Thursday, September 29, 2011

Azalea’s Of a Unique Sort

Chloe Schwanz is a talented jewelry designer located in the mysterious land of Louisiana, and I’m pleased to say she recently designed a special piece for me to show off proudly. Chloe and her husband are both artistically gifted. Her husband is an architect who won the very first Zombie Safe House Competition (check out the facebook page!). Chloe is quick as a whip with her wit, and fun to work with. Her wearable art can be found at Azalea St Studio on etsy:
            Her work utilizes leathers, natural rocks, found treasures, and has an earthy-yet-modernistic style, and is definitely uniquely Chloe:

NS: Chloe, why don’t you tell us a little about your past, like where you grew up, what your hobbies were as a kid, and what type of jewelry you wore as a teenager?

CS: Well, I grew up in the teeny tiny rural town of Sunset, LA—making mud pies, tending to hoards of animals, composting, gardening, and overall good ole country fun! When I reached high school, I longed for that city-girl feel! We wore uniforms to school, so I took every opportunity to differentiate myself from the masses. I was known to wear sport accessories you didn't normally see on a teenager, things I'd inherited from my mom or grandmother. Really funky stuff! I moved to Lafayette when I began college in 2002

NS: When did you decide to start making Jewelry?

CS: Jewelry making all started when I began studying architecture at the University of Louisiana. I just hated to throw away all the scraps of various materials I used in my design classes. In an effort to be efficient and create less waste, I fashioned pieces of stained and painted wood into earrings, sold them, and have been growing as a jewelry maker ever since!

NS: Who is your biggest inspiration for making wearable art?

CS: Geez, I'm not sure! I suppose I could credit every environmentally-conscious voice out there that seeped in over the years stirred in with all those times I saw something clever and said, "Hey, I can do that!"

NS: Who is your favorite jewelry designer?

CS: Another hard one! I have a few Etsians (Etsy artisans) that I just love seeing new work from!—such as SSD jewelry, Neile, and Kikisan—just to name a few. Also, I will turn the pages of a Sundance Jewelry catalog until they turn to dust! The artisans that are lucky enough to grace said pages certainly deserve it.

NS: If you could own any piece of jewelry in the world, which would it be, and why?

CS: As a huge fan of the ancient, antique and vintage (it is a form of recycling!) I would cherish and make an alter around a Victorian Chatelaine—a woman's wearable tool kit, if you will. These pieces represent everything I'd want to achieve as a craftsperson: ultimate aesthetic appeal and perfect functionality.

NS: If you could design a piece of your art for any superstar to flaunt, who would it be, and why?

CS: Just a few that came to mind: Sienna Miller, Kate Hudson, and Zoey Dechanel. I think each of these lovely ladies have a history of sporting some eclectic pieces. They are very current and 'in the know' when it comes to fashion, but aren't afraid of taking chances. I also think that these women each pay tribute to fashion's past and those are some things I try to convey in my pieces. I'd love to find a place in their jewelry boxes!

NS: So, I hear your moving to New Orleans? Where can the fine citizens of Louisiana find you displaying your crafty wares?
CS: I'm always near at As an artisan, I'm kind of like a gypsy when it comes to a physical locale! 'Like' azalea st studio on Facebook to find out where I'm squatting next!
            Also, I've begun the very fun venture of giving jewelry fans the opportunity of hosting jewelry parties! As a host, you'll get 20% of the total sales in free jewelry a la azalea st studio! Anyone interested can send me a message via my etsy shop for questions and details.

NS: Any last tips for making jewelry or tidbits you’d like to share with my awesome blog followers?

CS: Always go with what feels true to you, whether it's creating original pieces of art or your next outfit. If you force it, it will look forced and you won't feel 100% you!

Chloe, you know how to wrap the rock! I hope all you amazing readers out there support local artists, and take the time to explore Chloe’s sparkling flair. Cheers …!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow those pieces really are gorgeous...