Friday, July 16, 2010

Interview with Elizabeth Duke

Elizabeth Duke, East Liverpool, OH
Elizabeth's Exclusives on Etsy

Elizabeth has a simple, elegant style with fresh colors and design. Beautiful to look at!
How did you get interested in metalsmithing?
I have always made beaded gemstone jewelry and wanted to start making my own findings - ear wires, clasps and headpins.  From there it was a natural jump into learning other techniques.  Oh and I LOVE stacking rings - had to learn how to make some for myself

Do you get more excited about the design or technical aspects of jewelry?
Definitely the technical aspects.  I don't really sketch anything out, I've found that if I try to draw it my vision changes and is skewed.  So I just keep it all in my head and use a lot of trial and error. 

Do you find the process of experimentation frustrating or inspiring?
Both at times - I get very frustrated if something doesn't come out the way I envisioned but at the same time, it usually turns out better if I stick with it for long enough. 

What part of your work do you most enjoy?
The best part for me is the finishing process.  Once I have an item completed and it comes time for the final polish, it is very relaxing and I can just sit and enjoy what I've made while cleaning it up and removing imperfections.

What part of your work do you find the hardest?
Patience - I tend to be a little bit impatient and I can't wait until at item is ready to come out of the pickle so I can start that next step.  Or if I have to tumble a piece for over an hour I keep checking on it and wishing it would hurry up so I can do more. 

What technique do you wish you knew or want to learn?
Absolutely want to learn sawing.  The whole process intimidates the life out of me and I'm too timid to pick it up.  I have my saw, cutting lube, bench block - everything I need but I just can't take that step and pick it up yet. 

Where do you get/find your inspiration?
Ideas just pop into my head randomly.  One day I was watching my son play with his golf clubs and it was the curve of his neck as he leaned forward that inspired my hammered copper cuff.  The sun was shining on the back of his neck and it gave his skin an odd tinge that reminded me of copper. 

What are your favorite items in your store right now?
I'm most proud of my Labradorite necklace - it was my first experience bezel setting and I loved how it turned out.  Second would by my Sterling Swirl Pendant - it was a complete accident.  I cut some sheet off a backplate after I soldered on a bezel and it came off on a spiral.  I threw it in my scrap box but it kept staring at me.  I had to start messing and filing it even before I finished the first piece. 

What is the best advice you have received?
To just jump in with both feet.  If you give yourself time to think too much you may not achieve what you want.  Don't think - just do.

Thanks Elizabeth!

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Give Elizabeth some love. We're all here to learn and grow and all input is welcomed! Visit her Etsy shop: Elizabeth's Exclusives


  1. Great interview Elizabeth! Some of my answers are very similar to yours :)

  2. Great interview! I have to go and check out Elizabeth's Etsy shop - thanks for sharing your thoughts :-)