Artist Spotlight + Inside The Studio of Emily McDonald

“I feel especially connected to art that repurposes common items, images or ideas, particularly art born from materials that some would consider useless or trash.”

When Emily McDonald moved to New Orleans in 2008 her love for arts and crafts pushed her to learn basic jewelry construction and beading skills. “I became fascinated with preserving things in resin and began working with plants, shells, and insect wings,” she said.

The saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is very fitting when it comes to Emily’s work. She takes the time to carefully select second-hand items like books, stamps or a deck of cards and uses them to create her line of jewelry.

“Due to the temperature and moisture sensitivity of the resin I work with, I’m tied to my home studio. Working from home can be very serene, but also socially isolating, so I sometimes prefer to do my pre-resin design work in coffee shops or bars, where I can people watch, listen, and converse while creating. It’s not uncommon to find me sitting at a local dive with a stack of sheet music and a pair of scissors.”

“I look forward to fall, which is a more prominent season in Pennsylvania, where I grew up. In New Orleans, it means the end of summer humidity, which is good for resin work. When the weather hits that perfect seventies and sunny season, I can leave the screen door to my back yard open while I work in the studio.”

Keep up with Emily’s work and explore her collection on her Artist Profile here.