Austin-based Chase & Scout creates beautifully crafted jewelry for those for those who walk a path between the dark and the light. Blending ancient symbology, natural objects, and modern design aesthetics, designer and creator Elle Greene creates jewelry for kindred spirits, pieces that she hopes will resonate deeply with the wearer. Inspired by meditations on nature and the possibilities of unseen realms, these adornments are designed with an appreciation for the past while always looking forward.
Today I am thrilled to be sharing a recent interview with the lovely Elle Greene of Chase & Scout and hosting a giveaway over on Instagram for one of her gorgeous pieces, a stunning oxidized, sterling silver and labradorite pendant.
Read on to learn more about Elle and her creations and a chance to win!
…and P.S. there’s a 20% discount code for Unquiet Things readers at the bottom of the page, as well!
Mlle Ghoul: Tell us about Chase & Scout – the company, the aesthetic, and the vision.
Elle Greene: Chase and Scout was created in 2008, and is based out of my studio in Austin Texas. It’s a bit of a one woman operation. I conjure up, design, and hand craft every piece in the C&S collections. It’s very important to me that each component of my work be made from raw materials and by hand. There is a certain coldness to machine manufactured jewelry that is cranked out by the 100’s. I want the people who wear my work to feel its depth. Each piece has been in my hands, on my bench–it’s a closeness that I hope resonates with anyone who holds or wears my jewelry.
Aesthetically, I’m naturally drawn to the dark, but I let a little light in, as well. The mystique of ancient symbology, botanicals, and modern design are all aspects of my inspiration. I tend to steer clear of obvious inconology so that each wearer can ascribe their own meaning. A little mystery can be very powerful.
When you look back at the primitive roots of jewelry, it was used not only for physical adornment, but to announce tribal affiliation or provide spiritual protection. I see much of my work in this way. I am creating amulets and talismans that are charged, not only with what I have put into them, but also with what the owner brings to it. My vision is that these pieces become fixtures in their wardrobe and part of their daily armor.
You mention that your jewelry is “with a bit of light and a bit of dark”, and that in your pieces you like to “ explore the duality of our own nature” – these are fascinating concepts and I’d love to hear more of your thoughts on this and how it relates to the adornments that you create.
For me, it’s about the depth and breadth of the personality I am designing for. Personally, I like quirky and weird; I dig dark humor but not gore. I lean more towards a Victorian Gothic sensibility over graphic horror films. I think that the people who gravitate towards my jewelry have that same broad sense of attraction to all facets of this style. The term “Gothic” is too often dismissed as “all gloom, all the time”, and that’s simply not the case.
You also refer to an appreciation for the past and an interest in ancient symbology with regard to your jewels – what are your influences and inspirations in this vein and can you give us an example of how you might incorporate them into a design?
I was really fortunate to grow up in an artistic family. My father was an archaeologist and we always had a museum’s worth of cultural relics around the house.
I gravitate towards items used in funerary rites and burial customs. All cultures have a series of mystical rites that need to be performed and objects ascribed solely for funerary use. One of the attractions to ancient cultures is that almost every object created contains decorative elements of form and function.
Ceremonial knives are quite beautiful, every tribe has at least one style that is specific to the region or era and I find a lot of inspiration in them. In New Guinea the warriors would carry these elaborate fighting clubs with shark teeth embedded along its edges: a seriously evil-looking object. The shape of that club, combined with the shape of the federal shield (iconic during the US Civil War and Victorian era) came together in my Skull and Shield earrings.
The Frida earrings from the same collection are derived from the Incan tumi axe. The tumi was used for ritual use in burials, and was also used in sun worship ceremonies. Your average passerby will simply see a pair of cool feathered earrings, but the owner knows they’re wearing an interpretation of a 2,000 year old sacrificial knife.
I know that you’re getting ready to release a new mini collection -what can we look forward to with this?
Mini collections are a lot of fun for me! It’s less pressure than a full line, which allows me to play and try out new ideas. Right now, I’m creating a small group of orchids and flora, just in time for the spring. For me, orchids carry a real presence that tiny flowers just can’t convey. Capturing something as fleeting and fragile as a flower in metal is definitely a technical challenge. I’ve found a Japanese alloy that allows me to achieve a deep patina in the metal. This Black Flower collection currently consists of pendants and earrings. I’m really excited to bring this collection to life!
Where can we find your creations for purchase?
My website is the best place to find my current designs and collections. Anyone can visit Chaseandscout.com and purchase their favorite pieces directly from the site. Should you find yourself in Austin, stop by Blackmail Boutique on South Congress Ave. to see a selection of C&S jewelry in person.
Follow me on Instagram (@ChaseandScout) for a peek into studio life at the bench and my daily inspiration.
Thank you Elle, for graciously answering my questions, and for offering this generous giveaway! Be certain to follow, tag, and repost for a chance to win!
P.S. Get 20% off of everything at Chase & Scout with code: UNQUIET now thru 3/20.
Tai, please email me at mlleghoul AT gmail dot com so that I can send these fragrances your way!
In the original post it seems I neglected to mention where these scents can be found. Allow me to remedy that! Most of them can be found on amazon. See below for links. Regretfully, the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab scent that I listed, “Danube” , looks like it is no longer on the site (I must have a really old bottle). I have found their scent “Arkham” to be strangely comparable, though..
…and the winner of my Weirdo giveaway* is…#28, and that is Rachael! Thanks to everyone for playing along and taking a moment to comment and share something about yourselves. It was wonderful to learn a little about about you and hear all of your fantastic stories! I think we are all in good company.
I am trying to post a video of random dice rolling to choose the winner, but the embed code does not appear to be working. You can see it, (and hear me squeak out the number “28!”) here: https://instagram.com/p/0kjxbdgeLF/
*Please note: the items included in this giveaway are things that I have purchased myself. This is not being sponsored by any of the brands or artists whose pieces are enclosed.
However! If you would like to send me something to use in a giveaway, I am certainly open to hearing about that.
(A few years back, a dear friend of mine and I started a little blog to document our fascinations and obsessions. It was fun while it lasted and then we grew busy with other things and let it go. Which is ok! I think we were at a point in our lives at that time when we really needed that sort of companionable, cooperative outlet, and then our situations changed a bit and maybe we just didn’t need it anymore. Or we got lazy, heh! Either way, she remains one of the dearest people in the world to me! This missive, below, is a repost from that time, but I wanted to hang on to it and move it to my current blog, for a new audience,and because, well, I believe it’s always relevant.)
The night before Easter Sunday of my 4th year I was tucked into bed by my mother. Looking forward to a spring morning full of frilly Easter dresses, the pink & purple pastels of plastic eggs and straw baskets brimming with candies and coins, I contentedly pulled the covers up to my chin and perhaps lightly dozed at that point – but I don’t remember it quite that way. As I recall not moments after the light was extinguished, I heard a noise from outside; I peeped above the quilted coverlet and received a terrible fright – a demonic face, not inches from my own, leering at me from outside the darkened glass windowpane next to my bed! Long ears with dark, matted fur… bent and flopping in a broken sort of way, black eyes glittering with menace and gigantic teeth, gnashing with dreadful intent – this monstrous mockery of the my beloved seasonal mascot was right outside my window! Even more distressing was the fact that my bedroom was located on the second floor!
I woke the entire household with my screams.
I honestly don’t remember what happened after that, but I am certain it was that night that my fascination with the bizarre, the terrible and the inexplicable was born.
I suppose that story does seem rather silly, but that along with a childhood rife with weirdness, I am not sure I could have turned out any other way. Hm, let’s review:
My mother was an astrologer who often held meditation circles in our home (hint: these are populated by weirdos); she also became obsessed with the ouija board when I was very young…I remember spending what felt like an eternity every evening balancing the planchette with my tiny fingers while she, on her side of the board, spent hours on the phone! I don’t think she was talking to anyone from “the other side”, which makes it all the more infuriating.
Yearly visits to my biological father’s childhood home , which held promise of sleeping in haunted bedrooms with stacks of horror comics to fuel the imagination. I’ll forever be fascinated and terrified of the beach at night due to a particular tale, which I’ve never been able to find again. However, I have since been in contact with the Uncle whose room housed the comics and we have vowed to get to the bottom of the mystery. What we do know: it was Eerie or Creepy and probably between the years 1965-1967. I will report back with my findings!
My mother briefly dated a man who gave me a copy of Manly P. Hall’s The Secret Teaching of All Ages and a copy of the Thoth tarot deck for my 11th birthday. Aside from Weird Al Yankovic, Manly P. Hall was one of my first secret crushes! (I am still madly in love with Weird Al.) It is also because of that man that I introduced HP Lovecraft as my favourite author on the first day of 6th grade, when other girls were reading about Jessica and Elizabeth in Sweet Valley High.
My stepfather was a member of a local chapter of the OTO as well as an author and “magician” in his own right. I later went to work for him in his rare, occult book business and even designed his website for him.
Well, it feels good to get all of that off my chest! What about you folks? What seminal moment from your childhood contributed to the weirdo that you are today?
I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment and you will automatically be entered into a giveaway for a small package o’weirdness. Contents are currently being deliberated upon, but will include at least the items pictured below.
A random winner will be chosen in one weeks time!