Ancient of Days Collection
Exquisitely crafted from my personal collection of one-of-a-kind antique jewelry dies over a century old. These forgotten beauties are intricately carved by master engravers in Northern India in the 1800’s and early 1900's. I have decided to bring these beautiful designs back to life to share with you. These treasures are created in gold bronze and white copper to look like they have just been excavated. Each piece is signed, dated and comes with a certificate of authenticity. Thank you for visiting my shop. ~Mary Elizabeth Long
Mary Elizabeth Long
Meet Mary Elizabeth
For over 30 years, I was a makeup artist to the stars. I specialized in makeup, hair and wardrobe styling for some of the top photographers in Nashville. I later became a fashion and music photographer, just a natural progression and also one of my many childhood dreams.
In 2014, my precious father who suffered from dementia came to live with us. I quickly realized that he needed 24/7 supervision, so I gave up my photography career to spend quality time with my dad, but I still needed a creative outlet. I picked up some aluminum wire and started creating! I had made jewelry on and off though my life but this time I was obsessed! I would create all kinds of jewelry, incorporating leather, crystals, beads and stones. I seriously wouldn’t stop until my hands were physically worn out.
In 2018, I started collecting antique, brass jewelry dies and wood blocks from India, some dating back to the 1800’s. I was introduced to a fairly new medium called, Metal Clay. It was the perfect combination to create some very unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. I am now making my own metal clay that I use to re-create the traditional, Indian designs. There are many steps in the process and each is interesting. Once the clay pieces are dry, sanded and burnished, they are fired in a kiln at a very high temperature which burns off the binder and leaves you with a solid piece of metal. It is tumbled, burnished, polished and torch fired before patina. I don't want my pieces that I create to look new. They need to look old, like they have been around for a hundred years. I always want to honor the memory of the artists who hand engraved these designs all those years ago.
I mainly work with bronze and white copper...some silver. It’s really gratifying for me to bring these old works of art to life.
I think my attention to detail and having been a makeup artist has made me a better jeweler. I am somewhat of a perfectionist but I’m learning that it is the imperfections that make things much more interesting and unique.
My creativity comes in waves, that’s why I have to strike when the iron is hot...that’s also why I don’t do custom orders.