Today I have a most inspirational interview that I think everyone will love! My interview is with Lost Apostle Bronze Jewelry. What I love about their jewelry is the uniqueness and mysterious beauty of their creations, truly fascinating!
Lost Apostle Bronze Jewelry… A cure for the common gold.
Please give us a brief bio, where you are from and how you started in this field?
I was born near Montreal, Canada, but have lived outside of Canada half of my life – mostly in Asia, London UK and Spain. I moved back to Canada with my husband, James, a few months ago, with absolutely no idea what I would do for work as I spent the bulk of my time away creating jewelry, clothing, bags and accessories and selling them in various markets around the world, wherever I was at the time – a gypsy lifestyle, really, we even lived out of our 1978 VW camper van in Spain for 3 years selling at whichever markets came our way. There being a lack of any good weekly craft markets in Canada had me start thinking of what I could be doing online – something I could work from home and live wherever I want, besides which, I really did feel like my time at markets was up. I needed something new, and knowing Lost Apostle was a winner (tried and tested in the markets in the UK and Spain!), I just had to try to set up an Etsy shop.
When did you first discover your creative talents?
I have always felt to be a creative person, I think I would whither and fade if I wasn’t able to use my creativity!
My first attempt at making jewelry started when I was 6. I remember very clearly my mum taking me to a bead shop in Montreal, and I was overwhelmed, and in heaven! I still to this day have some of those beads, the beautiful ones I treasured and never used. My collection of beads and jewelry is now quite something, especially after spending years in Nepal, India and Indonesia. Although a lot of my focus in the past with jewelry involved semi-precious stones and precious metals, due to the present day climate with the ever-increasing prices of silver, I was forced to think outside the box. My husband suggested bronze – he is an avid collector of antique bronze jewelry from Asia. He inspired and helped me to create something new and original.
Could you tell us about some of your work?
Right now, its all about Lost Apostle. All pendants, earrings and bracelets are cast in bronze or white bronze with silver plate using the lost wax method. I make the odd piece in sterling silver or gold plate. It all starts off with a design in mind – drawn out on paper in 3D – getting in all the angles and trying to visualize the finished piece as a sculpture. All designs are made by myself and my husband, James, and I tackle it from there. Most Lost Apostle jewelry is pendants – for him, for her, for all walks of life. Pendants range from flying pigs, to 1950’s style microphones, guns, angel wings, feathers, loads of different bird skulls, animal skulls, teddy bear skulls, anatomical hearts, bones, and more decorative skulls like my favourite – the Day of the Dead skull. I have started making earrings, bracelets and have plans for Pandora style beads (though with a Lost Apostle twist), and cuff bracelets with tribal overtones. There is just not enough time in a day!
What inspires you to keep going and how do you keep yourself motivated?
Lost Apostle is a relatively new business, I am always looking for new ideas and am constantly inspired by what is going on around me. I keep myself motivated by letting Lost Apostle grow organically, and take advantage of opportunities that I think might help business.
How will you describe your style?
There is no real singular style for Lost Apostle. It is a fusion of Tribal, Steampunk, Retro, Gothic, Art Nouveau and Classic.
What is your approach to design?
Adapting to the latest fashion fad is only a part of it. There are so many opportunities for a brand like Lost Apostle as it caters to men, women and absolutely every style of person, it gives plenty of room to come up with a huge range of ideas and designs so that there is no one single approach.
Describe your workshop/studio for us:
I have a massive wooden table that I work on – we have just moved here from the UK, so haven’t set up a proper workshop yet! I pull out my dremel and carving tools and wax when I need them – I’ll be setting up a proper carving station hopefully within the next couple of months – I am planning some new designs and need to get going on them! Other than that there is a wall of chain, leather rolls, shelves of bags, postal supplies and of course bronze jewelry! I’ve got a giant cork board with my in-and-out info, plus new ideas for designs in drawings and images. My sewing machine’s been collecting dust, much to my dismay! The computer has taken over…
Any influences or anyone you look up to when it comes to designing?
Influences are all around. Whether it be the latest fashion styles (I love the rock n roll style of Alexander McQueen), objects of nostalgia (our 50’s style microphone pendant, cassettes…), or ancient forms and designs of jewelry, I am continuously inspired by ancient tribal designs of Asia, South & North America America & Africa. Both James and I spent much of our 20’s and 30’s travelling & working in Asia and Europe, hence developing the Lost Apostle style of jewelry along the way. I studied painting in university, and my final year thesis was a body of work dedicated to graffiti, skulls and tribal styles, so this is where I think it all began.
“What is Art?” is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?
A huge question indeed. This was a question we were asked in my first year philosophy class at university! What I want people to take away from my art is to feel like they are wearing just that – art! Not just another piece of jewelry. I like art with an edge. Lost Apostle has got an edge. It’s not easy to forget.
How do you bridge the gap of the business side of designing?
I always have to think of what might sell versus what I want to make. Ideas revolve around what might look good as a pendant and what kind of person might be looking for the said pendant, which luckily is broad! I have to be careful and keep an eye on how many designs are being produced, as I still have to stock each and every one of them – it gets expensive and I can’t stretch myself too thin. When people ask for custom made orders, I have to think long and hard about making them, as it doesn’t make sense to just make one, when the casting process and production can cost so much.
Describe yourself in 5 words.
Adaptive, artistic, original, organized & chaotic!
How has your experience been selling online?
My experience in online selling has been overwhelming. It takes so much effort to get a shop up and running – I am so used to market stalls, where you go to work, set up, stand behind a stall all day, pack up and go home… online selling never stops. My husband was instrumental in helping me set up the Etsy site. I am more of a designer and creator, and though organized, found the whole process rather daunting as there was so much to think about – photography, descriptions, SEO, tagging, promotion, and the list goes on… I am really happy with the direction business has taken. It seems that Lost Apostle’s gone viral!
What has been your most exciting moment as an artist?
There have been quite a few moments of excitement as an artist. I went to art school, and continued as an artist afterwards because I love the rush you get from creating a beautiful piece of art. I spent years working for other companies in graphic design, marketing and print production, and none were ever satisfying. It was only when I went back to doing what I love about 7 years ago, that full inspiration came back to me, though it was incredibly hard to get started again – to create something that I love and that would put money in the bank to boot! I was constantly changing and revising ideas and designs at the beginning, plus the crazy soaring prices of silver forced me to think again, and think in bronze! I guess that was Lost Apostle’s golden moment…
Do you have any advice for new artists?
Follow what you love, but be prepared to let go of it as well. Many artists create solely for themselves, and wonder why it doesn’t work when they try to make a living out of it, so it’s important to listen to advice and adapt when need be.
Where else can we find you online?
Etsy – http://www.thelostapostle.com
There are quite a few other websites that carry Lost Apostle – http://www.shanalogic.com & http://www.inkedmag.com to name a couple, as well as a few small shops & tattoo studios in Canada, the US, the UK, and in Europe. There is also still a Lost Apostle stall at Spitalfields Market in London, UK…. where it all started. Lost Apostle is going global!
Thank you Nadya for this wonderful interview! What an inspiration you are to everyone, your determination has brought you great success and I think that is so important for every artist whether they sell online or not. I really enjoyed browsing your shop, so many interestingly unique and beautiful items!