Propelled by a return to her childhood home, Ellen Ito founded Crooked Pond, naming it after the neighborhood swimming hole. The unchanged tranquil nature of this area inspired her to design a collection that highlights the materials through timeless, minimal forms. She also draws inspiration from her love of the sense of fun found in the modernist movement in furniture, jewelry, and industrial design.
To create much of her jewelry, Ito starts by carving out the three-dimensional components in wax. She casts these components, refines them, and then molds and produces them in tarnish-resistant sterling silver. Further fabrication and finishing is done by hand. She often blackens the silver or uses gold keum-bo to accent a particular surface or plane.
Ito graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 1992 with a BFA in jewelry and light metals. She went on to work in the handmade flute industry for many years. There, she worked within and supervised the high-quality production process before moving into the position of in-house caster. She has since taken this expertise out on her own, and has run a small lost-wax casting business since 2009.
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ACC Baltimore Wholesale/Retail, Baltimore, Maryland, Baltimore Convention Center, 2015,2016