Madeleine, jewelry maker at betsy & iya



 Name:  Madeleine

Title:  Maker

Hometown:  Chicago, IL / Dallas, TX

Zodiac Sign: Virgo-Libra cusp, baby!

I learned to make jewelry here: High school jewelry class but more formally at Oregon College of Art and Craft.

Before I was a Maker at b&i I was: A Maker elsewhere and a very recent graduate of Oregon College of Art and Craft in Metals and Fibers.

Madeleine handcrafting earrings at betsy & iya
betsy & iya Black Root Earrings
Madeleine working on oxidizing Black Root earrings.

Describe your path to becoming a maker in an ice cream flavor & why: Rose City Riot by Salt and Straw. It’s an ode to the history of ice cream making while being a contemporary flavor. My path began with education in historical and traditional craft techniques. Built upon that base knowledge, contemporary making, and design practices were included, and I now have a deep love of “play” and always try to think and appreciate thinking outside of the box.

Being a maker has taught me: Patience and resilience and stamina. Being a part of the team reinforces healthy collaboration and communication in pursuit of making beautiful pieces that, in turn, make others happy.

My favorite piece of jewelry to make is and why: I’m currently enjoying making Black Root Earrings. The way we oxidize (blacken) the metal on this piece is very satisfying.

What are some of your favorite tools to work with: In our studio, I love our arc welder. I’d never used one before working here. It’s pretty amazing what you can do with that small but mighty machine.

Items of jewelry you most often make: Kanawhas and any and all of our pieces that include rope.

Maker Madeleine working on Humboldt Moon Necklace at the betsy & iya jewelry studio
betsy and iya Humboldt Moon Necklace
Madeleine assembling by hand Humboldt Moon Necklaces.

Best thing about my job: Here, as a Maker, you aren’t only using your hands. You’re expected to constantly problem solve, find better ways to make our jewelry and home products, and do so independently or with the collaboration of the team if necessary. And if you’re interested in learning a method that will benefit production, you’re encouraged to go for it. It’s quite dreamy if you ask me.

Favorite b&i Piece to Wear: The Mini Lies and Lies. I love their simplicity while being a statement piece.

Do you listen to music while you make? If so, what are some of your fave jams? Yes (, but also podcasts). A Seat at the Table by Solange is my current fave, which is kind of entertaining as Jay-Z is on my forever playlist. However, Don’t Touch My Hair will also probably be on my forever playlist.

When I’m not working, I’m probably doing this: Weaving, making sculpture and more jewelry, drawing, tending to my house plant babies, hiking, yoga… All of the things.

What's your favorite thing to do, or place to visit, in the Portland area? Tom McCall Nature Preserve out in the Gorge. Does that count as “the Portland area”? It’s only about an hour and some away. There are wildflowers, coyotes, deer, and gorgeous views!

 Madeleine also frequently models clothing and jewelry for our website, emails, and social media! Thanks, Madeleine!
betsy & iya clothing and jewelry model
Modeling the betsy & iya Rakkaus Necklace and top by Eve Gravel.
Madeleine at betsy & iya, Portland, Oregon, USA
Modeling a dress from Make it Good and Demimonde Asymmetrical Turquoise Earrings.

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