What does one always look for when it comes to our clothes, accessories, hairstyles, and everything else we have or convey in our every day lives? We search for uniqueness and individuality. We crave something colourful, bright, exciting, something which is inviting and creates a vibe that is ours, and ours alone. Sure, we can pop into a big box store and come out with something nice but it doesn’t compare to the exhilarating feeling of purchasing a unique and elegantly beautiful ware handcrafted by Karen Dodds Rodd at Elvenwoods.
Elvenwoods started as a small artisan operation that prospered from a love of all things fantastical. Lord of the Rings, fairies, mermaids and more had a home in the stain-glass and jewelry work that was meticulously created by Rodd and sold at small craft shows. Elvenwoods evolved when its proprietor gained inspiration from an artist at a craft show who specialized in hand painted silk. That was the “aha” moment that sent Karen on the hunt for any and all material that would help her to fabricate the wondrous, intricate pieces that grace her stock today. Rodd continually scours Youtube, Pinterest, blogs and various other sources to advance her techniques and draw inspiration. The work that goes into any given piece is long, meticulous and arduous but Karen finds that each creation has aspects that both frustrate and endear her even more to the process. When it comes to nuno felting, the finished result always makes the hard, laborious hours worth it but when it comes to the silk painting it’s getting lost in the process that Karen enjoys the most. When an idea strikes there is an evolution of sorts to be gone through before the work of art is complete. There is the conception, the planning, the designing, the painting, the felting and the sewing that culminate in one single vibrant, elegant, unparalleled garment. Any given item can take a few hours to a few days to come to fruition but when you get your hands on one of Karen’s piece you feel like you’re wearing a painting, a work of art that lives, breathes and emits its own energy.
What makes Karen, her art and her process unique is her love of experimentation and the excitement of facing her next challenge. She encourages collaboration, taking leaps of faith, making unorthodox colour combinations, falling in love with the task at hand and thinking around “normal”. Elvenwoods’ felting, jewelry and silk are spectacular, they are unlike anything else and wearing them alone is an experience. They create an energy that promotes the feelings of elegance, verve and ebullience. They exude something ethereal and celestial which speaks to the quality and craftsmanship of every piece that Rodd creates. So, the next time you’re browsing a hand makers market and see the name Elvenwoods, stop by and immerse yourself in the experience of the walking art. Or better yet, contact this brilliant artisan herself and treat yourself to a piece that makes you feel utterly sublime.
Written By: Tala Jenkins | Photos: Karen Dodds Rodd