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Exquisite containers...with a twist!


I grew up in Vietnam, got transplanted to Hawaiian soil for a few years before taking roots here in San Jose, California. I am a research chemist turned crafter, married to a computer scientist turned photographer. We raise two kids while managing Terra Galleria and Elvio Design, our online businesses. Despite our technical backgrounds, we now make our living entirely from creative processes, doing the things we love.

Growing up in the tropic, I was surrounded by wooden items as household commodities. I developed a love for fine timbers at an early age. It was only natural that I became a wood collector with a growing stash of timbers from all over the world.  However, I tumbled into woodturning quite by accident. It all happened in a moment of nostalgia, when I suddenly longed for a nice pair of Mun ebony chopsticks--just like what I had when I was a kid (I love to eat, among other things!). Found none, so I searched for the Mun, purchased a lathe and made myself a few. I have gone a long way since those wooden sticks. 

As a wood collector and woodturner, I take pleasure in showcasing the incredible beauty found in the variety of timbers I have accumulated. My turnings usually have simple profile, minimal decorative accents--nothing to distract from the wood's natural beauty. That said, the intricate details are hidden in the threaded caps, my specialty. The screw-on cap adds a significant level of complexity and an element of surprise, an unexpected "twist" to the box. I take the surprise a step further, disguising the box in natural forms: acorns, mushrooms, eggplants...or small wooden pendants with secret compartment. The result is a whimsical, unique container for your "precious".

Recently, I have developed another line of "containers" with custom blends of natural and synthetic fibers.  I employ a similar approach to fiber art as in my woodworking.  I experiment with different fiber combinations to create comfortable, simple, easy care garments and accessories with an ethnic flavor.  I enjoy shaping the fabric free hand (no pattern), on the flight (usually behind my display at art shows), using the simplest crochet or knit stitches to create unique wearables with a woven look.  The result is a collection of selective "containers" with you yourself as their "content".

Here at Elvio Design, I hope you find a format suitable for your content. Enjoy!

Lanchi Vo