Signature arthyan jewellery is carefully handcrafted with lightweight resin, real vibrant flowers collected by hand from the wild Cornish beaches and English rose gardens before being encased in resin, and finished with a touch of gemstones. When you wear an arthyan piece, you carry with you the glorious beauty of the Earth – forever!
Tell us a bit about the artist behind your creations.
My name is Ellanor and I’m the artist, designer and owner behind Arthyan. I was born next to the sea in South Devon, and I grew up as a child that would spend every day swimming in the ocean, picnicking in wildflower meadows, making daisy chains and sketching the landscape around me on lazy summer afternoons. I spent almost all of my free time in nature where it was peaceful and calm and full of life as opposed to the stress and anxiety of imposed life. I quit school and decided to follow my passion in life which was all about creation and gathering the self-empowerment to work for myself. I officially launched Arthyan a year ago, and now I work from home in a little city apartment with my partner in Manchester. Living in the city, I miss the countryside from my childhood and in a way my work at Arthyan captures that beauty for people like me who fell in love with nature and want to be close to it everyday.
Have you always been creative or did your talent evolve over time?
Creativity has always been in my blood. I loved to learn, which is why I think my creative talents blossomed from an early age. My curiosity about how things were made led me to experiment with my hands and make rafts, mini-motorised boats for the bath and lighthouses with lamps at the top! I managed to find creativity and beauty in everything – for example, I loved Maths because I was fascinated by the correlation between nature’s patterns and the way we can make the same patterns with numbers – the way I saw it, everything was connected to art because the world was art.
It always takes time to become proficient at something, but if you enjoy what you’re doing then you’ll naturally dedicate enough time to it to build your skills.
What is it that you enjoy most about your work?
I really love travelling and finding the beautiful flowers to use in my jewellery. The flowers hold memories for me – and I love being able to put those sweet moments into jewellery to share with others. I also offer a service for people to send their own special flowers for me to make something with, and I just adore being able to capture those moments for them too.
It’s also wonderful attending fairs and exhibitions when you get to hear the feedback from attendants seeing my handcrafted jewellery for the first time. It means so much to me that other people find beauty in my work, and I’m so proud that I created something so unique that everybody comments they’ve never seen anything like it before!
Have you achieved anything in your crafting life that you are particularly proud of?
Every achievement and success is deserving of pride when you’re a small business. It means a lot to me when I get critical recognition from peers in the industry who have selected me for their curated shows, but at the same time it is equally as touching when a customer picks my shop to buy from.
Other than crafting what else do you like to do?
One of my biggest passions in life is travelling. It’s an incredible feeling to be able to see all the beautiful natural wonders around the world, and as an artist unsurpassably inspiring. As I also absolutely love street photography and landscape photography, travelling gives me a great excuse to practise with a camera (I also take all my own brand photos for Arthyan)! Amongst other things, I also adore creative writing, reading, fashion and cooking.
If you had to choose your favourite from your creations, which would it be?
That’s so hard! I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite, but this choker holds a special place in my heart because of the time that went into making it and the absolute Victorian royalty that excludes from it. Hundreds of seed pearls are actually strung together at the sides to make up the band of the choker, which is just the definition of extravagance. I also feel sentimentally about these jhumka earrings because they are one of the first I ever made.
What advice would you offer to someone new starting out in the craft world?
It can be amazing to do something you love, but there are going to be hard times as well. Every crafter suffers rejections, loneliness, self doubt, imposter syndrome and a variety of other struggles: you need to work out what powers you through those moments. For some people, it’s time off and setting a good routine. For other people it can be attending events or joining communities with other like-minded crafters – the important thing is that you have a healthy way of dealing with setbacks. Make sure you always keep faith in yourself and keep clear boundaries between your relaxing time and your work time, especially if you work at home. I actually wrote an interesting article on my website (http://arthyan.com/small-business-owners-and-depression/) about small business owners and depression which I think could really help people just starting out not fall into the pitfalls many of us do.
If you could change one thing about what you do, what would it be?
I’d love to have an outdoors studio space where I can work and store all of the components and machinery that I need. At the moment I only have one storage draw and I work from from living room, so that would make the whole process so much easier! I’d also love to eliminate the need for marketing as it takes up so much time, and fast forward to when my brand was already well known!
What do you think has helped your business the most?
A year in, this question is really hard to answer. I have to say that having a website from when I first launched the business has helped tremendously: it’s helped me get accepted to fairs, trade shows and exhibitions, and given customers more trust in the professionalism of my work when they want to buy from me. In the same vein, having good (and different) product photography really helps when advertising and marketing your products.
Most of all though, I have to say that I think my products have helped my business the most! The decision I took to take resin work in a completely new direction by fusing natural inclusions with traditional shapes from different cultures across the world such as Greek, Persian and Indian, has really helped to set my work apart from any other jeweller.
Has any person helped or supported you more than any other?
From the very beginning I think my parents have been incredibly encouraging of my creative pursuits and directly influenced the confidence I felt to make the decisions that have allowed me to reach this point in my life. My partner is also a great help to me, especially when I do shows and exhibitions and he wakes up at the crack of dawn and travels with me to help run the stand! It’s something he doesn’t have to do but chooses to, and I really appreciate that. He has also fearlessly supported and stood up for me and my career choices, because he knows me well enough to know that this is what I was born to do and where my talents lie.
Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I was named after the English and French Queen of the High Middle Ages, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Maybe it destined me to become a strong woman with a love for antique royal jewellery!
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