Artist Profile: The Written Nerd

03 January, 2013 0 comments Leave a comment

Dewey Decimal Earrings by The Written Nerd

Dewey Decimal Earrings by The Written Nerd

I don’t know about you, but I love the library. That thick musty smell of ink and paper, wandering up and down the aisles, scanning the bindings for just the right book to take home; or, checking out a teetering pile of paperbacks I know I can’t possibly read in three weeks–but I WANT to. So I was very excited when we began carrying the Written Nerd, a line of jewelry that celebrates the library and nerds like me! Based in Alameda, Emily McElfresh of the Written Nerd creates jewelry out of recycled library ephemera, such as old dewey decimal cards.
Profile Pic, Emily McElfresh of Alameda

Genius Behind the Written Nerd: Emily McElfresh of Alameda

The Written Nerd Story

“They were throwing out the card catalog at my particular institution, and I hated seeing the history of libraries go in the bin, so I salvaged thousands and kept them in boxes in my house.

I wanted to share these cool vintage cards with others, but how to do it? I started by making Dewey Decimal earrings in my original shop, Sovereign Sea Designs and quickly they became my best seller.

I knew I was on to something, so I expanded the line and launched The Written Nerd as its own shop in January of 2012. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to support myself on my craft since, and was able to quit my day job shortly after opening Nerd.”

Cufflinks by The Written Nerd

Cufflinks by The Written Nerd

In My Other Life…

“I was a librarian for 5 years at a boarding school in Massachusetts – I loved being a librarian, as I love books and reading.

I left my institution in June of 2012 to pursue The Written Nerd full time, and when my boyfriend got the opportunity to land his dream job in San Francisco in September, I happily moved along with him and our two dogs across the country.”

Dewey Decimal Hair Pin by the Written Nerd

Dewey Decimal Hair Pin by the Written Nerd

Did You Know?

“Did you know only non-fiction books are cataloged using the Dewey Decimal system, and that each book got a single catalog card? Catalog cards are a 20 year old dead technology, so every card I use for my jewelry has a history and is one of a kind.”

Dewey Decimal Necklace by The Written Nerd

Dewey Decimal Wine Charm by The Written Nerd

Also known as…
“My full name is Emily but I often go by Emma, or Emma Bean…or The Bean. I wear a sterling silver chain with a tiny bean charm on it every day. I’ve even made myself a necklace with the word “bean” cut from a card I found about plants in my catalog collection.”


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