Ex Voto Vintage: Inspirations and Blessings
Ex Voto jewelry designer Elizabeth Adams grew up surrounded by art. Her family home was a revolving art gallery of her father’s paintings and her mother’s hand-woven textiles. She was taught to see the beauty of the Creator in all things and, on those lazy Southern summer afternoons, to “go do something creative.” Her inspirations, now and as a youngster, are often found in things from the past. The house in which Elizabeth was raised was built in the 1920’s and is but a few blocks from the Montgomery home of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Time spent in the antique shop owned by her best friend’s mother was where Elizabeth believes she developed her eye for antiques and the deep appreciation for that warm patina that comes only from time.
The architecture student, turned educator, turned jewelry designer continues to find vitality in creating. Creating beautiful paintings with watercolors, hand sewing for her children when they were young, always needing to keep her hands busy. After her youngest child died from a brain tumor, her hands needed busyness to bring solace. Elizabeth began layering paints and mixing different media, such as vintage jewelry and brass pieces, and this became her outlet. The collages brought focus, creating one from many. Changing the format became healing. This “pushing it around”, as her father would say, led to revelation; her collages looked more like jewelry. So, she sat down at her dining room table and began creating necklaces from vintage pendants, keys, medals and lockets. Lockets hold special meaning for Elizabeth. When she was born, her father’s mentor gave her a beautiful locket that contained a blessing, “May your life be as beautiful as you are”. Elizabeth knows that life is not always easy, but it can be beautiful.
And so Ex Voto, which means offering of gratitude, was born. As Elizabeth’s friends, and a few strangers, complimented her on these unique pieces she was creating, she began making necklaces to sell. The dining room no longer could contain her growing business as all pieces are handmade, and so she opened her studio and showroom in 2011.
Each Ex Voto piece is hand made in the USA and a portion of each sale is given to The Cure Starts Now Foundation for pediatric brain cancer research. A small brass charm inscribed with one of four blessings comes inside the lockets in the Ex Voto limited edition collection. The Couture to Cure collection is a special collection made from pieces chosen by Elizabeth out of her private collection; all proceeds from the sale of these pieces go to The Cure Starts Now.
A word from Elizabeth….
“Women find something familiar and personal in Ex Voto. Mothers and their
daughters can both wear the collections. Ex Voto is based on classical design, yet it is in no
way predictable. It is vintage patina expressed in a way that is current and
fresh. Each piece of Ex Voto is as individual as the woman who wears it, and when
she sees the one for her, she is smitten. She feels as if she has found a treasure.
Today I live and have my studio in Montgomery, and while I am inspired each time
I travel, I believe my roots in the South give my work a sense of grace, and
classic timelessness that is attractive to women all over the country.”
All the best-
Ex Voto Vintage