Guest Blog: Charlotte Leavitt from CHART metalworks

March 1, 2010 | By | Comments (12)

For our March issue, I had the privilege of talking with Charlotte Leavitt, an intriguing and amazingly talented jewelry maker from Portland, ME. After leaving her loan officer day job, she started a business handcrafting pendants, belt buckles, cuff links, etc. using nautical chart cutouts of customers' favorite coastal spots–all sealed with boaters resin. How cool is that!? Below, she describes her typical day (sounds like Nirvana to me!). Visit her website at chartmetalworks.com to learn more.

 

1770_4_6A

Courtesy of Reena Bammi

A Day in the Life of Artist Charlotte Leavitt

7:15am

"Alarm goes off. In my previous corporate life, I would already be driving to work. I would already have tried for one more minute of sleep, which would have turned into 10 more minutes. I would have dilly dallied on my hair so that I had no time to fix my lunch. But now I’m on my own schedule, so I hit the snooze for another 15 minutes."

 

7:55am

"Get dressed. No nylons or uncomfortable shoes (I wore Uggs all day yesterday). No tight fitting jackets (my fleece is more comfortable). No struggling to decide between pants or skirts (it’s jeans every day)."

 

8:50am

"Riley and I head to my studio on foot. It’s a 15-minute stroll from our condo, and it’s one of the favorite parts of my day. Riley knows the way by heart and once we cross over to the wharf he gets excited to greet the sea gulls and stray cats good morning. I take in my beautiful city of Portland with one deep breath, loving its brick lined sidewalks and lovely old storefronts."

 

Back of Studio 2

Behind her studio, courtesy of Charlotte Leavitt.

9:05am

"We arrive at the studio. I check my email, collect phone messages, and review my “to do” list from yesterday. For much of the day, I work from my computer, sending proofs to customers, responding to questions, making calls, and updating my blog."

 

10:15am

"Meet my friend Jen, a talented local jeweler, for coffee. I try to get together with someone once a week. In my corporate life, this was called a ‘waste of time.’  Turns out it’s exactly what I need. We discuss business strategy and staying true to our creative passion."

 

11:30am

"Back at the studio.  My fiancé and business partner, John, is sorting through jewelry pieces that were poured with resin from late yesterday. They do into two categories: ones ready for finishing (polishing and spiffing up) and pieces that need another coat of resin."

 

"A phone call comes in from a customer.  She wants to know if it’s possible to make a necklace with a map of Higgins Beach, ME. I say yes, and we chat for a bit about this wonderful place."

 

1:15pm

"Time to make sales calls for potential wholesale accounts that would land my jewelry pieces in stores on the east coast. It’s what is going to carry my business forward!"

 

3:15pm

"I check in with John to see how his day is going. He is busy preparing orders and mailing them at the postbox at the end of our street."

 

4:00pm

"Now, it’s jewelry-making time. I wait until the end of the day when our polishing tools are no longer running and kicking up dust (and when I don’t have to answer phone calls. I can’t talk once the resin is mixed together because it starts curing right away!). I place the image in a pendant frame and pour the resin (a messy process!) overtop. I wait for sneaky air bubbles to surface so I can pop them with my needle."

 

5:00pm

"The pour is done. It looks beautiful. I grab my camera to snap a few pictures for a blog post tomorrow."

 

BeltOnMapTighter6053

Belt Buckle, $155; chartmetalworks.com
Courtesy of David Hillegas 


 

MapStillLife5961

Courtesy of David Hillegas 

6:10 pm

"I check the time and contemplate dinner. John and I wrap things up at the studio and head home with Riley for dinner and a relaxing night.  As we make our way back through the streets of our fabulous town, John is on his iPhone checking emails that have come in since we left.  I smile; Mr. Bluebird is singing happily on my shoulder."

 

COMMENTS

  1. Coach handbags

    Awesome article! Paints nice pictures – I think I will come here next time, it is really good!

    April 19, 2010 at 1:55 am
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    Thanks for posting, I really enjoyed your most recent post. I think you should post more often, you obviously have natural ability for blogging!

    April 20, 2010 at 1:54 am
  3. Food Travel

    Lovely Buckle ! I wonder if you need to wear the world’s map pants for it to fit ;-)
    Thanks for sharing

    September 13, 2010 at 5:10 am
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    Thanks for the good info!! Would also be helpful to know how long the Oxford-Bellevue ferry trips are and roughly how much they cost.

    November 4, 2010 at 6:36 pm
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    I am getting jealous of you. It is in my wildest dreams to have a heart to heart talk with Charlotte Leavitt. Anyways, you are generous enough about your conversation. Thanks for this.

    January 31, 2011 at 3:24 am
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    I have go through your own great blog which post on the internet, have quite a few close friends combined with me to examining the article content. No matter what we’re, as well as what ever we would like, the key idea you’ve already been presented was satisfied by us. Thanks a lot for sharing so perfect view, and it make us possess feeling of relaxed and ease.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:25 am
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    Interesting story. Thanks for sharing. Good read ;)

    May 16, 2011 at 5:34 pm
  8. vanessa

    I love this. The map pendant is adorable. http://www.designjewelry.com/blog/archives/101

    May 26, 2011 at 11:29 am
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    Constantly read your blog. I enjoy reading your blog. Very nice stuff

    November 3, 2011 at 6:55 am
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    bonne idée d’avoir un compagnon. Si vous gagnez une grande quantité, de garder certains dans votre poche, afin de ne pas tout perdre. Vous n’avez jamais jouer pour gagner tout l’argent.

    November 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm
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    Analogies, it is true, decide nothing, but they can make one feel more at home.

    January 15, 2012 at 10:54 am
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    seems like she has a very good life now. It must be very pleasing to work for herself.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:22 am

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