Designer Spotlight: ERS Creative

Here at Amelia we only carry well made products made in the U.S. We carefully select the designers and products for our curated collection; researching and getting to know the brands we carry is an integral part of our process. In our new series, Designer Spotlight, we'd like to share with you a little more about the designers behind the beautiful products in our store. 

For our first Designer Spotlight we'd like to introduce ERS Creative, the whimsical, handcrafted jewelry line from the heart and hands of Eilen R. Stewart. 

Born in a small town outside of Moscow, Russia, and raised in Santa Monica, California, Eilen draws her inspiration from her roots and environment. 

Each ERS Creative piece is carefully designed and handcrafted using the highest quality materials and supplies including bronze, sterling silver, and gem stones. Each piece gets the individual attention that only a true craftsman can guarantee.

Eilen is currently living in Los Angeles, surrounded with her most important inspiration: the bustle of the metropolitan city, the natural beauty of her small garden and the childhood mementos of whimsical critters that adorn her studio.

We asked her a few questions to better get to know her, her inspiration, and her process. 

How did you come to be a designer/maker? 

I have always had 'itchy hands' I have to put them to good use, or they'll put themselves to a destructive one. So I have always been 'crafty' and as I grew up I became 'artsy'. I went to school for Ceramics, but fell in love with metal as well. As I struggled to find my place in the world, I found people really responded to jewelry I made, and it made me feel wonderful! One day my husband looked at me frantically searching for a new 'real' job and said: 'I don't understand: You're going to make this stuff anyway, why don't you just do it for a living?' And that was it! ERS Creative was born.

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Where do you find inspiration? Do you have a method or process of finding inspiration?

I love beautiful things. It's so cliche, but I do!! I love how pretty the trees in the fall are and how fluffy foxes and bunnies are. I love how funny pugs are and how serious wolves are. I love the Renaissance and I love the Baroque even more. And the more I see these things, the more I have to surround myself with this beauty. If I can't live as an enchanted fairy princess in a gorgeous castle in the woods where the squirrels sing with me, then I'll at least make a small portion of it in my studio!

What's your favorite thing you've created so far?

I'm super excited about the new Snail!!! It was a total fluke of a piece, I just always made these spiral shells as demo pieces in the few classes I still teach and everyone loves them. And then it hit me, I make a body and it's a full snail, not just a dead shell!! He's also one of the only ones (besides the bees) that has a full body, so he's extra special.

Do you have any plans for where your line is going in the future? Any special projects in the works?

I wish I had that sort of foresight, that way maybe I wouldn't panic every other day about the viability of this endeavor... But I also think it's the not knowing that keeps me on my toes and keeps me limber as a designer. I'm never fully sure, never truly done with something, always, always trying something new.

What are your other passions or projects in life?

I love to garden, love my dogs (chihuahuas named Denzel Washington and Niles Crane), love going to museums and of course love my husband who patiently supports the insanity of running your own small business.

Are there any particular steps in your creative process that you enjoy most? 

I looooove to experiment. As a child of two scientists, nothing thrills me more than setting up an experiment, will it work, will it blow up in my face, will it fall apart? Every time I cast a tree full of work, I include something I haven't tried before to see if it 'works.'

If you weren't doing this, what do you think you'd be doing? What would you want to do? 

This. This is what I would be doing. I've had a desk job before and I came home every night and still 'made stuff.' Even now, I can spend 10 hours at the studio cleaning, grinding, sawing, literally working my hands to blood and blisters, and I'll come home, put on a bunch of band aids and pick up my knitting or some other craft, while I watch TV and 'decompress.'

What is your work soundtrack?

I accidentally found a station on Pandora that plays what I can only describe as 'instrumental rock,' right now 2Cellos is on with a cover of the 1984 song (not sure the actual name...) and I'm in heaven!

Can you tell us about your work space? What is your ideal work environment? 

After working in my kitchen, my garage, my friend's extra bedroom and many other inappropriate spaces, I now work in an amazing turn of the century building in the heart of Down Town LA Jewelry District. I have the view of the whole downtown from my window, I can walk to any supplier I need and despite being on the 10th floor, hummingbirds come to the geraniums that are on my window sill. I can't really wish for anything better! Except a pet fox and maybe AC once in a while...