Elizabeth Frank Artworks
Tell us about your business.I began making works from recycled materials shortly after graduating from college. My first products were tin can jewelry pieces. I was working in the film industry and could take a small jewelry making kit with me when working on location. A friend offered to bring some of my samples to a gift show and there I received orders from shops in different cities around the western US. That first success gave me courage and helped me realize that I could make a living as an artist. Since then my works have evolved into sculpture and mixed media pieces. Each piece begins with fallen aspen or reclaimed wood that I carve and combine with found and vintage materials such as antique ceiling tin or vintage toy alphabet blocks. Each found object I choose tells a story and its my quest to unlock it's secrets. I've always been committed to creating work with sustainable or eco friendly materials. The wood I use is mainly downed aspen that I collect in the mountains of the Southwestern US.
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.I work in an old building in downtown Tucson, Arizona called the Labor Temple. It was built in the early 1900's. The building houses 5-6 other art and design studios and was originally a Hudson Car Dealership and Union Hall. My studio is on the top floor. I have a "secret room" on the roof that I use to dry my aspen branches and store many of my found materials. Every year I take part in a city wide studio tour. It's always fun to invite people from the community in to see my work space and the wonderful view of our downtown from my studio roof.
What inspires you?I'm inspired by my husband, wild places, animals, watching the sky, old hardware, all kinds of art, growing things, travel, flea markets and life!
What makes your business stand out?I use everyday materials in unusual ways inviting people to look a bit more closely at my artworks. I try to make things that are thoughtful and well made.
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?Find your own unique voice. That is what will make your business stand out. Be willing to work hard. Take risks and don't be afraid to fail. Give yourself the time to play and create.
What does American Made mean to you?When I think of American made I think first of my grandparents who came to this country from Europe with very little money or possessions. On both sides of my family my grandparents worked with their hands as craftsman. My mother's parents were tailors. My other grandfather made bicycles. My grandparents were bold, resilient and hard working. They used their talents with needle, thread and torch to invent new lives for themselves when they arrived here. Their story is the story of this country. For me the traits of boldness, creativity, and quality craftsmanship represent the essence of American Made.
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NOMINATIONS ENDAug. 31, 2015
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