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Featured Shop: Khara Ledonne

Dec 11, 2015

by Khara Ledonne

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Hello! My name is Khara Ledonne, and I make miniature paintings. I live on a seesaw between woodsy upstate New York and electric New York City. Thankfully, my work is tiny, so I can pack it up and take it with me whenever whimsy strikes…which is often.

khara-ledonne-001

Ironically, my work used to be huge. I started painting murals at age 16 in Washington state, then transitioned into sign painting when I moved to NYC in 2005. During my mid-twenties, I discovered a few lockets at a metal shop and dabbled inside them, creating simple silhouettes of birds or trees using my enamel sign paint. With a lot of encouragement and a few sales from friends, I opened an Etsy shop in 2007. After a few years, my hand got steadier and my eyes got better (no kidding!), and I started to take the business seriously. Now I narrow in on the rings of Saturn and trim my brushes with X-Acto knives (I don’t use a magnifying glass; they make me very dizzy). Each piece takes me about a week to make, as I must allow time for the paint to dry between layers.

khara-ledonne-working
khara-ledonne-paint

I’ve always been drawn to tiny spaces and the prospect of adventure. Moving so often, I carve out a small colorful nest for myself, whether I’m in a tent in Vermont or on a caravan in Italy. A sketchbook accompanies me whenever I travel, and I find it helps me shake out creativity cramps. Living in NYC can be an urban struggle, which often inspires me to paint the places where I long to travel. Real life hollers constantly: emails pile up, the Internet is fickle, and sales drop when I least expect it. Through it all, I think of the lockets as tiny escape portals – an opportunity to check in on my secret spirit animal, or have a peek at the hidden sailing adventure hanging around my neck. Adults need daydreams too, I say!

khara-ledonne-above
khara-ledonne-process
khara-ledonne-solar-system

Etsy has given me the world. Not only do I have the platform to share my miniatures with the globe, but the opportunity for exchange has opened up. Incredible tales have come from people commissioning a painting to capture their own hopes or memories. Hearing about a painting going to a soon-to-be-adopted daughter’s birth mother in South Korea, or a rocket for a dad who just retired from NASA – these things make Etsy real and vital. I love chance encounters and serendipitous friendships. I started out making paintings, and in the end have loved collecting the stories that came with them.

khara-ledonne-rocket
khara-ledonne-ship-future
khara-ledonne-bottle-paintings

The future is all about interweaving my miniature paintings with stories. I’m currently working on a series of paintings on antique bottles that come from Dead Horse Bay, a 19th century landfill that’s eroded on the seashore, leaving behind beautiful debris. Each bottle will hold a secret scrolled message (ooo la la!). The idea stemmed from my goal to find a sailboat and travel as far as the seas will take me this spring. How’s that for small spaces and big adventures? I’m terrified and giddy from head to toe. My future is about sharing stories and making new ones, using this crazy thing called the Internet and this wild idea called Etsy to connect them all.

Follow Khara Ledonne on Facebook and Instagram; check out a video of her process on Vimeo.

All photographs by Marilyn Glinka and Khara Ledonne.

Shop Khara Ledonne’s Collection

 

Customized Long Distance Earth Pairing of Prints, 8x10 Matted Giclee Miniature Art
Customized Long Distance Earth Pairing of Prints, 8x10 Matted Giclee Miniature Art
kharaledonne
$32.00 USD
Solar System Miniature, 8x10 Matted Giclee Print, Tiny Art
Solar System Miniature, 8x10 Matted Giclee Print, Tiny Art
kharaledonne
$20.00 USD
Hobbit Treehouse Woodland Fairy Tale, 8x10 Matted Giclee Print, Tiny Art
Hobbit Treehouse Woodland Fairy Tale, 8x10 Matted Giclee Print, Tiny Art
kharaledonne
$20.00 USD
Lighthouse on a Twilight Turquoise Ocean, 8x10 Matted Giclee Print, Tiny Art
Lighthouse on a Twilight Turquoise Ocean, 8x10 Matted Giclee Print, Tiny Art
kharaledonne
$20.00 USD
Misty Full Moon Miniature, 8x10 Matted Giclee Print, Tiny Art
Misty Full Moon Miniature, 8x10 Matted Giclee Print, Tiny Art
kharaledonne
$20.00 USD
Capricorn Locket, Hand-Painted Constellation in Sterling Silver Necklace, January Birthday
Capricorn Locket, Hand-Painted Constellation in Sterling Silver Necklace, January Birthday
kharaledonne
$115.00 USD
Love You to the Moon, Tiny Painting in Sterling Silver Locket, Mini Outer Space
Love You to the Moon, Tiny Painting in Sterling Silver Locket, Mini Outer Space
kharaledonne
$120.00 USD
Love You to the Moon, Tiny Oil Painting in Brass Ball Locket, Gift for Your Favorite Person
Love You to the Moon, Tiny Oil Painting in Brass Ball Locket, Gift for Your Favorite Person
kharaledonne
$57.00 USD
Tiny Solar System Silver Locket, Oil Enamel Miniature Painted Necklace
Tiny Solar System Silver Locket, Oil Enamel Miniature Painted Necklace
kharaledonne
$115.00 USD
Aries Constellation Locket, Hand-Painted in Oil Enamel, Secret Zodiac Stars
Aries Constellation Locket, Hand-Painted in Oil Enamel, Secret Zodiac Stars
kharaledonne
$55.00 USD
Custom Zodiac Necklace, Personalized Constellation, Made-To-Order Hand-Painted Locket
Custom Zodiac Necklace, Personalized Constellation, Made-To-Order Hand-Painted Locket
kharaledonne
$55.00 USD
Custom State Silhouettes, Hand-Painted One of a Kind Locket for Long Distance Love
Custom State Silhouettes, Hand-Painted One of a Kind Locket for Long Distance Love
kharaledonne
$60.00 USD
Best Friends Lockets, MADE TO ORDER, Tiny Oil Paintings of Waxing and Waning Moons
Best Friends Lockets, MADE TO ORDER, Tiny Oil Paintings of Waxing and Waning Moons
kharaledonne
$90.00 USD
Tiny Sagittarius Oil-Painting, Made to Order Secret Locket Constellation Necklace
Tiny Sagittarius Oil-Painting, Made to Order Secret Locket Constellation Necklace
kharaledonne
$55.00 USD
Personalized Locket Painting, Sterling Silver, Long Distance Relationship Gift
Personalized Locket Painting, Sterling Silver, Long Distance Relationship Gift
kharaledonne
$130.00 USD
Tiny Oil-Painting, Miniature Brontosaurus Locket, I Love You Dinosaur Necklace
Tiny Oil-Painting, Miniature Brontosaurus Locket, I Love You Dinosaur Necklace
kharaledonne
$57.00 USD
Orion Mini Oil Painting Necklace, Constellation with Full Moon Locket Brass Ball
Orion Mini Oil Painting Necklace, Constellation with Full Moon Locket Brass Ball
kharaledonne
$55.00 USD
Love Birds Locket, Hand-painted in Oil Enamel, Valentines Jewelry, Tiny Art Necklace
Love Birds Locket, Hand-painted in Oil Enamel, Valentines Jewelry, Tiny Art Necklace
kharaledonne
$52.00 USD
Personalized Locket, Tiny Dolphins Hand-Painted Necklace in Enamel, Add Your Message
Personalized Locket, Tiny Dolphins Hand-Painted Necklace in Enamel, Add Your Message
kharaledonne
$55.00 USD
Mini Moon Locket, Tiny Oil Painting in Sterling Silver Necklace, Starry Night
Mini Moon Locket, Tiny Oil Painting in Sterling Silver Necklace, Starry Night
kharaledonne
$125.00 USD
Personalized Jewelry, Tiny Library Locket, Hand-Painted Miniature Books, Custom Gift
Personalized Jewelry, Tiny Library Locket, Hand-Painted Miniature Books, Custom Gift
kharaledonne
$60.00 USD
Sperm Whale Necklace, Truly Painted by Hand, Original Locket Miniature
Sperm Whale Necklace, Truly Painted by Hand, Original Locket Miniature
kharaledonne
$60.00 USD
Spiral Galaxy Tiny Oil Painting in Sterling Silver Locket, One of a Kind Miniature
Spiral Galaxy Tiny Oil Painting in Sterling Silver Locket, One of a Kind Miniature
kharaledonne
$120.00 USD
Tiny Oil Painting in Silver Locket, Fairy Hobbit Treehouse, Hand-Painted Original
Tiny Oil Painting in Silver Locket, Fairy Hobbit Treehouse, Hand-Painted Original
kharaledonne
$125.00 USD
Snow Camping Adventure, Hand-Painted in Oil Enamel, Meteor Shower Locket Necklace
Snow Camping Adventure, Hand-Painted in Oil Enamel, Meteor Shower Locket Necklace
kharaledonne
$60.00 USD
Personalized Constellation, Tiny Oil Painting in Sterling Silver Locket, Custom Gift
Personalized Constellation, Tiny Oil Painting in Sterling Silver Locket, Custom Gift
kharaledonne
$115.00 USD
Fly Me to the Moon Necklace, Oil-Painted Locket Miniature Made by Hand
Fly Me to the Moon Necklace, Oil-Painted Locket Miniature Made by Hand
kharaledonne
$57.00 USD
Yeti Locket, Hand-Painted Miniature, Abominable Snowman I Love You Necklace
Yeti Locket, Hand-Painted Miniature, Abominable Snowman I Love You Necklace
kharaledonne
$55.00 USD
White Wolf Locket, Miniature Oil Enamel Painting for the Wild at Heart
White Wolf Locket, Miniature Oil Enamel Painting for the Wild at Heart
kharaledonne
$60.00 USD
Tiny Original Painting In Locket Necklace, Colorful Balloons in a Blue Sky, Book Locket
Tiny Original Painting In Locket Necklace, Colorful Balloons in a Blue Sky, Book Locket
kharaledonne
$50.00 USD
Octopus Necklace, Hand-Painted Tiny Art, Mini Kraken Locket
Octopus Necklace, Hand-Painted Tiny Art, Mini Kraken Locket
kharaledonne
$57.00 USD

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