Carmen Eliam
jewelry designer, Ivory Coast


My name is Carmen Eliam, my business is jewelry design and repair. My works are representative of traditional styles, employing materials of antiquity. These works specialize in the ethnic, nomadic, and cultural diversity which is representative of today's global community.

I was born and raised off the West Coast of Africa, in the capital city of Côte d'Ivoire—Abidjan. The famous Treichville's Market had a particular impact on my introduction into art, design, and culture through the artistry of beads. By the age of 16, I had already created, as well as modeled and sold my own line of clothing. I was also fortunate enough to model for the French couturier Jean-Louis Sherrer during his stint in Abidjan. Later, I went on to study at the Institute National of Fine Arts (in Abidjan- Côte d'Ivoire), which allowed me to learn more about the art world through the study of art history. I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by art, tradition, and culture, which have forever enriched my life.

By the age of 19, I found myself in the Southern French region of Aix-en-Provence, where I studied Fine Art and further perfected my knowledge in the Fine Arts Program of Aix-en-Provence. This exposure broadened my perception in the diversity of culture and art.

After receiving my B. A. in Aix-en-Provence, I went on to further my studies and expertise by specializing in Graphic Arts and Design in Paris. Through my contacts, I was introduced to a wide range of artistic styles. Most notably, modeling for the Salon du Prêt-a-Porter and in the Premier Festival International de la Mode, with producer Jean-Paul Goud in Paris. Even more challenging were my dramatic roles in the field drama and modeling. I performed in "Medee," at the prestigious Opera of Paris, and modeled in a shoot for Photo Magazine.

After many years of collecting earth toned beads and other precious stones from around the World, I have finally settled down in a most charming city—Washington, D.C.--the nation's capital of the United States of America. It is here that I discovered artistry classes for the adult community in Torpedo Factory, Old Town Alexandria. I also received more practical training through the interior design program at the Corcoran School of Arts, in the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C. Today, creating "a unique line of jewelry for the mature woman," I sell my jewelry through a number of venues: arts & crafts shows, gallery exhibitions, museums, Embassies and open markets. My style uses everything from Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, Amber, Carnelian, Silver, Jade, Gold, Wood, Horn and Trade beads. As well as global antiquities from such far away places as, Brazil, Burkina-Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Ghana, France, Indonesia, Mali, Madagascar, Morocco and Spain.


these pages submitted to africancraft.com by Carmen Eliam,
Nov. 1999 -- last updated, Jan. 2002