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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!

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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

 

I Love You Locket, One of a Kind Jewelry, Hand-Painted Enamel in Sterling Silver
I Love You Locket, One of a Kind Jewelry, Hand-Painted Enamel in Sterling Silver
kharaledonne
$125.00 USD
Orion Locket, Unique Hand-Painted Constellation in Sterling Silver Necklace, One Of A Kind Jewelry
Orion Locket, Unique Hand-Painted Constellation in Sterling Silver Necklace, One Of A Kind Jewelry
kharaledonne
$125.00 USD
I Heart New York, Tiny Art Print in Vintage Brass Pendant Frame, Mini Affordable Art for Tiny Space
I Heart New York, Tiny Art Print in Vintage Brass Pendant Frame, Mini Affordable Art for Tiny Space
kharaledonne
$12.00 USD
Crescent Moon Locket, Hand-Painted in Vintage Copper, One of a Kind Astronomy Necklace
Crescent Moon Locket, Hand-Painted in Vintage Copper, One of a Kind Astronomy Necklace
kharaledonne
$80.00 USD
Moon Phases Compass, Individually Painted by Hand in Oil Enamel, Made to Order Celestial Art Gift
Moon Phases Compass, Individually Painted by Hand in Oil Enamel, Made to Order Celestial Art Gift
kharaledonne
$150.00 USD
Blue Moon Necklace, Hand-Painted Steel and Glass Pendant, One of a Kind Tiny Art Locket
Blue Moon Necklace, Hand-Painted Steel and Glass Pendant, One of a Kind Tiny Art Locket
kharaledonne
$80.00 USD
Custom Constellation in Vintage Locket, Hand-Painted Moon Necklace, One of a Kind Gift
Custom Constellation in Vintage Locket, Hand-Painted Moon Necklace, One of a Kind Gift
kharaledonne
$80.00 USD
Custom Message in Vintage Locket, Hand-Painted in Enamel, One of a Kind Gift for Long Distance Family
Custom Message in Vintage Locket, Hand-Painted in Enamel, One of a Kind Gift for Long Distance Family
kharaledonne
$60.00 USD
Full Moon and New Moon Earrings, Celestial Hand-Painted Jewelry in Black and White
Full Moon and New Moon Earrings, Celestial Hand-Painted Jewelry in Black and White
kharaledonne
$42.00 USD
Lighthouse Sterling Silver Locket, One Of A Kind Jewelry, Hand-Painted Gift of Hope
Lighthouse Sterling Silver Locket, One Of A Kind Jewelry, Hand-Painted Gift of Hope
kharaledonne
$130.00 USD
Tiny Framed Art Set of 6, Mini Prints of Earth in Vintage Brass Frames, International Travel Art for a Small Space
Tiny Framed Art Set of 6, Mini Prints of Earth in Vintage Brass Frames, International Travel Art for a Small Space
kharaledonne
$48.00 USD
I Miss You Custom Location Locket, Hand-Painted in Sterling Silver, Long Distance Gift for Far Away Family
I Miss You Custom Location Locket, Hand-Painted in Sterling Silver, Long Distance Gift for Far Away Family
kharaledonne
$130.00 USD
Personalized Constellation, Tiny Oil Painting in Sterling Silver Locket, Custom Gift One of a Kind
Personalized Constellation, Tiny Oil Painting in Sterling Silver Locket, Custom Gift One of a Kind
kharaledonne
$125.00 USD
Sydney Australia Print, Tiny Framed Art in Vintage Brass, Mini Affordable Art for Small Spaces
Sydney Australia Print, Tiny Framed Art in Vintage Brass, Mini Affordable Art for Small Spaces
kharaledonne
$12.00 USD
Custom Grandkids Names Glass and Steel Pendant Locket.  Hand-Painted Necklace with Hidden Heart.
Custom Grandkids Names Glass and Steel Pendant Locket. Hand-Painted Necklace with Hidden Heart.
kharaledonne
$45.00 USD
Lighthouse Necklace, One of a Kind Tiny Painting in Steel and Glass Pendant, Gift of Hope
Lighthouse Necklace, One of a Kind Tiny Painting in Steel and Glass Pendant, Gift of Hope
kharaledonne
$100.00 USD
Custom Hand-Painted Constellation in Vintage Brass and Copper Locket, Crescent Moon Necklace, One of a Kind
Custom Hand-Painted Constellation in Vintage Brass and Copper Locket, Crescent Moon Necklace, One of a Kind
kharaledonne
$80.00 USD
Animal Illustrations Booklet, Funny Charming Gift, Mini Story for Adventurous Traveler
Animal Illustrations Booklet, Funny Charming Gift, Mini Story for Adventurous Traveler
kharaledonne
$20.00 USD

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