Art of Adornment is an online-only shop based in Canada and is 100% Canadian owned. Although we have been in business since February 2004, we began using the name "Art of Adornment" in March 2005 and changed our preexisting Ebay store name shortly afterwards. The phrase "Art of Adornment" was legally registered as our trademark in Canada (2010) and the USA (2012) to protect our brand and impress upon customers that we are dedicated to our business.
Many of our designs are one-of-a-kind, or "limited edition", which means a limited number of pieces are made, and no pieces identical to them will ever be made afterwards. These editions are very small, usually 10 or less pieces. Since 2008 we have periodically offered the work of several Canadian designers with a taste for both the decadent and the unusual. This has allowed us to frequently boast a large, diverse inventory, which has led us to being featured in several print magazines including Gothic Beauty, Teen Vogue and Weird Tales, and in online publications such as Chateau Bizarre, LouLou (Flare) and MookyChick. We have even supplied wardrobe for independent film productions including Dark Canada and The Sanguinarian.
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OWNER / DESIGNER: BIO
Better known online by her nickname "Valerian", Elaine was born in 1969 in Vancouver BC and has been an active part of the punk/Goth subculture since 1983. She graduated from the 4-year fine arts program at the Emily Carr College of Art & Design in 1991. Her creativity and passion for making art has been a large part of her life since (in her own words) she was "old enough to hold a solid object", and she is the sole driving force behind Art of Adornment. She not only creates most of the products, she designs all website layouts and graphics, processes and ships orders, does marketing and social media, photographs products, and handles customer service inquiries. To say that her business is a labour of love is an understatement!
Beginnings As An Artist
Elaine started exhibiting her paintings and prints in local galleries and cafés while still a student in 1989, and occasionally participates in group shows to this day. After finishing art school she worked as a picture framer on and off for more than 18 years, most of that time being custom department manager in a wholesale company. Elaine's paintings have been published in New York's Art Business News magazine and The Vancouver Sun newspaper, and featured in the documentary film Dark Canada. In 2001 she began selling her artwork on Ebay.com.
From Art To Adornment
It was not until 2004 that she shifted her focus to fashion. After so many years at a physically demanding job, she was eventually forced to quit due to having developed chronic tendonitis in both shoulders. This injury was the catalyst to find a new career, so she turned her attention to the talents of her past. During the 1980's Elaine made her own costume jewelry as a hobby, deconstructing her grandmother's broken antique pieces as well as vintage finds from thrift stores, and re-assembled them to create new designs. She decided to re-awaken this love of jewelry-making and has since offered her work for sale online. She returned to selling on Ebay and opened her own self-designed website as well. She formed Art of Adornment in early 2005, and has worked with great passion to mold the company into what you see today.
Tools Of The Trade
The "experimental" jewelry of her teen days is long gone, however. Now she collects only very select skillfully crafted components, many of which she faux-finishes and alters herself. Some of the metal focals and filigrees are created with antique tools brought over from Europe to North America more than two hundred years ago, and are the heart behind her decadent style. Elaine uses only the highest quality Swiss velvet, glass beads made in the Czech Republic, Austrian crystal rhinestones, and vintage glass cameos imported from Germany among many other beautiful and unusual things. To her, making jewelry and accessories is not just an occupation, it is an art in itself.
Elaine claims to have always been a "crafty" person, and has never been able to settle on only one path. In addition to making art and fashion accessories, she sometimes designs clothing, dabbles in web design, and participates in several online communities. She currently resides in Winnipeg, MB and enjoys "Gothic gardening" along with occasionally helping her partner put on local Goth/Alternative events.
Fine Art Portfolio: Main Gallery Website
Fine Art Merch: Redbubble (fine art) and Zazzle (incl. AoA merch) shops
On FaceBook: Fan Page & Photo Gallery
On DeviantArt: Mini Portfolio