Today we’d like to introduce you to Jen Edmondson and Matt Edmondson.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
As a young girl I was always drawn (pardon the pun) to the person in the classroom who could draw exceptionally well. I would ask her to draw things and while she drew them in front of me, I would study her technique and wish I had her skills. Once in college, I majored in a “sensible” major, but was always seeking a creative outlet. I tried beading and hand painted t-shirts but nothing ever lasted long. Matt has been an artistic talent since early on. While we didn’t know each other as children, I have seen Matt’s notebooks and creations from that time and it is apparent that he has mad intrinsic artistic skill from the get go. He is always creating whether its doodling, folding a gum wrapper into a flower or creating a culinary masterpiece.
Matt and I met at Cornell College in the mid-80s where Matt majored in Computer Science with a minor in art. I majored in Psychology at Cornell and then received a degree in Advertising from Bradley University. While we knew one another in college, we did not start dating in college; we dated several years after college and immediately fell head over heels with one another. Eventually we got married and had two awesome kids. During their childhood, Matt worked full time and I started an antiques business in my spare time. But we still both longed for a more personally fulfilling creative outlet.
Even though we both longed for a more creative outlet, we were busy raising two very active kids, which turns out, isn’t cheap! So Laughing Frog Studio was started as a way to quench our creative thirst while making some extra cash to finance our kids dreams and activities. As it happened, one day, I decided to take a pair of spoons from my antiques business and make a pair of earrings. I listed them in my online antiques shop where they sold very quickly so I knew that we were on to something. Since Matt has real intrinsic ingenuity and artistry, I had him try making a few silverware creations. BOOM! The rest is history.
Please tell us about your art.
We take vintage silverware and upcycle it into something new. Most people have at least one set of vintage silverware in their home. I am willing to bet most people don’t use that silverware and it languishes somewhere in a dark drawer or box. We take those silverware pieces, that are often times works of art in their own right and create something new which people are more apt to use on a regular basis – jewelry, accessories and housewares.
The two of us hand makes everything ourselves; so each piece is unique, high quality and made with compassion. We do not mass produce or subcontract out any part of our process. We work primarily with silver-plate, but sometimes with sterling and other metals.
At Laughing Frog Studio, we believe;
…that everything has value – just because something is old and is currently no longer being used, it doesn’t mean it has no value.
…that imaginative upcycling is the best way to extend the value and life of beautiful objects, to limit additions to landfills, and to spread creativity, ingenuity and smiles.
…that great design and art can make people happy.
…that good vibes make the world a better place; give good vibes, get good vibes.
…that love is the backbone of happiness.
What do you think about conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
Oh shoot, when I first looked at the link the question was “We often hear from artists that being an artist can be lonely. Any advice for those looking to connect with other artists?
So I answered that question as follows:
This is an interesting comment. For me personally, I prefer solitude, but Matt prefers being around people. People are always befuddled when we do a show because I am a “chatty Cathy” and Matt is quite quiet.
But more to the point of the question, I think there are two really great ways to “stay connected” while pursuing your art. The first is to do shows/showings where you can really interact with your customer or admirers. By being “in the wild” with them you can learn so much about your customer, your art and yourself. Additionally, I find it inspiring to talk with people because it always reminds me of the fact that we are all human and all trying to do the best we can. The second way to connect is to make a point to connect with other artists….it can be as simple as just getting coffee and talking about life, your art, the “business” of your art etc. You may need to reach out to someone to get this going, but remember, they too are probably looking to connect with other artists; if you’re longing to connect with like-minded artists, they probably are longing to do the same.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can find us, see our work and support us in several places online.
If you want to support us, of course purchasing our handmade creations is wonderful. But you can support us in other ways as well!! Tell your friends about us and our unique creations, follow us on social media and share/comment/interact with us there! If you have purchased our creations, let us know how you like it by leaving us a review and or posting on social media and tagging us!
You can also find us at several shows throughout the year. So far this year we will be doing Nellie’s Barn Sale in Roscoe, IL. In the past we have also done 3 French Hens Holiday Market at Grundy County Fairgrounds as well as The Wilder Mansion Holiday Market, among others. Check our online presence for more details.
Finally, we have our creations at the following shops: Foursided – Chicago, IL, Mabel’s Market – Lemont, IL, From Shabby to Fabby – Winfield, IL, The Little Traveler – Geneva, IL, Crafter QC – Quad Cities, IA, and Northern Chicks – Milan, MI.
- Website: www.laughingfrogstudio.com
- Phone: 7083235514
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/laughing_frog_studio
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/laughingfrogstudio/
- Other: www.pinterest.com/LaughingFrogSt
Jen edmondson, darby edmondson