Meet Jodi Zulueta aka Eldwenne!

Jodi Zulueta is a fandom jewelry maker based out Tennessee. She creates hand-made wire-wrapped jewelry based on characters from tv shows such as Supernatural, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, Stranger Things, and more.

 Fans at conventions across the country love going to her popular booth to see her lovely new pieces of jewelry. Jodi’s jewelry is also very popular with the actors whose characters she bases the jewelry off of. Her Etsy store eldwenne is also a fandom household name.

 Jodi is also the host of a weekly livestream show called “So Get This” where she interviews cast from Supernatural and The Walking Dead as well as fans of the shows and artists also inspired by these shows.

Editor’s Note:   You can find Jodi’s jewelry at her site at Eldwenne’s Fantasy  or at a con near you.)

   How did you come up with the beautiful & unique name Eldwenne?

ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO OR SO I HAD AN INCREDIBLY VIVID DREAM WHERE I WAS IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE PEOPLE IN THE DREAM WERE CALLING ME ‘ELDWENNE’ – IT DIDN’T EVEN SEEM OUT OF PLACE.  IT REALLY STRUCK A CHORD WITH ME AND I KNEW THEN THAT MY BUSINESS WOULD BE CALLED ELDWENNE’S FANTASY – ELDWENNE, ME, MY FANTASY – CREATING HANDMADE JEWELRY.  MY FANTASY HAS NOW BECOME A REALITY AND I’M BEYOND GRATEFUL.

 

 How long have you been a jewelry designer & how long does it take you to create a piece?

I’VE BEEN MAKING JEWELRY SINCE I WAS A LITTLE GIRL.  I’D GET JEWELRY AS GIFTS AND I’D TAKE IT APART AND PUT IT ALL BACK TOGETHER THE WAY I THOUGHT IT SHOULD LOOK.  AS I GOT OLDER I STARTED EXPERIMENTING WITH FOUND OBJECTS AND DEVELOPING MY OWN STYLE.  IN MY 20s I DISCOVERED WIRE AND I FELL IN LOVE. I’M 100% SELF-TAUGHT.  I FOUND THAT IF I FIGURED THINGS OUT ON MY OWN, THEN MY STYLE WOULD BE UNIQUELY MINE.

 

AS FAR AS HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CREATE A PIECE – IT REALLY DEPENDS ON THE PIECE.  THERE ARE SOME PIECES THAT INITIALLY WHEN I CREATED THE DESIGN TOOK ME A WHILE, BUT NOW AFTER MAKING THEM SO MANY TIMES I CAN DO IT FASTER, BUT THEN THERE ARE OTHERS THAT ARE SO INTRICATE THAT NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I’VE MADE THEM, THEY TAKE HOURS BECAUSE OF THE COMPLEXITY OF THE DESIGNS.

ADDITIONALLY, I PAINT A LOT OF THE GLASS I USE IN MY PIECES AND THAT PROCESS IN ITSELF TAKES TIME.

 

What inspired you to make fandom jewelry & how fast does the inspiration for a new piece come to you?

 

MY FIRST FANDOM PIECE WAS CASTIEL’S GRACE (MISHA COLLINS OWNS THIS, BTW).  I HAD BEEN GOING THROUGH AN INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT TIME. MY HUSBAND WAS DIAGNOSED WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER AND WAS HOSPITALIZED TWICE, WE HAD THREE YOUNG CHILDREN AND AN OLDER CHILD IN COLLEGE, I HAD JUST BEEN LAID OFF WORK (I WORKED IN THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY FOR OVER 20 YEARS, EVEN THOUGH I HAVE A DEGREE IN ART).

*Note about photos: (credit Jody Zulueta-all rights to these photos are Ms. Zulueta’s and can’t be used without permission.)*

 

 WHEN I WAS LAID OFF, I DECIDED TO TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF TIME OFF BEFORE LOOKING FOR ANOTHER JOB BECAUSE I WAS SO MENTALLY/PHYSICALLY DRAINED FROM EVERYTHING. I DISCOVERED NETFLIX.  WHICH LED TO ME FLIPPING THROUGH AND FINDING SOME WEIRD SHOW CALLED ‘SUPERNATURAL.’ I WATCHED THE PILOT.  IT WAS OK.  THEN I WATCHED THE NEXT EPISODE.  AND THE NEXT EPISODE.  I BINGE-WATCHED EVERY SEASON THAT WAS THERE AT THE TIME AND THE INSPIRATION JUST EXPLODED.  THE CHARACTERS ARE SO WELL-WRITTEN.  THERE’S AN EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT IN THE STORIES AND THE CHARACTERS.  I ALWAYS EXPRESSED MYSELF BEST THROUGH VISUAL ARTS, WHETHER IT WAS A PAINTING OR A JEWELRY DESIGN. 

 AS FAR AS HOW FAST DOES THE INSPIRATION COME – IT HAPPENS PRETTY QUICKLY.  IF I HEAR/SEE A LINE FROM A SHOW THAT RESONATES WITH ME, IT INSPIRES ME AND I NEED TO SET TO WORK ON IT IMMEDIATELY. THAT DOESN’T MEAN THE ACTUAL PIECE IS FINISHED THAT FAST – IT JUST MEANS THE COMPULSION TO WORK ON IT HITS ME FAST AND HARD, LOL.

I COULD BE DAYDREAMING ABOUT A SCENE AND IT WILL INSPIRE ME. 

THE TITLES OF MY PIECES ARE WHAT COME FIRST BECAUSE THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I WAS THINKING OF BEFORE I MADE THE PIECE.  FOR EXAMPLE, THE TENACITY OF DEAN WINCHESTER, MY FIRST DEAN WINCHESTER PIECE, WAS THE RESULT OF ME THINKING ABOUT HOW DEAN APPROACHES OBSTACLES WITH EVERYTHING HE’S GOT.  NO HALF-ASSING.  SO I THOUGHT HE WAS TENACIOUS, HENCE, THE TENACITY OF DEAN WINCHESTER. 

 FROM THERE, AFTER I HAVE THE TITLE, THE REST IS KIND OF A ZONE I FALL INTO IN THE CREATIVE PROCESS AND THE PIECE IS EVENTUALLY DEVELOPED.

 . What is your fav piece you have designed?

THAT’S HARD – THAT’S LIKE ASKING IF I HAVE A FAVORITE CHILD, LOL!  SERIOUSLY THOUGH, I THINK ONE OF THEM IS THE BOND OF TEAM FREE WILL.  IT INCORPORATES A LOT OF DIFFERENT TECHNIQUES INTO ONE PIECE AND IS A GOOD REPRESENTATION OF WHAT I CAN DO.

What inspired you to become a vendor at conventions?

NOT LONG AFTER I BECAME INTERESTED IN SUPERNATURAL (OK, NOT INTERESTED.  OBSESSED) I GOT MY HUSBAND HOOKED ON IT AS WELL.  HE WAS DOING SOME RESEARCH ON THE SHOW AND DISCOVERED THAT THERE WERE CONVENTIONS FOR IT.  HE SUGGESTED I APPLY TO VEND.  MY APPLICATION WAS ACCEPTED AND I’VE BEEN DOING IT EVER SINCE – OVER 4 YEARS NOW.

 Your fav celebrity reaction to one of the actors seeing your jewelry?

WOW – THERE ARE A LOT…ANY TIME A CAST MEMBER APPRECIATES A PIECE I’VE DESIGNED INSPIRED EITHER BY THE CHARACTER THEY PLAY OR BY THEIR OWN PERSONALITY (I DO ACTOR-INSPIRED PIECES AS WELL) IT BLOWS MY MIND.

 RUTH CONNELL, KIM RHODES, BRIANA BUCKMASTER, AND SAMANTHA SMITH HAVE ALL BEEN SO INCREDIBLY SUPPORTIVE AND HAVE GONE OUT OF THEIR WAY TO SHOW THEIR APPRECIATION FOR MY WORK.

ANOTHER MOMENT THAT FLOORED ME WAS RECENTLY AT VEGASCON.  I HAD MET ALAINA HUFFMAN (ABADDON) ABOUT A YEAR AGO, FOR A TOTAL OF 2 MINUTES, AND SHE SAID, “OH! YOU’RE THE ONE THAT MAKES THE FIRE OF ABADDON PIECE!” THAT WAS AMAZING.  SO IN VEGASCON SHE WAS TELLING ME HOW SHE SEES SO MANY PEOPLE WEARING PIECES OF MINE AND SHE WAS DESCRIBING THE PIECES.  SHE SAID SHE RECOGNIZED MY STYLE SO SHE COULD TELL WHICH ONES WERE MINE. 

 RACHEL MINER – WITHOUT ME EVEN TELLING HER I WAS A JEWELRY DESIGNER, REMEMBERED ME FROM FACEBOOK AND TOLD ME HOW MUCH SHE ENJOYS LOOKING AT MY WORK.

 I COULD GO ON AND ON ABOUT HOW THESE INCREDIBLE HUMAN BEINGS HAVE GIVEN ME SUPPORT AND INSPIRATION…

 What fandom do you want to create jewelry for next?

I HAVE SEVERAL LINED UP: STAR TREK, MAGICIANS, AND CONTINUING TO EXPAND MY STRANGER THINGS COLLECTION (I HAVE 2 DESIGNS CURRENTLY)

Favorite city you have been?

HMMM…I LOVE NASHVILLE BECAUSE IT’S ONLY 45 MINUTES AWAY FROM MY HOME AND I CAN BRING MY ENTIRE FAMILY WITH ME.  IT’S HARD BEING AWAY FROM EVERYONE.

Do you make non fandom jewlery & if yes what is your fav piece you made?

I DO MAKE NON-FANDOM PIECES – I JUST RECENTLY STARTED A SERIES BASED ON FINDING EMPOWERMENT AND STRENGTH – IT’S CALLED ENCHANTED REALITY AND USES SEMI-PRECIOUS STONES.  MY FAVORITE PIECE FROM THAT LINE IS PROBABLY MY QUARTZ AND MOONSTONE WRAPPED IN COPPER TOTEM.

. Do you have any advice to any up & coming self jewelry makers wanting make their own business?

IF YOU’RE TRULY PASSIONATE ABOUT IT – YOU WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN.  BE PREPARED FOR A LOT OF HOURS.  YOU WILL BE YOUR OWN DESIGNER, MANUFACTURER, MARKETER, POSTAL SERVICE, ACCOUNTANT, ETC. IT’S NOT INSTANT SUCCESS, IT TOOK ME OVER 9 YEARS TO BUILD MY BUSINESS. DON’T GET DISCOURAGED.

CUSTOMER SERVICE IS KEY AND YOU NEED TO HAVE A THICK SKIN TO HANDLE SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT CAN ARISE.

AND I CAN’T STRESS THIS ENOUGH – ALWAYS ALWAYS BE RESPECTFUL OF OTHERS’ INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.  NEVER COPY SOMEONE ELSE’S WORK AND THAT INCLUDES USING ARTWORK FROM OUR BELOVED SHOWS SUCH AS SUPERNATURAL AND THE WALKING DEAD.  THERE’S NOTHING WORSE THAN FINDING OUT THAT YOUR WORK IS BEING USED BY SOMEONE ELSE AND EVEN WORSE – THEY’RE PROFITING FROM IT.

Since we are a lifestyle & beauty blog. Fav makeup brand & fav type of make up to wear?

I LOVE ELF LIQUID EYELINER.  I ALWAYS GO FOR A CAT’S EYE LOOK. RIMMEL IS MY FAVORITE BRAND FOR MASCARA AND BROWS.  LORAC HAS LIPSTICK TO DIE FOR. I NEVER WEAR FOUNDATION UNLESS I’VE GOT SPOTS AND EVEN THEN I ONLY DAB IT ON THE SPOTS IN LIEU OF COVERING MY FACE.

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I'm a freelance journalist who has covered a number of topics including celebrity news, pets, food and pop culture. I currently cover entertainment news for Talk Nerdy With Us and various topics for 2 Palms Media under their Hot Pop Titles!

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