Elaine was one of two artists interviewed on Saturday evening at Focus on the Masters. I’ll let Mary Galbraith’s (the interviewer) email recap do the talking:

A Conversation with Jo Ellen Lee & Elaine Unzicker:


L to R: Unzicker, Lee, Galbraith

Saturday, February 6, Focus on the Masters presented Baubles, Bangles and Bright, Shiny Beads, a discussion of the work and artistic development of two very talented women artists, Jo Ellen Lee and Elaine Unzicker.

Each woman has found creative expression in entirely different mediums. Each has taken different paths. Each has found success because of very similar traits: a strong work ethic, attention to detail, and discipline. Each has found her creative voice and each is always looking to the future, asking the simple question: What if?

Elaine Unzicker Vest

Elaine Unzicker‘s material of choice is chain mail. She majored in art and earned a bachelor

 of science and two master’s. She prepared for a career in jewelry and, at the urging of a professor, took a look at chain mail. After initially creating jewelry that combined a stereotypically male material – chain mail – with a feminine sense of proportion and delicacy, she morphed into apparel. What if a dress, a camisole, a vest were made of chain mail? Would it be comfortable? Decidedly, YES! And, more to the point for a woman who was determined to make a living being an artist, would others like it? Buy it? Again, a resounding yes. Elaine is an artist who participates in very high end craft fairs around the country and has recently been signed by the Philadelphia Museum of Art to have her work for sale in their gift shops. That museum, incidentally, has one of the world’s finest collections of armor, A natural fit, I’d say.

Jo Ellen Lee prepared for a career in the sciences, earning a BS, MS and Ph.D. and, until 2007, worked in laboratories in New Mexico and Southern California. She discovered beading in the 90s, first as a hobby and very soon as an expression of creative spirit. Much of her work is inspired by nature. A self-described “magpie,” her walks on the beach led her to create works that reflected the beauty of the shoreline and that contained shells and
Jo Ellen Lee An Homage to Friends

other found objects on the sand. Her work is notable for its brilliant use of color and exquisite craftsmanship. Although some of her jewelry and art pieces have their beginnings in deeply personal events, the universality of positive messages is evident. She is a much-in-demand teacher. Her scientific background reveals itself in her ability to create well-organized workshops and to tackle big projects by breaking them down into small increments, just as she did in the lab.

Thank you Mary for a wonderful interview. See the Focus on the Masters website to learn more about this fantastic organization and the work they do.

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