By Katelyn Storch
A dazzling piece of jewelry might catch your eye while attending a local art fair. But with many art fairs on hold this year, we’re spotlighting local artisans and their work. Artist Emily Thelemann is the mastermind behind Shimmering Carbon, a jewelry business showcased around the Twin Cities.
With a degree in jewelry and metalsmithing, Thelemann has a broad collection of skills that she has put to work over the past 20 years. Before starting her own business five years ago, she had been refurbishing, repairing and setting jewelry. Shimmering Carbon is now her own precious gem.
“The inspiration for my art fair line is two of [my] passions coming together, my love of making jewelry and nature,” Thelemann says.
Her works create a beautiful juxtaposition of natural and elemental looks by combining sterling silver and a variety of exotic woods, such as northern maple, bocote and cocobolo. “Combining these two materials has a very grounded earthy feel, yet it can be dressed up in a very classic sophisticated kind of way,” she says.
She typically starts by letting the wood speak for itself as she cuts into it and seeing what surprising inspiration can be found within. “I look at the texturing and design of the wood, and that usually speaks to me on whether it should be a necklace, earrings, ring or bracelet,” says Thelemann.
Her favorite aspect? “Playing around is part of the fun in the creative process and thinking up several different styles for all the personalities of people you encounter at shows,” says Thelemann. “When I am making a custom creation, I love getting together with the customer and truly getting to know them. Figuring out what their style is and creating that piece together using my talent and experience and their input of what they would love to wear for years to come.”
She also emphasizes the excitement with taking the customer through her creative journey and involving them in each step along the way.
Because of the recent COVID-19 circumstances, Thelemann has shifted to more unconventional ways of promoting her work. She has been spending this time building a larger online presence, as well as setting up her website so that customers can purchase her creations there.
These challenging times have also influenced her most recent work. “I am working on a new line that draws on inspiration from my heart. Creating work that both acknowledges these uncertain times and honors the powerful time of new beginnings,” she says. “It is important for me to create in the most meaningful and personal way, so that my jewelry pieces say something.”
You can support this local artist by visiting shimmeringcarbon.com.