In a word, Londi is an experience. You can feel her presence long before she arrives. And when she does finally arrive, you are immediately caught up in her charm, energy, passion and creativity. There are absolutely not enough hours in the day for this jewelry designer-artist-philanthropist.
First – a little background in her own words: I was lucky to be born in to a family full of talented artists and grew up with both a jewelry shop and potter shop in my home. The feeling of melting or manipulating metal, touching stones or having my hands dirty with clay has always stuck with me!
You are a 3rd generation jeweler. Who else designs and makes jewelry in your family? My father is a master goldsmith; his mother was a jeweler and her father as well. I started making jewelry at a very young age. When I was little, my mother bought my brother and me little pocket knives and bars of Ivory soap for us to carve. By the time I was 16, I was soldering, sizing and wax carving, to which I took a real liking. I grew up in the US but live in France now. I return every summer and work closely with my father and Mark Webb who has designed one of the world’s most beautiful diamond cuts. http://www.libertystardiamond.com/ I’m very honored and pleased to sell this diamond!
Please explain wax carving. Carving wax can be a very intricate process that involves many different wax types, tools, files, dental tools, knives and a flex shaft. The wax model is used to create the finished metal product through the lost wax casting process.
From where do you get your inspiration? I am really just a kid at heart, inspired by tradition, nature, lighting, flowers, anything from a rock to a grain of sand – a piece of gold to a piece of glitter! (You will see what I mean at Christmas!) I love to cook and bake (don’t like the calories), and it is reflected in the work I do as well as my titles. I like my jewelry looking like “eye candy” and my Christmas ornaments looking and smelling edible – with sweet touches of cinnamon, punchy peppermint twist and delicate forms of nature!
What prompted you to open a second shop? I’m opening CranberryDreams because my bulbs have been a success here in France for the past ten years with a faithful cliental! I am actually know around here for my Christmas and glow-in-the-dark bulbs, but ventured into jewelry because of my love for it! When I opened LondiCreations, it was with all intentions of being ready for Christmas this year. Cranberry Dreams will feature Christmas items, but during the off season will feature home deco and children’s deco.
Your children’s sand bulbs are quite unique. How did they come about? About ten years ago, I was feeling a strong need to get back in touch with jewelry fabricating; however I was lacking the tools and space to start such an adventure. With the holidays approaching, I decided to experiment with making bulbs, but still wanted something that would fulfill my desire to touch and look at metal. I started working with glitter, but still needed to feel something more natural; this is where sand came in! I developed a mix and a technique and got busy creating! After years of trial and error, I ventured into the world of craft shows, where I was successfully received! I also have a shop on Craftiz, an online venue like etsy that features high quality, handmade goods.
Loving color as I do, I started playing around with children’s cartoon characters and took the bulbs to another level with glow-in-the dark paint.
Making these bulbs is a very time consuming and intricate process, often requiring 20 hours each. That is why I prefer to do them now by special order.
My best selling bulb is the personalized “My 1st Christmas” with baby’s name and date!
In addition to jewelry design, you also do volunteer work with children and adults with disabilities and homeless children and adults. I love volunteering my time! I work with an organization call VSArt, an international nonprofit organization founded 35 years ago by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to create a society where people with disabilities learn through, participate in and enjoy the arts. This is a hands-on effort where we supply the materials and help them children and adults with floral composition, jewelry making, painting and music! Out of everything I do, this is the most satisfying!
You have some very interesting hobbies, yes? I have many hobbies – my favorite being mushroom hunting! My most favorite mushroom to find is the Morel. I also love going much higher in the French Alps to find chanterelles and cep mushrooms! When it is mushroom season, you often won’t find me at home. I am always out looking for a new patch to discover! In the evenings, I’m busy preparing four-star meals!
My other hobbies include photography, hiking, refinishing furniture and painting. And when I have time, I’m on twitter where you can find me “FLYING BY” (my next hobby!), blowing you kisses and wondering “How was your day?!”
Need a nap? I do! But before you go, Londi is giving away three of her fabulous handmade ornaments to one lucky winner. To enter, all you need to do is go to CranberryDreams, and post your favorite item in the comments below.
To gain additional entries:
1) Tweet about this giveaway, using the hashtag #londi. Post in a separate comment, and get one additional entry each time you do this, up to ONCE a day.
2) Become a friend of Londi Mathieu on facebook, and post in separate comment below. If you are already a friend, post in a separate comment below as well. One additional entry.
3) Follow LondiCreations on twitter, and post in a separate comment below. If you are already following, post in a separate comment as well. One additional entry.
4) Blog about this giveaway with a link, and comment below with the URL. Three additional entries.
The more times you enter, the better your chances of winning!
This giveaway will begin October 12, 2009 and end at 11:59 pm EST on October 21, 2009. Random.org will be used to pick the winner, and he or she will have 72 hours to get respond.
This giveaway is open worldwide! Good luck!