American Made Show: Please tell us a little bit about your background and how you arrived where you are today.
Emily Ehr: I started playing with metals and making jewelry over 26 years ago, I’ve moved from working with simple designs to more complex, from sterling silver to copper to steel… loving the process that each requires. I still use many if not all of the same techniques I learned in my very first class…
American Made Show: Describe the path that led to your career as an artist.
Emily Ehr: I started as a young girl building furniture for my Barbie dolls, playing in our garage which was my dad’s woodworking shop, building chairs and tables and little beds for Barbie. I’ve always loved working with my hands… When I was laid off from my corporate job I decided to go back to school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do at first but soon discovered how much I loved art and working with my hands, and finding the metals department soon was my favorite place on campus. And from there I realized that jewelry and metalsmithing were my passion, and I haven’t stopped since.
AMS: What does the creative process entail for you?
Emily Ehr: I like to design by putting different things together, different shapes, colors, stones, metals… I very rarely sketch out a design, it usually has to formulate as I move things around. I seem to do something a little different each time, so my creative process is something of a creative process in and of itself.
AMS: What event or experience pushed you to take on art full-time?
Emily Ehr: What pushed me to take on art full-time? Being laid off from my third corporate job over 26 years, all the while in my spare time working with metals, shaping them over an anvil and setting stones in them and making them beautiful using patinas… I’ve always seemed to go back to metals, that’s where my heart is, I know them very well and they make me very happy.
AMS: What inspires you to create new designs?
Emily Ehr: I like to create new designs from old techniques, I truly enjoy the fire of the blacksmith’s forge, the color of the metal when you hammer it, and watching it move. New designs come to me when I’m open to them, not being rigid in my thinking… I like to let the creativity flow and design outside the box.
AMS: Tell us about the technical processes you employ in your work.
Emily Ehr: I use a blacksmith’s forge to heat the steel, then contour it with my hammer and anvil, I also use a bracelet mandrel to perfect the shape to fit the wrist. Then I add silver or gold to set stones and bring color and brilliance to an old age art of metalsmithing.
AMS: How would you describe your artistic style?
Emily Ehr: I would describe my artistic style as old world, rustic, western art meets the boutique.
AMS: What type of customers tend to like your work?
Emily Ehr: My most popular customers are rugged, genuine, authentic and like simple designs. They don’t want flash, or high polish… you won’t find that in my work.
AMS: What is your most popular product line?
Emily Ehr: My steel hoop earrings have been my most popular product so far, I can’t make them fast enough.
AMS: Do you have any big announcements or plans in the near future?
Emily Ehr: I am designing and building a canopy (steel vines and leaves) for an outdoor kitchen/barbecue area and 3-piece wall piece (copper w/patina), that will be showcased at the 57th Annual Colorado Garden and Home Show, February 13-21, Colorado Convention Center, Denver CO.
Come visit me!
Meet Emily Ehr at the 2016 American Made Show in Washington DC!
Company Name: Emily Ehr LLC
Studio Location: Broomfield, CO
Booth #: 1616
See more handmade jewelry by current exhibitors on the American Made Show Pinterest page.