Saturday, May 9, 2009

Byhand . . . Eggcentricity Jewels' Ewanna



Hello, I'm Ewanna (pronounced with a w for non Greeks) and I am the owner/designer of Eggcentricity Jewels based in Patras, Greece. I am half Greek and half American mix of Irish, English and Native American. I was born and raised in the hills of West Virginia, USA; married a fellow Greek and moved to Texas for 10 years before finally returning to my roots here in Greece.

It is this wonderful, eclectic mix of backgrounds that have created the artist that I am. It's very hard not to be influenced by the natural beauty of the places I've lived or by their histories.

That's why crafting is so important to me -- it gives me the opportunity to express all of that beauty and the wonderful mix that is me. I cannot remember a time after the age of six when I was not crafting. My mother's family isn't Greek and for many generations had lived in West Virginia (the poorest state in the US) hills. They were farmers and had large families to feed and clothe. One of my fondest memories is of my great-grandmother and her philosophy of if it can be made by you by hand, you make it. You don't by anything that you can make or learn to make. Great-granda had 21 children to raise and no income outside of the farm buried deep in those WV hills. She had to learn to do everything for herself. I learned my lessons well.

Today there are very few crafts that I have not tried or mastered. I started with needlework at age six and now do all but bobbin lace or tatting. I sew anything and everything and for many years supplemented my income by being a professional seamstress. Beading and jewelry making came a bit later as a profession rather than a hobby just for personall use. I needed something that I could do from home with my youngest daughter, who is very talented in her own right, and everyone always wanted the jewelry I made and wore. I gave away so much that my hubby started to complain about the costs. So Eggcentricity Jewels was born.

My studio is probably the center of my universe. It's not very big but it has the morning sun and a wonderful wooden floor (the main rooms of my apratment have marble floors) so I can go barefoot without freezing my tootsies off. It is jammed packed with boxes of gemstone beads, fabrics brought from the US for sewing, the books I use to teach English as a Second Language, my computer station with all of its many, many add-ons and my design desk which is always in a state of mad chaos. I always have something in the works. My only regret is that my studio isn't as big as my living room. I desperately need more space to accomodate all of my crafting supplies and design areas.

Even though my great grandmother passed on several years ago her maxim about not buying manufactured goods except when unavoidable is what I try to live by. I firmy believe that if a person is willing totake the time to learn to do something well and likes/loves what they have learned then the things that they make or the repairs around the home that they do will most certainly be of a higher standard than those mass produced or done by a stranger.
The next art form that I hope to be able to learn is the srt of making lampwork glass beads. I love their beauty and the skill it takes to work with liquid glass to create infinite detail on such a small scale. Until I learn how to do it myself, I'll have to be satisfied with collecting the work of others.

I came across Artfire by being a regular customer of Foxy Findings and the now defunct Pizazz Works shops owned by Kay and John Jacobs. I love the work Kay Jacobs does and her videos were a source of easy to follow instructions on various techniques in jewelry making.

My plans for Eggcentricity Jewels are to see it grow into a brand that people will be as proud to own as I am to design and to become a sought after product. However, I do have one rule that I closely adhere to: I don't make duplicates. I, personally hate it when I go somewhere and everyone is wearing the same things. So, when I started selling my jewelry I made a solemn oath to myself that i would never make two items exactly the same and that I would always be totally honest with my customers concerning the gems, metals, and beads used in the items I make. That is why I am one of the founding members of the Jewelry Integrity Group, where we guarantee the quality of our work, stand behind it 100% and guarantee customer satisfaction.


I hope you have enjoyed this brief introduction, I could go on for days, and that you will click on the title of this post to visit my Artfire studio and from there my other sites as well.

Καλημέρα σε όλους! (A good day to all!)



K G Designs said...

Hi there! Sorry I just thought I would say a quick hello to a fellow greek. I share your influence of the love of the greek country side and cannot wait to come over in June to spend my holidays there with my greek fiancee! Anyway HIiii! :)

Mary V said...

I enjoyed reading this, and would have loved to see a few shots of your studio and perhaps the jewellery you make, right here on the blog.