Today I want to share the work of one of my favorite—and undeniably one of the cutest—crafty duos here in Portland: elle.paisley & m.paisley. They pack a double punch of talent.
WHAT THEY DO
elle.paisley: I specialize in one of a kind (OOAK) steampunk jewelry as well as Victorian inspired brass lockets and filigree rings. My designs incorporate vintage watch movements and clockwork, brass, antiqued silver, Victorian and Elizabethan stampings and castings, turn of the century decorative hardware and special charms & adornments.
I am a ‘Jill of Many Trades’ and take on an assortment of various day jobs—currently including media market research and retail sales—and pick up the occasional stage managing or lighting design gig. I have a BA in Theatre Arts and a BA in Dance, and I am in the process of applying to grad programs in Library Science and Arts Administration.
m.paisley: Getting into grad school has sort of overtaken my crafting, but when I do get around to it, I make feather hair clips. I just got accepted into the HESA (Higher Education and Student Affairs) program at University of Vermont so I’m super stoked and spending most of my time preparing for the big move. Student Affairs has always been my passion, and it’s so exciting that I’m finally taking the next step in making it my career.
Right now I make a living by waiting tables, and I’m also a competitive bowler. Professional bowling is basically my backup career if the student affairs thing doesn’t work out.
WHAT INSPIRES THEM TO CREATE
elle.paisley: When I started making jewelry I had just lost my job and my grandfather, whom I was very close with. Mae truly inspired me to take advantage of that time in my life by creating beauty from it, and most of my earlier pieces were all designed for her to wear. I use music to inspire me in my creative process, typically listening to The Dresden Dolls, Vermillion Lies and Bjork while crafting. Aesthetically I am inspired by Edwardian, Victorian, Elizabethan, and Gothic eras; the idea of balance working with asymmetry; and the materials I choose to work with.
m.paisley: Initially, it was just an ‘I could do that!’ moment at a Halloween bazaar, but when I sit down and get to work now, I’m inspired by burlesque and turn of the century fashion. And really, I’m a selfish creator. I just make things that I like and that I would want to wear.
5 THINGS THEY ARE DIGGING AT THE MOMENT
• Champ (the Lake Champlain Sea Monster) since he will be our new neighbor in Burlington :)
• Hippo Hardware
• Kittens! (and the amazing Russian Cat Circus)
• New England
• Critical/Feminist Pedagogy
• New Rose Tattoo (desperately need get to a botched tattoo—NOT from New Rose—dealt with)
• Gothic/Victorian/Turn-of-the-Century lezzie love stories and love letters like Tipping the Velvet and Violet to Vita
• Red wine