Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2010 featuring SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS
Bronze Medal Prize Winner
Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
I live in Irvine, California.
Describe your artistic style.
I like symmetry and jewelry with geometric shapes. I tend to mix in natural themes and symbols (for example, leaves and flowers). I often consider the cut and style at a wearer's clothes when creating my piece's design.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I am inspired by the beauty and energy of nature.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I love Japanese seed beads and Swarovski crystals. I like making jewelry with fancy clasps.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
The bold and majestic colors of autumn in Japan.
How did it come together?
Like most of my pieces, I let the "creativity flow" take hold of me and let the piece define itself during its creation.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
When I was staying in the United States in 2001, I happened upon some beautiful bead magazines. I found the work very inspirational and I soon embarked on my journey as a bead designer.
Who introduced you to beading?
American bead magazines.
Do you have an artistic background?
Yes, I've placed in several competitions.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I discovered the company while reading Bead and Button magazine and Beadwork magazine.
What other hobbies do you have?
I enjoy playing the piano, cooking and yoga.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
I'm happiest when I'm engaged in my bead work. It is my full-time occupation.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
My main marketing tool is my website, www.happybeading.net. I also sell my bead jewelry at conventions in Japan. In addition, I accept special orders by email and via a link from my website.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Up to this point, I haven't been aware of charity fundraisers. However, I would be very interested in participating in fundraisers in the future.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Relax and Enjoy. You should feel free to express your ideas in your work.
View all of Maiko's designs in the Gallery of Designs.