Friday, June 29, 2012

Artist Bio from bel monili by l.marlane

Today our featured artist uses vintage and repurposed materials to make wearable art. This is near and dear to my heart as my mother sells vintage and estate jewelry. I was very impressed with the peices that Lucy makes. I also found myself coveting her show schedule. Take a peek into what she does and check her out at Boutique 208 or at one of her shows which you can find on her Facebook page.
Amy Levier

 My name is Lucy McClure, and I am the owner/artist of bel monili by l.marlane. I hand-craft jewelry and accessories using vintage and re-purposed materials, including vintage earrings, chain, books, buttons, flowers, and much more. Each item I make is uniquely one of a kind, making it an affordable piece of wearable art.

For my "day job", I am a speech-language pathologist at a suburban elementary school. I love every minute of my job, and one of the best features is that it allows me the time and availability to indulge my artistic side.

My artistic journey began two years ago in the summer of 2010. My boyfriend was traveling extensively for work, and I was looking to learn some new things. I have always been creative and crafty, so when I noticed a special on classes at my local JoAnn Fabrics, I signed up for a few jewelry making sessions. After the first class, I knew that I really had something. I seemed to have a natural knack for the mechanics of jewelry making and (according to the class teacher and several onlookers) a good eye for color and scale. I was hooked instantly, and spent the rest of the summer happily making jewelry for myself and my friends.

I quickly began to receive requests from people to buy my items, which was a welcome bonus to my new found hobby. I got to the point where I had so many interested buyers, I decided to take a friend's recommendation and apply to be a vendor at a craft show. I had shopped at the I Made It! Markets since their inception, so it seemed like a good place to begin. I applied for the I Made It! Market at the WYEP Rock the Block, and (much to my surprise) I was accepted! From that point on, my jewelry making went from a small side hobby to the full-fledged business it is today.
bel monili by l.marlane has been very fortunate to have many wonderful opportunities and accolades. In March 2011, bel monili's signature flower pins and hand crafted jewelry was featured in Pittsburgh Fashion Magazine. In April 2011, I was asked to create a custom design to be auctioned at the first annual TEALtini event for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition Pittsburgh Chapter. In June 2011, bel monili's flower pins were featured in the giveaway bags at the 38th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Throughout the fall and winter of 2011, bel monili participated in some amazing artist/craft shows including the I Made It! Markets, the Bedford Fall Foliage Festival, and Bazaar Bizarre in Cleveland. 2012 has been a busy year for bel monili as well, beginning with a feature in Pittsburgh Magazine for a special edition red dress flower pin supporting the Go Red for Women campaign.
I am honored to have so many loyal customers and online "fans" who have whole heartedly supported me and my business. It seems like every day my business grows to new heights, be it through retail opportunities, personal acknowledgements, or national shows/events. I am especially excited to announce that bel monili by l.marlane has been invited to be a vendor at the prestigious Country Living Fair in Columbus, Ohio and Atlanta, Georgia.

I invite you to follow bel monili on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and subscribe to my blog to keep up on new items, where I'll be, and what we have going on in the city.

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