Made in Athens: Oscar Accessories
By: Latricia Thomas
An Athens, Tennessee jewelry designer is getting a taste of Hollywood all the way in Tennessee. All the Oscar fashion action may happen on the carpet,
"It's been kind of a whirlwind," Athens Jewelry designer Jessica Klaaren says. "I never even dreamed this for myself."
But for Klaaren, who owns Cellar Door Jewelry, her design made its Academy debut before they rolled out the red. "I am a freak when it comes to awards shows," she says. "I love them, I love everything Hollywood, I really get into it, so it was really exciting."
Even more so on this Oscar night, when her eclectic earrings, made in Athens, made it into the pre-Oscars gift bag. "Normally an artist like me couldn't afford to pay thousands of dollars, fly to L.A. and do all that." But Klaaren is part of the Artisan group that presents handcrafted designs from all over the world to Hollywood's elite. Now she can give the same designs that fill her front room turned showroom to the stars.
To make the Oscar earrings, Klaaren starts with a bead and adds it to a head-pin. Then she sets the Swarovski crystals in brass, and threads a brass cone with wire. It's tedious work that mixes creativity with perfectionism. After a few twists of the pliers, you have a finished earring, creating a vintage valuable that's red carpet ready.
"Hopefully this will inspire someone who is starting out. I started out on my living room floor, beading and it's turned into this," Klaaren says. "You just really have to put in the work."
To visit the Cellar Door Jewelry website, click here.
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