Artwork by Ellen Lehrer Orlando
of ELO Designs
All my re-inspired art work is made from vintage materials, found objects, re-invented, and re-purposed from something that inspired me in my travels and daily life. In his later years, my father began creating and is now a prolific metal sculpture artist, who also uses found objects to make huge creations. Two of his uncles were oil painters and sculptors. So, art is imbedded in my roots.
I studied art and art history in junior college. I’ve taken a few random jewelry and paper arts classes over the years. But I am mostly a self-taught artist. I see something that inspires me and I’m determined to figure out how it was made. I will spend countless hours creating until I am satisfied with the finished product—even though some of the time I’m not completely pleased with a creation.
The mosaics began after living through the 1994 earthquake in West Los Angeles. We were awakened at 5:15 a.m. to horrific rumbling causing every dish, glass, and ceramic item we owned crashed on the floor in our kitchen and dining area. Having my Grandmother’s treasured antique tea cup and saucer collection broken into bits, I decided that something had to be done with all the cup and dish pieces instead of just throwing them right in the trash. There began the ceramic mosaic art creations.
After a while, I thought……if I could do mosaics with ceramics, dishes, sea glass and other items, why couldn’t I create two-dimensional mosaics with paper? So I searched for suitable papers and that began the paper mosaics.
Additionally, I do paper arts including collage, assemblage, decorated cigar box purses and keepsake boxes, along with altered Altoid tins, Scotch and Morton salt boxes, saying hangings, collage plates, and shrines; beaded jewelry and various creations using repurposed, found object jewelry, using combinations of chains, lost earrings and pieces of vintage jewelry; “Adorings” which are beaded and decorated good luck charms for your door handles, knobs and hooks; vintage jewelry picture frames; wall and table art with differing combinations of metal pieces, etc. etc.
I use sea glass, drift wood and other treasures found on my many beach walks in some of my artwork. I never know where the next art supply will come from. Almost anything can be used to create something.
I have a home studio and a very functional work space that has allowed me to be very prolific in my diverse and various type projects. My sweet kitty Darla sits in her happy place on the basket nearby, supervises and keeps me company while I create. I’m sure that has contributed greatly to my creative flow more than anything over the last several years.
Who knows what will be the next creation?