. Another one would be a double tiered necklace comprised of crystals, chain and various metals. With a pendant made of thick unpolished wire, crystal discs and old washers. Both from The Izadall Collection.
Jessica Gilbert: You have interesting names for your various collections such as: The Lilura Luna Collection, The Izadall Collection and The Robreckson Ridge Collection. How do you come up with the names?
Christina Kelley: Originally, I created all my designs under the name Izadall. But as I continued to get more requests I started to realize that the designs were fitting into different categories. So I separated them into collections.
*The Izadall Collection- includes colorful geometric randomness. Sometimes with a vintage or urban industrial influence. The name Izadall came from a combination of my daughters, Dallas Elaine and Madison Izabella. Their unique and off-beat flair for fashion is one of my greatest inspirations!
*The Lilura Luna Collection- came from a much different place. The name means “Enchanted Moon.” This collection includes designs representing many paths of religion and spirituality. Celtic charms, angels, faeries, crosses, pentacles, and even dragons. This collection carries the name given to me by a woman that provided me great spiritual guidance.
*The Robreckson Ridge Collection- was given its name as a gesture of appreciation for someone that has provided me continuous support and encouragement. And for another person whose talent and positive enthusiasm are inspiration on their own. My dear friend John Breckenridge had me design a piece for himself, as well as commissioning one for the birthday of our wonderful friend and musician, MT Robison. This launched the Southwestern collection of Lapidato so I felt it fitting that it should bare some form of their names.
Jessica Gilbert: Who are some jewelry designers you admire?
Christina Kelley: Monet instantly comes to mind! Vintage, Art Deco, Modern, even Steam-punk….if it’s Monet…it’s fantastic! I like the use of mixed geometric patterns and the blending of various chain style and tone. I am also a huge fan of Rachel Dooley (aka Gemma Redux). I really admire the way she uses industrial metal and makes it more feminine, but still keeping with the bold and sassy. And blending random stones and pendants. Love her use of wrapping and twisting chains.
Jessica Gilbert: What materials do you use to make your jewelry? And on average how long does it take for you to create a piece of jewelry?
Christina Kelley: Oh wow. I don’t even know where to begin with that one! So much can go into one piece… and so many different things. Of course, the basis always comes from some form of wire, cord or chain. But there is such a variety added from there. Stones, gems, crimp beads, jump rings, fastenings, seed beads, crystals…..it all depends on the piece. A large array of hand tools are used in addition to solder for metals and mountings and hypo-cement for stones and settings. I really enjoy working with Swarovski crystal, invisible monofilament, raw stones, recycled trinkets and industrial metals. The detail of a design determines the time that goes into creating a piece. It can take anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours.
Jessica Gilbert: If you had the power to do something in the world today, what would it be and why?
Christina Kelley: Why to change it, of course! Isn’t that always the answer? (this is where your readers are supposed to let out a little chuckle…come on, you know you want to). But seriously, the birth of Lapidato came about with an ulterior goal. My hope is to ultimately take the company to a level great enough to “pay it forward.” I would like to help fund educational grants to students in need and to further adult education. The job market is tight and growing increasingly competitive. A good education is more important now than ever. And given the power, I would do something that involves following a passion of my own. I would do more than just be a vocal advocate against animal abuse. I would put a financial backing into it as well. Hoping to change the status of as many shelters as possible to “no-kill.” Then with this power welding capability, I would create an eco-friendly, environmentally suitable animal sanctuary to protect and sustain abused and endangered wildlife, flora and fauna. WHY?… because too many of those that do have a lot of power, have too little heart.
Jessica Gilbert: What is one of your favorite quotes (or lines) that inspires you?
Christina Kelley: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”~ Mahatma Gandhi. A daily reminder that if I expect to see the best out of the world, I must put my best into it.
Jessica Gilbert: Anything else you’d like to share? And where can our readers find out more about you and your jewelry?
Christina Kelley: I have often had some of pieces described as “different” or “very unusual”. And I like to hear that! Here’s why…Everyone says that there is beauty in symmetry. If it’s symmetrical it’s more attractive. I say hogwash! I try to take take chaos and make it beautiful…beautiful chaos…just like life. Think outside the jewelry box and come visit me at:
Jessica Gilbert: Thanks again for doing this interview and wish you all the best with your jewelry.
Christina Kelley: It has been a pleasure talking with you Jessica. I know you have several of your own endeavors and I hope much success for you in them all. Many blessings to you.