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ARTIST PROFILE: Elf ears & wizard stones: Visit the world of Kate Sears

January 19, 2018
By STEVE LESTER - Correspondent (news@lakeplacidnews.com) , Lake Placid News

WILMINGTON-When it comes to fantasy-based jewelry products, Kate Sears has staked out a beachhead on the market with a wide line of items that require a variety of approaches to make.

Most of her sales take place at anime and comic book conventions, Renaissance fairs and fairy festivals.

Working under the title of the Implied Line, her many creations include elf ear cuffs, silicon molds, humorous buttons, face molds made from polymer clay, and what she calls "crystal crowns," which are tiaras made of quartz crystals and synthetic glow-in-the-dark crystals. The elf ears, however, are her most popular item by far.

Article Photos

Kate Sears and some of her work
(Photo provided — Steve Lester)

"I went to school for industrial design at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh where I learned how to make things for the stage," she said. "A friend of mine worked in Renaissance fairs and got started selling latex elf ears. But some people are allergic to latex, so that's how we came up with a jewelry version."

Sears sells about a thousand pairs of these a year.

She also does electroforming, a process that involves metal plating where gemstones are attached to copper wiring. Sears makes her own gemstones using jewelry resin with a glow powder in a silicon mold to create a type of stone that "soaks up sunlight and glows in the dark" for her tiaras and necklaces that she says are popular with fans of Harry Potter. She calls these creations "wizard stones" and "fairy gems."

Sears also makes humorous tiny buttons that usually contain quotes from comic book characters such as "Maybe they got lost" and "We didn't come all this way just to get discovered." She said they're popular with avid comic book readers and serve as a source of comic relief from making all those elf ear cuffs and other items that can get monotonous when made in high volume.

There's more.

Sears also offers products made of stabilized wood, or softwood treated in such a way to make it look like a stone without losing the wooden qualities.

"I put the wood through a resin bath and a vacuum chamber to pull the colors into the grains of wood giving it more of a stone look that makes it easier to work with than an actual stone," she said. "It's another way I can make my own components instead of having to rely on someone else."

Sears moved to the Olympic Region from Pittsburgh eight years ago after her sister moved here first, had a set of twins and then strongly encouraged her to move north to be nearby. By this time, she had worked in the costume shop for Cirque du Soleil when it passed through town. She had also studied violin for eight years.

During the slow season for art sales, she does what she calls her "Muggle" job.

"Harry Potter people will definitely know what that means," she said.

For non-Harry Potter people, a Muggle is one who lacks any magical ability. For Sears, making works of art is a magical experience. When it's time for a Muggle job, she manages the cafe owned by Green Goddess Natural Foods at the Mount Van Hoevenberg ski facility.

In the meantime, her creative mind seems to have no boundaries when it comes to trying new things.

Mention the word "weaving" to her husband, Aaron Anderson, and he lets out a groan thinking about the massive amounts of yarn plus two looms once stored in their modest apartment, the former Lake Everest Diner Pizza, when she was in a phase of intense weaving.

Asked where she thinks she'll be in five years, Sears said she hopes to be doing artwork full time by then.

"That's always been my dream," she said. "I'm so close right now. I want to make jewelry my main focus."

After Anderson chuckled at the comment, she said, "He laughs because he knows how many different things I've been through over the years."

More of her works can be viewed online at www.etsy.com/shop/TheImpliedLine.

 
 

 

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