jewelry and ornament for people and places

Who I am:
Elise Matthesen. One of my nicknames is Lioness. So now you know.
"Elise Matthesen is my favourite jewellerymaker."
-- Neil Gaiman
What I make:

Please come examine photographs of a selection of past pieces. This photography is terrific. I can't say enough about David Dyer-Bennet's work. He takes pictures that look to me like the way I see the beads when I'm working with them. It's completely magical.

How to get some:
...and someday soon, you might be able to shop right here on the website.
Photos of the jewelry:
How else to get some:

Some folks have asked if I do custom work or commissions. The answer is almost never, but once in a while I take on a project that sounds interesting to me, so please go ahead and ask about whatever it is you've been pining for. (Most of what I turn down is stuff using techniques I'm not so good at, and I don't want to waste your money/favorite stone/heirloom string of pearls/whatever. I will try to give you a referral, though; I'm compiling a referral list of other jewelry-makers who do other techniques so I can point people towards places to get their wishes fulfilled. If you are a working jewelry-maker or jewelry repair person, let me know if you'd be interested in getting on my referrals list, and we can talk photos and references and price ranges and stuff.)

When I do take on a project, I offer "right of first refusal." That means I make what the materials seem to want, and you get first look and first chance to buy it. You are not obligated to purchase it; if you decide not to, it goes into regular stock, and anybody who wants to buy it can. This means neither of us is stuck for a piece that doesn't turn out to suit you.

I'm also starting to keep customer wish lists (useful for birthdays, special events, et cetera). Send e-mail to me at with the words WISH LIST in the subject line, and I'll add yours. That way when someone asks me what pieces I think you'd like, I'll have something to say other than, "Um, I didn't see which piece they were looking at most, because there were twelve other people at the table just then; sorry!" And every now and then there's a good necklace conspiracy, which I'm usually pretty pleased to aid and abet, so don't hesitate to ask.

Beads of the Month Program:
A collection of beads and information that comes once a month to subscribers. Each month has a theme, and the beads for that month will express the theme. You'll get at least your money's worth of beads calculated at local-to-me retail bead store prices at the time of shipment. Please note: the Beads of the Month program has evolved to be more about education, learning about cool beads and different materials, and so forth, than about getting a pile of goodies for cheap. Interested? Check out the Grand Roster.
Upcoming shows:

Minicon 41: April 14-16, 2006
Minicon 41 will be held on Easter Weekend 2006 at the Sheraton Bloomington South (formerly the Radisson South).

Wiscon 30: May 26-29, 2006
The convention is now sold out of all 1000 memberships.

Artists' Challenge news:
I'm currently looking for updates from people working on Artists' Challenge pieces. (For those of you who don't know yet, the Artists' Challenge involves the trade of a titled piece of my work for a copy of something you, the artist, create in response to my piece, plus a donation to the bead fund, which lets me create more Artists' Challenge pieces. Ask me at a show to tell you more, if you're interested, or check with various writers and artists, including folks like John Calvin Rezmerski, who wrote a poem for the necklace "Looking for a Good One" and might be able to tell you more about the process.) I've currently got about fifteen pieces out there on Challenges, and I'll give gift certificates to anyone who sends me an update. And if you've written something inspired by a piece of mine that wasn't a Challenge piece, and you've sold your work, please do let me know, so we can celebrate! I'm really pleased to be able to incite more art this way; it's a wonderful ripple effect of encouragement.

A partial list of Challenge pieces

(My prices vary from not much to a whole bunch, and I do have a sliding fee scale based on income and how many people you're feeding; this is one of the benefits of being self-employed and able to make such choices. My deepest thanks go to some of my regular customers who have voluntarily paid over the retail price in order to encourage me to do this; you know who you are, and I think you're wonderful and radical and just utterly cool. Thank you!)

Currently on the Lioness Wish List:
More information on the game of Faro and some people to play it with, odd or fascinating salvaged beads, Lush goodies, Cora Kemperman clothing, and an ear trumpet.

Honor Your Inner Magpie!

Elise Matthesen