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Elaine Unzicker

World’s First Women’s Empowerment Couturière

Elaine at work

Elaine at work in her studio

I Can’t do What?

What happens when you tell an artist that something is impossible.

As a grad student, Elaine designed a complex headpiece that she first modeled in paper, later to be executed in metal. She worked feverishly and, when she was finished, what she saw in front of her frightened her so much she hid it away in a closet. When she got the courage to pull it out and show her professor he loved it. And that encapsulates Elaine’s process. Her designs come through her and she is often surprised at what is in front of her when she is finished. A visiting professor saw what she was working on and, seeing the complexity of the solder joints, told Elaine that it would never work.

The creative process is essential to Elaine’s being. Early in her career, frustrated by the difficulty of supporting herself through her artwork, she took a year off from creating her art. She was miserable. There was no way around it, she was destined to be an artist. Once she accepted that fact her business began growing. When she moved to Ojai, California in May of 2001, her work began to blossom. Surrounded by open space and mountains her work also began to take on new dimensions, moving from the intricacy of jewelry to larger, more expressive pieces. Her love of sculpture began to show up in her creations.

That piece that the visiting professor said would never work? It now stands in a place of honor in our living room, a testament to the courage of an artist who follows her passion.


Elaine's Sculpture

Elaine next to her sculpture

Interviews with Elaine

The Art of Metal

Ojai Studio Artist Interview

2007 Interview