Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2011 featuring SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS
Bronze Medal Prize Winner
Category: Necklace - Sparkling Elegance
Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Describe your artistic style.
My style is a romantic Neo Victorian or Art Nouveau style.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I get my inspiration from things of the past, such as Victorian (wedding) dresses, hairstyles, buildings, antique findings and fabrics. Also from flowers, insects and sometimes I translate paintings of Alphonse Mucha into jewelry.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I like to work with Lucite® flowers and (raw) brass, combined with gemstones beads and cabochons, Swarovski, seed beads and antiques.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
When I created this design I was thinking of the past ... young Victorian ladies and romantic gardens with lots of flowers and butterflies ...
How did it come together?
I planned the butterfly and I planned the Variscite in the middle of the butterfly ... the rest defined itself when I began working on it.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I started making jewelry at the end of 2004. That year I married and could not find the perfect necklace. It was after my marriage I made my first necklace from a pattern. My 3rd necklace was already my own design. In 2007 I discovered bead embroidery and that's still the technique I like the most! :-)
Who introduced you to beading?
I've introduced myself.
Do you have an artistic background?
I don't have an artistic background ... I wish I had ... everything I do and what I know, I taught myself.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
When I started beading, it was very hard to find the right beads and supplies in The Netherlands. Thanks to the internet I found some great bead shops in the States. FMG is my favorite!
What other hobbies do you have?
Sometimes I do some lampworking or Silver Clay.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
It's not jewelry making that plays a big role in my life, it's the creative expression which is very very important for me. If I can't be creative, I'll be unhappy ... Nobody can live without eating, breathing and sleeping ... for me, count 1 extra: create! If I can't create I become restless ... my ideas have to come out and every free minute I have, I spend being creative.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
Sometimes I enter international contests, because I would like to show the world what I can do. Now and then I try to have an exhibition and sell my work, but as an autodidact artist it's very hard to get my work exhibited anywhere because I don't have an artist background or artist education.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Follow your heart and create what you like, don't copy somebody else's work, create your own style!
View all of Miranda's designs in the Gallery of Designs.