In The Studio With Annie Costello Brown
Hope you’re ready to see where the magic happens.
Come on in…
Most people use their garages for storage—you know, old bikes, barbecue grills and, er, vehicles. But not Annie Costello Brown, the quirky-chic designer behind ACB, the cultish line of brass-flecked belts and turquoise-and-shell necklaces. Her studio: a converted two-car garage with skylights that was renovated by its painter landlord awhile back. Below, Annie takes us inside the space and gives us a look at what goes down there.
“Some sketches, patterns, and leather samples hang on the wall along with our studio mirror. That’s Kate working on assembly. ACB jewelry is made by hand here in Los Angeles. We usually have two to four people working assembly throughout the year.”
“This is part of a bookshelf in the nearby sunroom. The text taped to the shelf is an excerpt from an article on ornamentation from an old nineties issue of Flash Art. The collage above the text is something my son and I ‘collaborated’ on.”
“This is the leather processing bench and metals polishing bench. This is where we grind the edges of the leather so it can stay raw and have a softer edge. It’s also where we polish some of our finished jewelry pieces. It’s nice to work amidst the trees with views of downtown L.A.”
“Some of the tools we use in the studio…”
“I think I’ve checked out every craft book from the Los Angeles Public Library.”
“Amy Jo grinding some belt leather.”
“Here’s a page from one of my sketchbooks. 99.9% of my ideas never get made, but I’m always looking through my notebooks to steal from myself. I do a lot of sketching. If I have an idea while I’m doing something else, I have to sketch it quickly so I remember it. I have baskets and boxes of half-baked ideas.”