Elise Okrend   &   Ten Rivers Jewelry

Check out the Featured Artist display in the front of the building!



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Ten Rivers Jewelry - Corinne Duncan

I began making vitreous enameled jewelry during graduate school at Oregon State University, where I earned a Master’s in ecology. Besides enjoying the beautiful combination of colorful glass and metal, I found enameled jewelry making rewarding because of its simplicity and uniqueness among jewelers. Crafting was initially a stress relief but I found that I enjoyed teaching too, and did so for two years at the university’s craft center. After being encouraged to try selling my work, I formed Ten Rivers Jewelry and was happy to find success! The name Ten Rivers Jewelry comes from living in the Willamette Valley in Oregon where ten rivers contribute to the Willamette River watershed.
From my home studio in North Carolina, I now specialize in rustic enamel and copper jewelry. Having grown up in Arizona you can see vestiges of the southwest in my work, as well as influences from the southern flora and fauna that I live with today.

 

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Elise Okrend - Contemporary Pastel Artist

 

My work is inspired by my observations of the natural world whether through travel or simply looking outside my back door. Using pastels, I capture a simple scene and transcend the ordinary into a work of vibrant beauty with spiritual dimension. My attention is given to a strong sense of light and an intense richness of color. My intent is to connect the viewer to a sense of healing and inner peace.
I love using pastels. I feel they are a direct connection from my body to the paper. I use my figures as a tool to blend vibrant pigment and create endless tones of color. I start each piece by blocking and building layers of color in the dark areas and working toward the lightest tones and highlights. I am always amazed at the versatility of using pastels. With the ease of an erasure or rub off you can change color, value or form.
A native of New York City, Elise has a BA in Fine Art from Binghamton University. After a successful career in design and print production, Elise together with her husband, developed a nationally known greeting card company, MixedBlessing, Inc. The creative process of designing her greeting card line brought Elise back to her first love of painting. Her focus, pastel landscapes depicted the healing beauty of nature. Elise's passion for painting mountain landscapes led her to relocate to Asheville, in the heart of North Carolina's Blue Ridge. 37 of Elise's paintings can be found in a book she co-authored with her with her husband, Messages to the Heart, Reflections of Beauty and Truth.