I’m Ellen Chappelle and I create jewelry designed to highlight your individual personality and style.
Let’s face it; you don’t want to look like everyone else. You want to feel special, pretty and confident. So, how do you make that statement? What helps your uniqueness shine? Your smile, your energy, your fashion sense and, yes, your jewelry!
Because I create every one of my pieces by hand, no two are exactly alike. And because most of my designs are one-of-a-kind or limited-edition, you’re unlikely to see anyone else wearing the same jewelry. All that handcrafted individuality shines a spotlight on your own special essence. How cool is that?!
Whether you like big, bold jewelry, like the designs in my Diva Collection, or you prefer a more subtle, everyday kind of pretty, as found in my Ingénue Collection, you’ve got nothing to worry about when shopping here. I’ve got you covered!
I officially discovered the art of jewelry design in 2004. But my childhood attempts to weave rings out of grass and glue feathers and buttons onto crudely made pins suggest that the roots of this art form have always been growing deep within me.
Upon unearthing this newfound passion, I began devouring every jewelry-making book, website and class I could find, dabbling in everything from wire wrapping to metalwork to chainmaille.
I have studied with nationally known instructors, including Melissa Cable, Barb Switzer, Dallas Lovett, Lisa Claxton, Kate Richbourg and Kristi Zevenbergen. I also count the creations of Lynn Merchant, Perri Jackson, Iza Malczyk, Eni Oken, and Sarah Thompson as great inspirations in my work. My thanks to you all for your innovation and generosity.
A life-long learner, researcher and information junkie, I continue to learn new techniques and hone my skills. I’m also a member of the International Guild of Wire Jewelry Artists, as well as a few local artist groups.
Prior to making jewelry, I first exercised my creative juices on the stage (hence the theatrical name of my jewelry business). Some of my earliest (and fondest) memories are of singing, dancing and acting in musicals and plays. I went on to major in theatre and journalism in college, followed by touring with a professional theatre company and performing on a cruise ship.
Along with performing in live theatre productions, I also enjoyed commercial voice-over work and singing on the worship team at my church for many years.
I am now a full-time jewelry artist and freelance writer – and I continue to create drama whenever I can! :) I live on a beautiful island north of the Seattle area with my wonderfully supportive husband and our energetic young dog, Maverick.
For more juicy details, see this interview I did for the Edmonds Art Studio Tour.
I love the process of taking raw materials that don’t look like much on their own and creating something exquisite. Whether turning emotions and stage directions into a living, breathing character; molding thoughts and words into a richly descriptive article; or taking a pile of wire and beads and weaving them into a beautiful bracelet with color and movement and shine, I find the creative process to be a thrilling endeavor!
I believe that in the creative process, we mirror and praise our Creator, in whose image we were made. Although He fashioned the raw materials we all use, He has given each of us the ability and desire to design or compose or concoct something brand new. He could have written all the songs or created all the art for us to admire, but He did not. He left so many things unfinished — by design, I believe! I think it is His way of allowing us the joy of participating in the creation of our world. What an honor!
I'd like to thank the talented and generous artists of the Creative Wire Jewelry forum, who gladly shared their wisdom and experience when I was first learning, and all the great teachers and tutorial writers who have taught me so much. Thanks also to Denise, who took me to my very first bead show and made the gorgeous crystal and pearl bracelet that started it all!
In the early 1800s, “limelight” was the first theatrical lighting that was bright enough to use as a spotlight. It was discovered that when calcium oxide, or “lime,” was heated to incandescence, it produced a brilliant white light. Also called Drummond’s light, after Thomas Drummond who popularized it, the limelight was commonly used to illuminate starring actors in stage productions, giving rise to the phrase “in the limelight,” which means “the center of attention.”
The use of this term for the Limelight Designs name not only gives a nod to my theatrical background, but also illustrates my hope that wearing my jewelry will help keep you and your singular style in the spotlight wherever you go!