We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily J. Burton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I’ve always taken the “no risk, no reward” philosophy to heart, but I’ve had to reconcile that with the “be prepared” motto of any proper Girl Scout. Marrying the two I find that I like to take calculated risks. A few years ago, I felt stretched too thin and decided to leave my secure agency job to try to find more life balance freelancing and pursuing other artistic callings. I won’t say that it wasn’t extremely scary, but I had financially and mentally prepared as much as I could and knew I was at a “now or never” moment. Since then I’ve been able to partake in so many projects, adventures, travel opportunities, artistic and musical endeavors, and friendships that I wouldn’t otherwise had the time to pursue. It also set me up to be self-reliant and diversified enough with my business to weather the unforeseen challenges of 2020.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
First of all, thank you so much for inquiring! Having a community to share art and music with others, to inspire and be inspired, is something that is important to me. I think of my trajectory as somewhat of a woven tapestry, rather than a direct linear path. I’ve always been very into music and art and took up electric guitar in high school to pursue my heavy metal dreams! In college I studied design at DAAP at the University of Cincinnati. My plan was to study metals and silversmithing; primarily I was interested in creating jewelry and accessory pieces that were lost wax cast, but at the time there were few avenues to study this or ways to get information (ie, no youtube yet). The Metals program had recently been eliminated so I focused on Fashion Design, and took a serious interest in Photoshop and Illustrator which were fairly new at the time. After college, I moved to Los Angeles to focus on my band Fireball Ministry and fell into graphic design for the entertainment industry, working at creative agencies specializing in key art for movies and television while touring with my band pretty heavily. I put silversmithing on the back burner until about 10 years ago when I did a metals summer session at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. After that I began silversmithing again – making hand-forged chains and found a local studio where I could lost wax cast – and started Dutch Hollow General. Since then, I’ve built my own metals studio in my loft downtown where I run the business. I still split my time between music –playing guitar in Fireball Ministry and Black Sabbitch – graphic design and silversmithing, which can become a perfect storm at times but I don’t think I could have it any other way. I think what sets my brand apart from others is that my jewelry pieces are very intertwined with performing music and the life of a touring musician. I want my pieces to be durable enough to live in, comfortable enough to play in, layerable and cool enough to make a statement. I primarily use sterling silver which I think becomes more beautiful with wear, the way it patinas in the recesses and brightens in the highlights. I want my jewelry to become like a well worn pair of jeans, fitted to the wearer and with the allure of a back story.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If you’re in Tinseltown you may as well embrace it, and one of my favorite things about Los Angeles is the deluxe movie going experiences that are offered here. Top on my list is to see a movie in the heart of Hollywood at Grauman’s Chinese Theater. From the history in the courtyard with the cement handprints to the incredibly ornate interior design, extra legroom seats and state of the art IMAX screen and sound system, this is hands down my favorite theater. Beyond that, there’s the Cinerama Dome and Arclight, the Alamo Drafthouse offering first run and cult classics with full bar and table service, and if you want to see some underground classic films in 35mm there’s the New Beverly Cinema now owned and programmed by Quentin Tarantino. Staying on the movie theme, I have a secret love for Universal Studios. Do the tram ride (you can bring your beer on board), grab a Lard Lad donut (more delicious than it needs to be) in the Simpson’s Springfield and pick up a wand at Ollivanders in Harry Potter’s Hogsmeade so you can make the window displays move with your spellwork. If themeparks aren’t your bag but you want to see the behind the scenes of movie making, do the Warner Bros Studio tour. You’ll definitely recognize the sets. Afterward grab a cocktail in the lounge of the Smoke House Burbank opened in 1946 across the street or get a red leather booth in the dining room and have a full steak dinner. For all its reputation as a health food town, LA steakhouses are an institution. Try Musso & Franks on Hollywood Blvd, Taylor’s in Koreatown, or if you get a hankering at 3am, Pacific Dining Car. It’s probably easy to tell I’m into the retro vibe of Los Angeles. Any lover of kitsch should check out the newly revamped Bob Baker Marionette Theater, and a trip to the enormous Rose Bowl Flea Market is essential. Lastly, when in Los Angeles rockers and metal heads should head to the Rainbow Bar & Grill for a beer or three. A few years ago my band Fireball Ministry had a drumhead and our guitar picks added to the memorabilia in the dining room – a serious dream come full circle for my 15-yr old self.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate this Shoutout to the circle of brilliantly creative women I’m lucky enough to have in my orbit, my bandmates in Black Sabbitch, Fireball Ministry and Hexandagger, and my husband Pete Majors who never bats an eye at my crazy schemes.
Other: http://www.fireballministry.com http://www.blacksabbitch.com
Andrew Stuart, Tawney Wolfe