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7/23/2010

Feature Me Friday: Alex Keller

This week for Feature Me Friday, we have Alex Keller of
alex keller and vintage by alex keller from Tucson, AZ.

Who is Alex Keller?
My passion is beauty. It encompasses fashion, art and design.
In my corner of the world, I have channeled it into making jewelry.
My line, Jewelry Recycled, was inspired at the jewelry counter of
a resale shop. It includes antique, vintage and resale jewelry that
I have reconstructed into fresh and {new} pieces.
My addiction is thrifting and antiquing. Vintage by Alex Keller
started as a place to sell vintage jewelry. It has grown into a curation
of housewares and d├ęcor that I would want for myself. These items
stay with me for a time, are rediscovered, and make their way to
new homes.

What’s the first thing you remember making?
The very first thing was probably clothes for my Barbies from scraps
of fabric leftover from my mom sewing our clothes. Then last year,
I picked up some old jewelry supplies and made a necklace for a
woman I met. She is a shaman I met in my previous career,
financial planning. We talked one day, and she helped me realize
what I already knew - I wanted to create.

last dance - silver chains and pearls - a necklace of vintage and recycled jewelry

Why work with recycled materials?
I was on my way to the Tucson Gem and Mineral show, which
is a huge event and very popular with jewelry artists. I had
stopped at a resale shop on my way there. Standing in line at the
cash wrap, I looked down to see a whole case full of jewelry.
So I thought, why not use what is already here?

Where do you work?
I carved out a space in our spare room. It is where we have the
family computer and it used to be a guest room with a futon.
But much to my husband's chagrin, I always take over the dining
room table which doubles as a pool table.



How do you get from A to Z?
I usually buy in bulk, so half the fun is separating everything out.
I usually get ideas from the pieces themselves, but also from fashion
magazines, catalogs, vintage pieces and of course all the inspiration
that is online.

What are your favorite tools?
My jewelry tools, and a watch repair kit.

What music do you listen to while you’re working?
I am one of those few people who likes to work in quiet.

What are the five best things you’ve purchased on etsy
and where did you find them?

This is the most difficult question. I am a complete Etsy addict
and spend everything I make on Etsy. Most of my purchases have
been with these talented artists:

paintings from sagittariusgallery
ceramics from mudpuppy and alyssaettinger
photography from citylight
clothing from iheartnorwegianwood and katetowers
marketing and design from TialeyStudioDesigns

me and you - vintage wooden letter blocks

Read any good books lately?
I am a member of The Slow Readers book club. We have read
Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls. I am a bit behind, with
Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin and People of Paper by
Salvador Plascencia.

Been to any great exhibits?
Last year I was able see a fantastic outdoor exhibit at the Desert
Botanical Gardens
in Scottsdale, AZ. Dale Chihuly installed an
exhibit of his glass works and it was the most amazing display.
I went twice. If you have ever been to Las Vegas, his work is at
the Bellagio.

Who inspires you?
My mom, who taught me a lot of crafting and recycling, and
my friends - we inspire each other.

crystal clear - a bracelet of vintage and recycled jewelry

What do you do for fun?
Shop! I love to go thrifting and antiquing, and of course, getting
lost on Etsy.

Besides Etsy, where can we find you work?
Besides Etsy, my work is at cosa verde, Emmaline Bride,
Indie Fixx Galleria, and next week I will be up on papernstitch.
Locally, my work is at a great shop called Pop - Cycle, where
all the merchandise is recycled and sustainable.

How do you promote your work?
There is a line from Glengarry Glen Ross, "A-B-C.
A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing."
I am always promoting. I carry my cards with me everywhere,
I make treasuries on Etsy, I advertise online and I use social media.
All the links are on my new web page, Alex Keller Studio.

Have any words of wisdom?
A fortune cookie says it all:
"Doing what you love is freedom. Loving what you do is happiness."

vintage wooden letter blocks - love

What’s in your future?
I hope to continue to grow the vintage shop. I really enjoy
the thrill of the chase, and I will be expanding the vintage
blocks to include monograms and sports teams.
I also plan to become more focused with the jewelry shop.
My first pieces were more fashion and wedding inspired.
Then I did an architectual collection. Recently, I came out
with a new collection, Mid Century Modern. The pieces were
inspired by my love of mid century modern design.
I plan to introduce a new collection in September, something
that again combines my love for fashion and vintage.

grey garden necklace - vintage and recycled jewelry

1 comment:

mchen said...

Great feature! Alex is such a supportive fellow artisan — so the fact that she also makes lovely jewelry is just icing on the cake. High fives!