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From Cirque du Soleil to Sculpting Silver: The Journey of Ellef | London Accessory Week

How and when did you start your brand?

When I left Cirque du Soleil in 2018, I asked myself, "What did I leave behind and never had the chance to pursue?" And there it was, clear in my head, the art of making jewellery. So, I went to study at the Montreal jewellery school and absolutely fell in love with metalsmithing. Then the pandemic hit us all... So instead of waiting to go back to school, I decided to invest in creating my workshop at home. And then orders started to come in without forcing anything, so I decided to create my brand, Ellef. My pandemic experience was positive as I created my happy place at home.

What are your sources of inspiration?

My inspirations can be sparked by taking on a technical challenge, such as creating a portable miniature sculpture or using the Mokume Gane style to fuse metals, or by a momentary inspiration, such as the shape of a stone, a folded scrap of silver, or a flower petal that evokes the feeling of spring.

Image: Ellef product

How would you describe your design/product concept?

You can recognize my style by its "handmade look’’ that I like to highlight by its curves, its textures, and the rich emotion that a handmade piece emits.

Why do you do what you do?

Cirque du Soleil gave me the opportunity to spread my wings as an artist, and it was important for me to continue on a creative life journey. Now, at 45 years old and a mom of a nine-year-old daughter, I am continuing to pursue my passion for jewelry-making.

Image: Ellef founder

Who is the target audience for your products?

We create bespoke wedding rings and jewellery pieces to celebrate special moments, all handmade with care.

How do you feel about participating in London Accessory Week?

Honoured for the opportunity!

I wish I could be present!

Image: Ellef product

Tell us a little about your brand. Who are you, what products do you offer?

The name Ellef is a combination of the end of my first name, Marie-MichELLE, and the first letter of my surname, Faber. At the age of 18, I left Quebec City to join Cirque du Soleil as an acrobat and singer. I lived a nomadic life, changing cities or countries every 6 to 8 weeks until the age of 40. This gave me a feeling of being a citizen of the world rather than just a Canadian citizen. My creations range from wearable works of art, sculpted in silver clay or made using traditional metalsmith techniques. I do not use 3D technology; I am involved in every stage of creating my jewels, from drawing to melting my metals, sawing, welding, sculpting, setting stones, and finishing them.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not busy with your brand?

I am a jewellery teacher at an amazing place called L'Atelier d'Artisanat in Montreal. And this gorgeous place is dedicated in offering the opportunity to people who decided to step forward in taking care of their mental health (anxiety, depression, domestic violence, etc) and use art as a form of therapy. For me, this translates into meeting with my gorgeous raw diamonds.


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