eliza avery of iv&g 

eliza avery is owner and designer of iv&g jewelry. she is from charleston, south carolina and graduated from the art institute chicago with a fine arts degree. after spending eight months in italy taking jewelry design courses, eliza realized her true passion for designing jewelry and iv&g was born. her inspiration comes from films, stories, and women who catch her attention. instagram // @ivandgjewelry

local eclectic // where are you from originally and how did you started? eliza avery // i'm from charleston, sc but I got my start in jewelry in chicago while studying at school of the art institute of chicago. I shifted my focus from drawing and illustration to non-ferrous metalworking (with heavy emphasis on jewelry) in the second semester of my junior year. I had been making beaded jewelry for fun, and my boyfriend at the time, who was in sculpture, suggested I try metalsmithing. when I graduated, I moved back home and worked as a jeweler’s apprentice, mostly doing repairs. I then spent eight months at le arti orafe jewelry school and academy in florence, italy, where I took an intensive course that focused on both goldsmithing and jewelry design. at that point, I slowly started realizing that I wanted to focus on design more than making. it took me a while to accept this shift in priorities, but eventually I did—so I found my manufacturer, and iv&g was born.

LE // with a background in fine arts, how does this inform your jewelry making process? EA // I mostly worked in traditional drawing materials and watercolor. I wanted to be an illustrator. however, I department-hopped like it was my job—I took classes in fibers, sound, printmaking, writing…I’m probably forgetting some. I think having the opportunity to explore different mediums has allowed me to have a very open mindset when it comes to creating a collection, finding inspiration, or just general experimentation. I don’t feel that I have a way of going about designing that is set in stone.

LE // where do you look for inspiration? EA // I find that I’m very inspired by women who have caught my attention in some way—usually because they are innovative, or project power. these women could be someone I know, a historic figure, a fictional character. etc. they will sort of become a muse for the collection. I also tend to think very narratively and am inspired by narrative/stories in general, so I get inspired by film and animation a lot. I might take a certain fictional universe, and think “what would they be wearing?”, or just take inspiration from the general aesthetic. keeping a hand in multiple disciplines also helps with inspiration and preventing burn-out—seemingly disparate work and inspirations end up feeding into each other. 

LE // who are some other independent designers that you follow? EA // i’m madly in love with DYLANLEX, by drew ginsburg. her designs are so cool it hurts—a good example of maximalism done right.

LE // when you're not in your studio making work, how do you like to spend your time? EA // I took up hip hop dancing earlier this year, and I’m a little obsessed, so I’m working on that a lot. i’ve also been pretty focused on getting my drawing chops back up to speed (I dropped it entirely for a couple of years), and dabbling in writing. full disclosure: I watch more cartoons than a 10 year old. bob’s burgers is my current favorite. 

LE // what does your perfect saturday look like? EA // hmm. well, I work most saturdays, to be honest, and then just go out for dinner or drinks with friends, or relax by myself. but, if things were different, I guess my ideal saturday would look like any other girl’s: I wake up late, have a nice breakfast, and drive to the airport, where I am of course meeting tom hiddleston. we take a private jet to that island in the bahamas inhabited by cute pigs that like to swim in the ocean, and proceed to swim with them whilst sipping on margaritas. then, we eat a light supper and make out under the sunset. also, the private jet has no carbon footprint. obviously. 

LE // the last book you read and loved? EA // It might have to be a tie between murakami’s norwegian wood and the hunger games trilogy, because I loved them in very different ways. the hunger games I was just plain glued to until I finished the whole thing. it was a page-turner. norwegian wood took a while to grow on me, but then quietly got under my skin.