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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

 

Aries Constellation Locket, Hand-Painted in Oil Enamel, Secret Zodiac Stars, April Birthday
Aries Constellation Locket, Hand-Painted in Oil Enamel, Secret Zodiac Stars, April Birthday
kharaledonne
$55.00 USD
The Lightkeeper's House, Mini Oil Painting Inside Gunmetal Black Ball Locket, Original Art Jewelry
The Lightkeeper's House, Mini Oil Painting Inside Gunmetal Black Ball Locket, Original Art Jewelry
kharaledonne
$65.00 USD
Miniature Oil-Painting Trees Locket, Spring and Autumn Seasons, Gift for Graduation
Miniature Oil-Painting Trees Locket, Spring and Autumn Seasons, Gift for Graduation
kharaledonne
$60.00 USD
You are My Favorite - Tiny Original Painting In Locket Necklace
You are My Favorite - Tiny Original Painting In Locket Necklace
kharaledonne
$55.00 USD
Hand-Painted Oil Enamel Octopus Locket, Orange Kraken, Tiny Spirit Animal
Hand-Painted Oil Enamel Octopus Locket, Orange Kraken, Tiny Spirit Animal
kharaledonne
$58.00 USD
Personalized Constellation, Tiny Oil Painting in Sterling Silver Locket
Personalized Constellation, Tiny Oil Painting in Sterling Silver Locket
kharaledonne
$115.00 USD
Tiny Painted Locket, Joy to the World Brass Ball Necklace, Uplifting Gift, Sale
Tiny Painted Locket, Joy to the World Brass Ball Necklace, Uplifting Gift, Sale
kharaledonne
$45.00 USD
Tiny Owl Locket Necklace, Miniature Original Art, Spirit Animal Pendant
Tiny Owl Locket Necklace, Miniature Original Art, Spirit Animal Pendant
kharaledonne
$55.00 USD
Tiny Moon Oil Painting, Sterling Silver Locket, Miniature Art Jewelry, Truly One of a Kind
Tiny Moon Oil Painting, Sterling Silver Locket, Miniature Art Jewelry, Truly One of a Kind
kharaledonne
$100.00 USD
Tiny Locket Art, Oil-Painted Colorful Books, Hand-Painted Miniature
Tiny Locket Art, Oil-Painted Colorful Books, Hand-Painted Miniature
kharaledonne
$60.00 USD
Rainy Day Umbrella Locket, Hand-Painted in Oil Enamel, Tiny Bit of Sympathy Gift
Rainy Day Umbrella Locket, Hand-Painted in Oil Enamel, Tiny Bit of Sympathy Gift
kharaledonne
$55.00 USD
Lighthouse Locket Miniature Oil Painting, Tiny Adventure Ocean Necklace, Hand-Painted Jewelry
Lighthouse Locket Miniature Oil Painting, Tiny Adventure Ocean Necklace, Hand-Painted Jewelry
kharaledonne
$62.00 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
$57.00 USD
Solar System Necklace, Oil Enamel Painted Locket Miniature, One of a Kind Tiny Art
Solar System Necklace, Oil Enamel Painted Locket Miniature, One of a Kind Tiny Art
kharaledonne
$70.00 USD
Custom Constellation Necklace, Made-To-Order Locket
Custom Constellation Necklace, Made-To-Order Locket
kharaledonne
$55.00 USD
Miniature Oil-Painting Magic Woodland Locket, Mystical Forest Escape
Miniature Oil-Painting Magic Woodland Locket, Mystical Forest Escape
kharaledonne
$60.00 USD
I Miss You Tiny Oil-Painted Locket, Red Balloon, Long Distance Relationship
I Miss You Tiny Oil-Painted Locket, Red Balloon, Long Distance Relationship
kharaledonne
$55.00 USD
Fly Me to the Moon, Tiny Oil Painting, Silver-Plated Locket Necklace
Fly Me to the Moon, Tiny Oil Painting, Silver-Plated Locket Necklace
kharaledonne
$60.00 USD
Mini Oil-Painting In a Locket, Campfire and Backpacking in the Great Outdoors
Mini Oil-Painting In a Locket, Campfire and Backpacking in the Great Outdoors
kharaledonne
$62.00 USD
Tiny Adventure Mini Locket Painting, Go Fly a Kite, Gift for Graduate or Dreamer
Tiny Adventure Mini Locket Painting, Go Fly a Kite, Gift for Graduate or Dreamer
kharaledonne
$57.00 USD
Hand-Painted Oil Enamel Ship Bracelet, Solid Brass Nautical Jewelry
Hand-Painted Oil Enamel Ship Bracelet, Solid Brass Nautical Jewelry
kharaledonne
$60.00 USD
Miniature Spring Bird Oil Painting Hidden in Ball Locket, Mama and Two Babies, Tiny Nature Art
Miniature Spring Bird Oil Painting Hidden in Ball Locket, Mama and Two Babies, Tiny Nature Art
kharaledonne
$58.00 USD
Mermaid Oil Painting in Sterling Silver-Plated Locket Ball, Unique Tiny Art
Mermaid Oil Painting in Sterling Silver-Plated Locket Ball, Unique Tiny Art
kharaledonne
$65.00 USD
Tiny Solar System Silver Locket, Oil Enamel Miniature Painted Necklace, Sterling Jewelry
Tiny Solar System Silver Locket, Oil Enamel Miniature Painted Necklace, Sterling Jewelry
kharaledonne
$130.00 USD
Tiny Oil Painting Inside Sterling Silver Locket, Miniature Art Jewelry Sailing Ship at Sea
Tiny Oil Painting Inside Sterling Silver Locket, Miniature Art Jewelry Sailing Ship at Sea
kharaledonne
$110.00 USD
Miniature Owls Oil-Painted Locket, Love Birds in Pink and Red, Brass Necklace
Miniature Owls Oil-Painted Locket, Love Birds in Pink and Red, Brass Necklace
kharaledonne
$57.00 USD
Tiny Library Locket, Hand-Painted Miniature Books - Personalization Available
Tiny Library Locket, Hand-Painted Miniature Books - Personalization Available
kharaledonne
$60.00 USD
Tiny Oil Painting in Sterling Silver Locket, Rocket to the Moon, Secret Adventure
Tiny Oil Painting in Sterling Silver Locket, Rocket to the Moon, Secret Adventure
kharaledonne
$120.00 USD

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