This creative endeavor became my personal journey to find the good in a truly dark and difficult time in my life. This is why my studio is called "FIREFLY"; since my jewelry has helped me find light. I hope I can inspire others to find the light in their lives, too, no matter what darkness they may find themselves facing."
My name is Elizabeth Martin.
This is the story of FIREFLY and my own journey to find light in the darkness.
I grew up in a small town in the Gramercy area half-way between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. I didn't start out as a jewelry maker, far from it, actually. My career included a decade of work as a speech pathologist and over twenty years in the pharmaceutical business. Although my working life didn't feature creative pursuits, I always dabbled in various arts and crafts.
My jewelry making career began as a therapeutic endeavor in 2013 during an early retirement. My mother and son both had significant health complications at the time and my focus needed to be with them. My son was undergoing chemotherapy for cancer at a young age and my mom passed away after a battle with her illness. Mom was an artist all her life and following her death I felt something inside pulling me toward the arts - maybe it was her nudging me on the right path to channel her creative spirit. I listened.
My creative journey has had many experimental twists and turns. I began by taking metal-smithing classes from a local master, Tom Lorio. I tampered with different designs and media, exploring designs with LEGO jewelry at first. Ha! Through hard work and curiosity, and intrigued by unorthodox materials, I found my way to mixed concrete/cement jewelry. I love raw materials, geometric shapes, and architecture, especially the clean lines of modern architecture. My aesthetic inspiration is drawn from Danish design and minimalist style. I especially admire the work of Zaha Hadid, Vincent van Duysen, and Joseph Dirand. All of the pieces are carefully handcrafted by me.
More than anything else though, I was inspired by the originality of both of my parents. My mother was a self-taught artist and my father could repair, create, or build just about anything. I'd like to think that I am channeling them both, with the artistry from my mom and the tool-based technique from my dad. This creative endeavor became my personal journey to find the good in a truly dark and difficult time in my life. This is why my studio is called "FIREFLY"; since my jewelry has helped me find light. I hope I can inspire others to find the light in their lives, too, no matter what darkness they may find themselves facing.