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the monmouth journal | press2
the monmouth journal
News - press2
Friday, 28 November 2008 00:00


November 28, 2008
Olefson has the answer for those seeking a truly unique holiday gift

One look at local artist Laurie Olefson’s recycled art and jewelry and you will never look at a can the same way again. Consider yourself a “wordy”—someone who just loves words and catchy phrases—then you’ll find yourself reading Olefson’s wearable art thinking each one is more perfect for your personality than the next. Welcome to the world of creative genius—Olefson Design. Olefson has the timeless whimsy of Peter Pan and frivolous aura reminiscent of Dr. Seuss. A married mother of 17 year-old, daughter, Ilana, and 22-year old son, Sidney. Olefson owns a successful advertising firm where she makes a living by day, but it is her after-hour artistic passion where she truly makes a life.

Olefson has found a way to reduce, reuse, and recycle in style. Best known for what she has dubbed as “tincan clocks”, the former magazine executive has found a way to parlay her background in conceptual art and synaesthesia—a multi-sensory approach to the abstract—to artistic jewelry design with recycled aluminum cans and typewriter keys.

A self-proclaimed “wordy” Olefson’s earrings and pendants are original typewriter keys from old and antique typewriters that have words, instead of one letter of the alphabet on them. With groups of words like, PEANUT BUTTER on one earring and JELLY on the other, or, STARTER WIFE and KEEPER WIFE, or a trio of typewriter keys on a pendant that read ROCK, PAPER, and SCISSOR.

“What’s really cool is that there are always people looking at my work. . .it takes a lot of time to read the words,” Olefson said.

Showing her wearable art at craft shows up and down the state, Olefson said, “Guys will stand and read all the pairs of words and then call their wives over.”

Olefson said it’s appealing to project what people relate to in different categories. “they are reading the words and getting captured by what they say,” she said. “It’s interesting how people love words and which ones apply to them.”

Collecting cans and having friends who are on the prowl for interesting metallic media, Olefson sees her reuse as beneficial personally and publicly.

“Creatively, I think it is a challenge I set up for myself,” she said. “I like to make a small difference (by recycling) and art makes people see things in a new way.”

Originally, making her tincan clocks out of imported Chinese cans, Olefson’s project has been one that her children and husband, Victor, have become accustomed to. “I always tell my husband,” said Olefson, “If the can is $4 and over, he has to eat what’s in it.” Because she will not just throw the contents away. Her family has been known to down numerous cans of Dr. Brown’s diet cream soda just for the Statue of Liberty artwork on the label which is perfect for her earrings.

Stored in her studio and throughout her home are cans of all different colors and content. The most beautiful cans, Olefson believes, are the Arizona iced tea cans and oddly, a certain packaging of wholesale Pepsi cola sold only as individual cans at arenas and stadiums. “Not being able to purchase at retail markets,” Olefson said, “these cans are more bright and colorful—probably to catch people’s attention.”

Adorned with semiprecious stones and dangling from card stock containing images of the original can along with recycling tips, Olefson’s aluminum can earrings are brightly colored, corrugated pieces of art. They are unusually stylish, even if they are made out of Budweiser cans.

Though she’s educating the community one environmentally-conscious fashionista at a time, Olefson has learned a lot about the diverse population of the state through her travels “top to bottom,” as well as bizarre facts about the industry that supplies her unique medium.

“Did you know that almost all sardines come from Morocco?” she asked.

To find out more about the Olefson design collection, or interesting tips on recycling, visit her online at Olefson Design

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 14:59

When you can't wait for the next show you can make a  purchase o
nline at shop.olefsondesign.com

I like to do Jersey themed things to show off the best of what we have to offer. These days the only things that people hear about come from sources like "Jersey Shore", "Jerseyliscious", "Housewives of New Jersey" and Chris Christie! But those of us tried and true Jerseyans know that what we have here is pretty good and even though we are mostly misunderstood we are proud to be from New Jersey  And so I have been making little pieces of Jersyana, my "JERSEY + GIRL" earrings, my optometrist lens pendants of  amazing Jersey firsts, relective of our high number of Jersey entrepreneurs.  Now I am making beautiful necklaces with our old, obsolete parkway tokens.


AND NOW, you can make your purchases online at shop.olefsondesign.com