modern jewelry from ancient techniques

Portland, Oregon

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Elif Ogan

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Elif Ogan


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About elifogan

Sales 37
On Etsy since 2017

Creative work: connecting past and present.

"Time is an enormous long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries. And everything they thought, and every struggle they went through, and everything they gave their lives to, and every song they created, and every poem that they laid down, flows down to me – and if I take the time to ask, and if I take the time to see, and if I take the time to reach out, I can build that bridge between my world and theirs. I can reach down into that river and take out what I need to get through this world.”
— Utah Phillips

The house I grew up in was filled with art and handmade items - my grandparents' paintings, my uncle's woodwork, my Babaanne's neon-colored crocheted afghans. My parents instilled me with wonder and respect for the natural world, the art which it inspires, and those individuals driven to acts of creation.

As far back as I can remember, I've always been an insatiably curious collector of objects. I wanted to know not only HOW things were made, but WHY, which led to endless ethnographic research and fascination with all things handmade, jewelry in particular. Who made this piece? Who wore it? What were their lives like? What did this piece signify? What paths did it travel before ending up in my hands?

I was lucky enough to attend a high school which offered jewelry & metal classes. Since stepping on that path, I've never strayed for long. I made my first glass beads in 2000, falling in love with the precision and attention that lampworking requires, determined to improve on those lopsided, sharp-ended blobs. I taught jewelry classes for 15 years, worked in bead stores in three different states, and repaired thousands of pieces of jewelry.

Over the years, I refined my focus, drawing on my heritage to create work which feels personally authentic and meaningful. My love of adornment is stronger than ever; I continue to research, sharpen my skills, and learn from those who came before me. I hope my pieces can inspire some of what I feel when holding another's work: a sense of connection, history, and the beauty that exists in small things.

Shop members

  • Elif Ogan

    Owner, Maker, Designer

    I'm a half-Turkish artist with a passion for creation, tiny details, and skilled handwork.

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Last updated on Mar 3, 2017
Frequently asked questions
Custom and personalized orders

If you see a style of bead or finished piece you love, but would prefer it in a different color, please contact me. Some colors / combinations of glass are not feasible, though I'll happily attempt anything within reason. Let's chat!

Returns and Exchanges

Please make a thoughtful decision when purchasing. If you have questions or concerns, please contact me before placing an order.