Tag Archives: new orleans

Feed Your Creative Side: Zipper Jewelry

23 Apr

As we’ve mentioned before, Communal Table is a place where we want to share the things we love, the things that inspire us, and the wonderful things that we come across, be it food-related or beyond.

One of my very first posts on this blog was about my obsession with handmade things, jewelry in particular, where I mentioned the zipper necklaces that I had fallen in love with from a shop on Etsy. Since then, I see that almost every day we get traffic to the blog from people searching for ‘zipper jewelry’. It’s great to know that there are people out there who are as excited as I am about interesting, arty pieces.

And because my obsession with these particular zipper pieces and the lovely artist behind them has grown so strong, I thought I would take this opportunity to properly introduce you to the woman behind the art.

Marigold Pascual’s zipper jewelry speaks to me. Each piece flows so beautifully and is crafted so well. I now have a good personal collection of her statement pieces and every time I wear one, without fail, I get stopped on the street, in coffee shops, at work – everyone wants to know what it is, where it came from and if they can touch it.

Canals of Venice Zipper Necklace

Well, Marigold has generously offered a special 15% discount to our readers, so we can spread the love to others who want to ‘wear your art’. You can visit both of her Etsy shops and use the discount code COMMUNALTABLE by clicking on ‘apply shop coupon code’ on checkout. The discount is for 15% off the entire purchase (not including shipping) for both of her shops.

Through getting to know her art and communicating with her through Etsy, I feel that I’ve gotten to know Marigold as well, and she’s one awesome and talented lady. Read on to find out for yourself…

Name: Marigold Pascual
Company Name: Love, Marigold
Location: New Orleans
Etsy Shops:
www.Dreamer76.etsy.com – zipper pieces & other accessories 
www.LoveMarigold.etsy.com – hair accessories & headdresses 

Has living in New Orleans influenced your work?
New Orleans has definitely influenced my work – in my shop I have hand-painted purses with images of the marshland, and palmetto bugs, and also have bracelets that I’ve made out of my photography of Mardi Gras Indians.  It’s my love for New Orleans, and the beauty of this city and its people that puts these particular images in my work.  Some of my zipper pieces remind me of specific memories, and of the various experiences I’ve been lucky to have.

There are many great things about being an artist in New Orleans; it has such a thriving artist community – be it music, theatre, performance, literary or traditional and non-traditional art. This is a community that nurtures its artists, and I think that is part of the reason that we have so much creativity here. The wonderful thing about living in New Orleans is that there are a lot of people who “get” it, and the work I do. It’s satisfying when someone buys a piece that I make, because that person is saying that they appreciate your work so much that they cannot be without it. What better compliment is there?

Why zippers? What attracted you to working with them?
Years ago I saw something made out of zippers – I think they were zipper flowers or something – that someone had made, and I thought it was really cool.  People have been doing innovative things with fabrics and ribbons for hundreds of years, and this was just another twist on the notion.  I remember thinking I might want to buy something like that, but then looked at the [expensive] price for this really small thing and thought, what?!  I can make that. And just like any form of free form sculpture, it becomes what you put into it.  I’ve never been able to make zipper rosettes, although I think I may have tried once, but I’m much more interested in the other shapes that zippers can take, and the winding roads it has taken me down.

Masquerade Zipper Necklace

How do you come up with all the fun, creative names for your pieces?
I used to be a writer.  And then when I started writing for a living, I no longer wanted to be a writer!  Which is why I still love to write when given the chance. As far as my zipper pieces, I just look at it and think about what it reminds me of, and what might be interesting to someone who looks at it to help them relate to the piece.

Evil Eye Protector Zipper Necklace
Splendors of the Sea Zipper Necklace

How do you get the zippers to flow so perfectly in each piece? 
I can’t say that my zipper pieces flow perfectly, nor do I try for perfection – if I did, I would probably be disappointed!  I just try to follow what I think the piece wants to do.  If I’m doing something that involves different sized circles and spirals, I start swirling and twirling several loops in different sizes, then lay them out in front of me.  Like a kid playing around with toys, I play around with the design to see how I want it all to play out.  When I get close to what I want, I assemble, then look at it to see if I think it needs something more.  If I’m doing swirls and ripples, I just start winding everything back and forth, and see where the piece takes me.

Where do you source your zippers from?
I get a good portion of them at a fabric and supply store here in New Orleans, because they always have interesting colors and close outs.  I sometimes buy lots on EBay and order from a zipper manufacturer in Philly.

English Rose Zipper Necklace

Is making zipper jewelry (and other accessories) your full-time gig?
Yes!  While I have been crafting and selling pieces for ten years now, in the last year or so, it has become my full time gig.  As much as I liked my day job, it had become really stressful.  And while there are many times that I miss the big paycheck, I am so much happier now.  I haven’t gotten to where I can really take my business to the next level, but I’m giving it a shot.  A good friend of mine got me a few resource books for Christmas on how to turn your craft into a business and the handmade marketplace.  I have a background in marketing and communications, so you would think it would be easier for me to take my own advice on what to do, but sometimes when you keep your own schedule, you can get lazy. I’m working on it though!

What keeps you going?
I have to make art, and I have to create things. It’s a Zen for me. I make art to relax, or when I’m feeling inspired, or when I simply want to feel productive.  I break out my supplies and create until the wee hours of the morning. I truly love what I do. I love taking raw materials and then turning it into something wonderful.

We love your catch phrase ‘Wear your art’ – is that how you see each piece, as a work of wearable art?
I do see each piece as a work of art.  We hang art on our walls, and place art on the shelves, put sculptures on pedestals, and that’s where many pieces stay. I don’t think that art should be limited to those constraints, and my goal is to create art for our bodies – so that each day we can partake in making ourselves artful, and each day we expose others to art.

Ripples in the Sand of Time Zipper Necklace

What do you say to people who love your pieces but don’t think they can pull them off?
I’ve had people come up to me and tell me that they love my work, but it’s not really for them. Then they try on a necklace, or they try on a headdress, and they somehow transform. I see them take on a different light – like they could become someone or something else if they wanted. I guess that is what I’m trying to communicate with my art – it’s okay to be proud, it’s okay to stand out, it’s okay to embrace wanting to be different. It’s okay to be exactly who you are, and it’s okay to want to be someone else every once it a while. Just feel good about it!

Bling Bling Zipper Necklace – a gift I bought for my hip grandma! She loves it.

Who are your customers? Who is attracted to your statement pieces?
My demographic is actually quite far reaching, which is fantastic. A variety of ages and occupations and personal styles. There are artists and other creative types who have purchased my items, as well as professionals.  I recently got an email from the Dean of a NY university, who received a zipper necklace as a gift from her daughter and adores it.  A visual artist wears one of my necklaces regularly. One of the shops in New Orleans who carries my zipper pieces says that she gets the most comments and purchases from the wealthy “ladies who lunch”!  My pieces look different on the different people who wear it, quite simply because they make it their own.

Egyptian Princess Zipper Necklace – my latest gift to myself.

What do you love most about having a shop on Etsy?
I like being able to reach a worldwide audience who appreciates the value of handmade goods.

What other creative outlets do you have?
Fashion, because I like putting together different outfits and costumes.  Cooking, because you get to eat the end result and explore different cultures without leaving your house!  Decorating, because I like to surround myself with beautiful and bright things that make me smile, make me feel warm, and make others feel welcome.

We couldn’t resist asking a few food-related Q’s – What’s your fave food or dish to cook at home?
Whenever I cook food, it’s usually some sort of Asian dish.  Being Filipina, I make Filipino food often as that’s my comfort food.  My partner has no natural instinct for ethnic cooking, so he makes a lot of New Orleans seafood dishes, and other things he has grown up with.  It’s a nice balance of East meets West at my house.

Fave New Orleans restaurants?
New Orleans has so many amazing places to eat!  My tops are Boucherie, Brigtsen’s & Jacque Imo’s.

Fave indulgence?
Chocolate anything.  And shoes.

Anything else you want to share?
I started crafting a little over ten years ago, and started making fabric purses.  I started playing around with it – seeing what worked and what didn’t – and really liked the therapeutic and creative outlet that crafting gave to me.  Making things, making art, is a release for me. Even though right now I’m making zipper necklaces and cuffs, I may move on to something else at any time…that’s the beauty of creation.  The same with my hair accessories – I went from making a quick barrette, to headbands, to full blown headdresses.  Once I start creating something, it seems I just can’t stop.  People sometimes tell me that they can’t imagine making things because they aren’t creative, or crafty.  I think that you should just try doing something – you’ll be surprised at what comes out of you.  I often am!

Maroon Marauder Zipper Necklace
Domino Zipper Cuff
Sound Wave Zipper Necklace
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