For anyone who doesn’t already know, Elvers Studio is a treasure trove of exciting jewellery and art in Nelson Street. It’s well worth a visit. Prepare to spend a little time browsing and you won’t be disappointed. There’s punk, steampunk, fairies, skulls, pearls, crystals, zodiac, flowers and much much more… and if you can’t see what you want just ask, they are happy to take commissions too!
It all started some 20 years ago when Star (short for Tristana) bought a charm bracelet online and it fell apart. Star had a few tools and fixed it, and instantly got the bug for making jewellery. She began visiting bead shops and making bracelets to sell – band names at first. But being a very creative soul Star was coming up with new ideas all the time, such as making gigantic creatures out of polymer clay. She tells me: “It’s so hard to find anything that’s a bit different and quirky but still affordable, so I began to make my own.”
The shop has been open for 18 months now but Star says it still feels like it’s just getting started. It’s growing and developing all the time. In addition to making new items, Star repairs and remodels old jewellery. She says: “Sometimes a customer might bring in something special – a relative’s broken old watch for example – and ask for it to be made into something new. People often bring in odd things and I’ll think of something interesting to turn them into to give them a new lease of life.” She works with whatever ideas are in her head at the time, so some of the collections may be inspired by butterflies, octopuses, spiders, foxes… or bees are popular at the moment. Stroud being the hippy town that it is, fairy wings are always a big draw! You won’t find duplicates though. Each of the hand-made pieces is unique.
The back of the shop is an art gallery space exhibiting Star’s father, Colin Heavingham’s paintings. He is a prolific artist so there’s always new stock coming in. His paintings are for sale unframed but he will also make frames to order. The back wall is currently dominated by a monster of a canvas that has to be seen to be believed! At almost 10ft tall it’s a huge, striking, brooding oil painting inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Colin’s work is heavily influenced by his dreams and nightmares. Often he will wake in the night and write the dreams down, or even start painting on the spot, and then wake in the morning slightly surprised to find the new artwork which appeared in the night!
There are also poetry books and framed poetry for sale. The whole shop is filled with art and all kinds of interesting things. Every time you look you’ll spot something new.
19 Nelson St
and on the second Saturday of each month at the Shambles Market.