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Meet Emily Burton of Dutch Hollow General in Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Burton.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m a lifelong aficionado of the handcrafted process and silversmithing has been at the root of that. I’ve always been into heavy metal and the whole aesthetic that comes with that lifestyle. When I was just starting school I was drawn to the whole rock n’ roll, Trash and Vaudeville look, and I discovered a NY jewelry artist named Axel who made these one of a kind, crazy, giant claw rings with eyeballs. I wanted to know how these intricate pieces could be made from silver and that is how I discovered lost wax casting. I took some casting classes at a community center while studying Fashion Design at the University of Cincinnati, but put it on hold when I moved to Los Angeles. For years I was playing in my band Fireball Ministry and working full time at a creative advertising agency, so I didn’t feel I had the time to devote to my own jewelry line. About 8 years ago I did a summer metals intensive at Penland School of Craft in NC and that really rekindled my passion for silversmithing. In 2012 Dutch Hollow General was officially born and developed into a one-woman business in my metals studio downtown.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My biggest struggle has been finding a balance between the creative work that makes me happy and the stability of a steady income. I’ve had a career in creative advertising that I juggled with my musical and art projects for years. I grew tired of feeling spread too thin. Eventually I made a life change and left my full time job to go freelance and devote more time to metalsmithing and my craft. It was scary but I’m so thankful that I took the risk to move forward with my passions.

Dutch Hollow General – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I always say that Dutch Hollow General is “accoutrements for the extraordinary,” because my jewelry is slow fashion with an emphasis on the process; small scale art meant to push the boundaries of current trends. All Dutch Hollow General products are handmade by me in my downtown Los Angeles studio, and because I view metal as an art form of endurance, I strive to make quality products. I primarily use lost wax casting along with basic metal fabrication to make my designs a reality. I make large link hand forged chains and lost wax cast talismans of animal spirits, wings, horns, skulls, natural forms and raw gemstones. I often combine found objects, organic materials, 3D printing and traditional wax sculpting into my lost wax cast “miniature collage” creations. Casting allows me to make my own scalable production lines of my designs, although I still like to do custom pieces when approached.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
It sounds hokey but my proudest moment was when I finally got my webstore up and running. I built it myself and it was such an undertaking – from figuring out my brand and aesthetic, to creating my name and logo, to making my pieces and having small batches of them ready for purchase, to the photography, the pricing, the logistics of a web business, shipping, packaging, all of it. Once it was live, I felt bit like Dr. Frankenstein seeing his monster animated for the first time.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Tawney Wolfe Photography

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