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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.

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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

 

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 Wolf Hand-Painted Enamel Miniature, Sterling Silver Locket, Howl at the Moon
Tiny Wolf Hand-Painted Enamel Miniature, Sterling Silver Locket, Howl at the Moon
kharaledonne
$100.00 USD
Tiny Oil-Painted Locket, Once in a Blue Moon, Universal Good Luck Necklace
Tiny Oil-Painted Locket, Once in a Blue Moon, Universal Good Luck Necklace
kharaledonne
$55.00 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
Tree House Locket, Tiny Oil Painting Secret Fairy Door Necklace, One of a Kind
Tree House Locket, Tiny Oil Painting Secret Fairy Door Necklace, One of a Kind
kharaledonne
$60.00 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
$120.00 USD
Blue Whale Necklace, Truly Painted by Hand, Original Silver Locket Miniature Art
Blue Whale Necklace, Truly Painted by Hand, Original Silver Locket Miniature Art
kharaledonne
$65.00 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
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
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
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 Jewelry, Tiny Library Locket, Hand-Painted Miniature Books
Personalized Jewelry, Tiny Library Locket, Hand-Painted Miniature Books
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
Tiny Owl Locket Necklace, Miniature Original Art, Spirit Animal Pendant
Tiny Owl Locket Necklace, Miniature Original Art, Spirit Animal Pendant
kharaledonne
$55.00 USD
Shark Locket, Enamel Painted Necklace, Tiny Miniature Deep Sea Artwork
Shark Locket, Enamel Painted Necklace, Tiny Miniature Deep Sea Artwork
kharaledonne
$57.00 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
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
Personalized Locket, Add Custom Mini Message, Secret Gift of Inspiration
Personalized Locket, Add Custom Mini Message, Secret Gift of Inspiration
kharaledonne
$57.00 USD
Tiny Oil-Painting in Sterling Silver Locket Necklace, Ghost Ship in Moonlight
Tiny Oil-Painting in Sterling Silver Locket Necklace, Ghost Ship in Moonlight
kharaledonne
$120.00 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
Narwhal Necklace, Teeny Tiny Truly Painted by Hand, Locket Miniature
Narwhal Necklace, Teeny Tiny Truly Painted by Hand, Locket Miniature
kharaledonne
$57.00 USD
Fly Me to the Moon, Tiny Oil Painting, Silver-Plated Ball Locket Necklace
Fly Me to the Moon, Tiny Oil Painting, Silver-Plated Ball 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 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
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

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