Meet the Designer-Artist
Sandra Lupo loves what she does and can't get enough of it. As a renowned jewelry designer and artist, she is not only an amazing creator of wire and bead jewelry, she is also a Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Ask the Experts contributor and a SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Ambassador. Sandra's piece "Valley of the Queen" graces the cover of the 2010/2011 Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Jewelry Maker's Catalog of Best Sellers.
''Valley of the Queen'' is part of Sandra's very personal collection called Lush Garden Necklaces. Sandra combined wirework and general stringing techniques into complex, creative detailing to create the intriguing necklace. She was inspired by the rich blues of turquoise and the shine of gold metal--a regal combination fit for a queen.
Sandra's wire and bead jewelry is influenced by the knowledgeable and experienced jewelry artists she has had the privilege of meeting over the years and who have since become her mentors. "My designs are steeped in traditional methods, styled with color and texture and a mix of Old World and New World materials. My passion for gemstones, pearls, crystal, glass and just about anything that can be wired together and worn is only matched by a desire to teach technique and share my explorations with students."
Share Your Background
Sandra's grandfather was a fine jeweler and as a young girl she liked to play jeweler with the contents of her grandmother's jewelry box. Her creative eye developed as she gained an appreciation for the skill and artistry of her grandfather's work in the jewelry industry. When she became a teenager, she and her friends created "hippie-style" bracelets and designed earrings with ethnic materials, vintage parts and broken bead strands. Long before upcycled jewelry was popular, Sandra liked to seek out antique pieces and would clean and replace rhinestones and reconstruct jewelry--for example, turning a single earring into a pendant.
As a teacher in the late '90s, Sandra discovered Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, taking advantage of the large variety of beads, focals and findings she couldn't easily find in stores. She continues to teach wire techniques in jewelry-making in her home state of New Jersey, conducting classes regularly at the Newark Museum Arts Workshop. She also teaches annually at Northeast bead festivals. As a SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Ambassador, Sandra has been an instructor in Tucson, Arizona from 2006-2010. Sandra enjoys meeting new and former students from near and far. "I have a large student base and try to keep in touch with them. I am always eager to see them at shows and festivals. My beading and jewelry-making world is a wonderful community–filled with eager learners and enthusiastic jewelry makers."
In 2010, Sandra joined the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Ask the Experts team at the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, demonstrating her wire-wrapping skills at the team's booth at the popular trade show. Sandra is also one of the instructors for Fire Mountain's online video tutorials. Fire Mountain is excited to sponsor Sandra's jewelry-making classes at the upcoming Bead and Button show in June 2011.
Sandra belongs to the Bead Society of New Jersey and keeps active as a committee chairperson for the society, bringing in noted beaders and interesting projects for workshops. She is also a member of the Jewelers Studio Guild of New Jersey--a small group of artisans including beaders, lampworkers, wireworkers and metalsmiths. Sandra sells her wearable art at shows and offers jewelry kits for sale on her website at www.sandsstones.com.
Sandra believes, "to be an artist is to love what you do; develop your own style while both expressing yourself and capturing the interest of others." She encourages artists to keep their eyes open to the world around them. "Do what you love in beading and jewelry-making and you will do it well." Sandra encourages artists to continue to learn and when comfortable with a skill or technique, share it.
She donates her wearable art and kits for charity fundraising efforts. Sandra has worked with food pantries and the Portable Playhouse of New Jersey (an organization that visits hospitalized children and engages them in simple beading projects). She offers kits to veteran servicewomen seeking to learn a skill or enjoy a pastime. In her own spare time, Sandra likes to travel, garden (with a passion for roses and orchids), bake and cook. She also continues to study metalsmithing and enjoys ballroom dancing and Zumba for exercise.
View more of Sandra's designs in the Gallery of Designs and on her website at www.sandsstones.com
View additional resources featuring Sandra in our Jewelry-Maker's Library.
More About SandraSandra teaches wire techniques in jewelry-making in her home state of New Jersey, conducting classes regularly at the Newark Museum Arts Workshop. She also teaches annually at Northeast bead festivals. As a SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Ambassador, Sandra has been an instructor in Tucson, Arizona in 2006-2010. She enjoys meeting new and former students from near and far.
Sandra's designs have been published in Lark Books' Beading with Crystals and Interweave Press' Wire Style.
She has also done technical editing for several publishers on different project-oriented books. Sandra is a member of the team of experts for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® Ask the Experts.