ElizabethTrailDesign

Functional and fine art bronzes for animal lovers

Burlington, Vermont

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Announcement    Welcome to Elizabeth Trail Design -- functional and fine art bronzes for animal lovers. I specialize in dog breeds, foxes, and equestrian themes (cats too, of course!)

This year, I've stepped away from jewelry and wearables to spend more time on sculpture. If you're interested in a piece of jewelry you've seen or favorited, send me a PM and we can do it as a custom order. I'm NOT doing the beeswax ornaments this year.

If you like the Irish water spaniel door knocker, but don't have water spaniels (if you do, you probably know me), yes I'm happy to tackle a design in any breed. (I'm currently working on a Manchester terrier, a Cardigan corgi, a fox, and a horse head). I work on several breeds at once because with any design, you reach a point when you just can't see your work objectively any more. You need to walk away for a while (a day, a week, a month) and come back with fresh eyes. And at various points along the way, I like to send photos out for critiques from knowledgeable breeders. It's not a quick process. If you want me to do a design that I don't already have in the works, three to four months is the absolute best II can promise.

So if you have a breed in mind, it helps if we can get some breed enthusiasts together, not only to help me with photos and critiques of your breed, but to help spread the word. A one-of-a-kind piece is going to be very expensive. Spreading my studio time and and mold-making expenses across a small edition makes the cost a lot more reasonable. But I also do full custom design and portrait work.



* * * * *
COVID-19 POLICIES: your health and mine are my top priorities.

My partner and I are isolated on 30 acres in the woods in northern Vermont. My studio is in the attic of our farmhouse and I'm the only person who goes up there. Needless to say, I wash my hands frequently as I work and try to follow best practices for sanitizing my work surfaces and so on. (Bear in mind that soldering involves heating metal to about 1400 degrees F with an oxyacetylene torch, so chances are I've killed all possible germs.) But just to be on the safe side, I wipe down your finished piece in alcohol before packing it.

New mailers and boxes sit for a week before I even opening the packaging. USPS picks up packages at the end of the driveway, avoiding the post office lobby. And although I seldom get returns, I've decided that if I do, I will leave the package unopened in the barn for now, and simply mail out any credit or replacement on trust.

I hope these procedures keep us all safe!

Announcement

Last updated on Dec 13, 2020

Welcome to Elizabeth Trail Design -- functional and fine art bronzes for animal lovers. I specialize in dog breeds, foxes, and equestrian themes (cats too, of course!)

This year, I've stepped away from jewelry and wearables to spend more time on sculpture. If you're interested in a piece of jewelry you've seen or favorited, send me a PM and we can do it as a custom order. I'm NOT doing the beeswax ornaments this year.

If you like the Irish water spaniel door knocker, but don't have water spaniels (if you do, you probably know me), yes I'm happy to tackle a design in any breed. (I'm currently working on a Manchester terrier, a Cardigan corgi, a fox, and a horse head). I work on several breeds at once because with any design, you reach a point when you just can't see your work objectively any more. You need to walk away for a while (a day, a week, a month) and come back with fresh eyes. And at various points along the way, I like to send photos out for critiques from knowledgeable breeders. It's not a quick process. If you want me to do a design that I don't already have in the works, three to four months is the absolute best II can promise.

So if you have a breed in mind, it helps if we can get some breed enthusiasts together, not only to help me with photos and critiques of your breed, but to help spread the word. A one-of-a-kind piece is going to be very expensive. Spreading my studio time and and mold-making expenses across a small edition makes the cost a lot more reasonable. But I also do full custom design and portrait work.



* * * * *
COVID-19 POLICIES: your health and mine are my top priorities.

My partner and I are isolated on 30 acres in the woods in northern Vermont. My studio is in the attic of our farmhouse and I'm the only person who goes up there. Needless to say, I wash my hands frequently as I work and try to follow best practices for sanitizing my work surfaces and so on. (Bear in mind that soldering involves heating metal to about 1400 degrees F with an oxyacetylene torch, so chances are I've killed all possible germs.) But just to be on the safe side, I wipe down your finished piece in alcohol before packing it.

New mailers and boxes sit for a week before I even opening the packaging. USPS picks up packages at the end of the driveway, avoiding the post office lobby. And although I seldom get returns, I've decided that if I do, I will leave the package unopened in the barn for now, and simply mail out any credit or replacement on trust.

I hope these procedures keep us all safe!

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About ElizabethTrailDesign

Sales 201
On Etsy since 2018

Functional and fine art bronzes for animal lovers

Looking for that perfect gift for an animal lover? (Or for yourself!) Made to order jewelry for animal lovers, by an animal lover, is a wonderful way to celebrate milestones, show your love for your favorite animal, or remember a special companion.

I specialize in dog, cat, and equestrian-themed jewelry and sculpture. Foxes too! If I don't have the breed you're looking for, just ask! I may have a design in the works, or I'm always happy to have to give me the nudge to make something new. And any piece can be customized with dates, initials, titles, birth stones -- in fact, just about any special touch you want.

A PARTIAL LIST OF DOG BREED JEWELRY
Australian Shepherd | Border Collie | Border Terrier | Bulldog | Cardigan Welsh Corgi | Cavalier King Charles Spaniel | Collie | Corgi | Doberman Pinscher | English Bulldog | Golden Retriever | Irish Water Spaniel | Irish Wolfhound | Jack Russell Terrier | Keeshond | Labrador Retriever | Norwich Terrier | Newfoundland | Old English Sheepdog | Papillon | Pembroke Welsh Corgi | Rough Collie | Schnauzer | Smooth Collie

LOST WAX CASTING
My designs are painstakingly carved in a special wax that has many of the properties of wood. The wax can be carved with hand tools, worked on a lathe, and polished or hollowed with rotary tips.

The finished design is embedded in plaster. Then the plaster is heated to burn out the wax, leaving a void the exact size and shape of the original carving. While the plaster is still hot, molten gold or silver or bronze is poured into the hole. When the metal has cooled and hardened, the plaster is chipped away to reveal a copy of the original wax in metal.

The lost wax process has been around for thousands of years. And it's still the best way to capture precise detail in metal. It can be done on a tabletop with not much more than a torch and crucible, or in a factory using vacuum equipment costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. And by making a rubber mold of the original casting, multiple copies of the original carving can be made.

METAL CLAY
Metal clay is a more recent innovation, and I'm loving it. Finely powdered steel, copper, bronze, silver, and even gold is mixed with an organic binder and water to form a clay. The clay can be worked just like porcelain or stoneware. And like traditional clays, the finished piece is fired in a kiln at high temperatures. During firing, the organic binder burns away leaving pure metal which can be polished, burnished, engraved, and soldered just like any other metal.

I'm now doing a lot of my one-sided designs in metal clay (lost wax casting is still best for the three-dimensional charms.) Each piece comes out a little different, and it's not hard to add special details. Beyond that, metal clay offers a lot of options for one-of-a-kind creativity.

WORKING TIME
Generally you should allow 3 to 5 days for me to make up your piece and get it into the mail. Sometimes I have charms in stock and can turn them into simple pins or earrings faster than that. I'll send you a note when I get your order, telling you what to expect. (A few designs show a longer working time in the description for one reason or another. And a custom creation may take even longer. Feel free to ask. And be sure to let me know if you have a deadline.)

PACKAGING AND MAILING
I mail each piece in pretty packaging, ready to give as a gift. If you ask for gift wrap, I'll gussy it up a bit more and include a card with a handwritten message. I usually ship First Class in a padded envelope, which takes two to five days to most US addresses. Priority Mail and Express Mail are available as options. As far as international mail goes, a piece can pass through Canadian customs in two days -- or two weeks. That can be frustrating, I know. The UK is a little more consistent, with most items reaching their buyers within a week. Once I've mailed your package, there's nothing more I can do, so please allow plenty of time.

CUSTOMS
One thing that's come up a few times recently is requests to mark a piece as a gift when sending it abroad. Unfortunately I can't do that, and Etsy's software WON'T do that. To be a gift for customs purposes, an item I mail to Canada or Europe has to have been purchased by someone with an American address and bank account. If you live in the UK, for example, and are buying a gift from me for your aunt in the UK, it is still subject to Customs and VAT. Thanks for understanding.

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  • Elizabeth Trail

    Owner, Designer, Maker

    I've been making dog, cat, and equestrian sculpture and jewelry for over 45 years, first in clay, now in metal. Seeing my designs emerge from the fire in bronze, sterling, and gold is the closest I'll ever know to magic.

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