Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2011 featuring SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS
Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
I was born and raised in Florida--currently Gulfport, Florida.
Describe your artistic style.
Eclectic--though I am a die-hard 'traditional' wirework artist.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Everything--I'm not being cheeky, but everything seems to inspire me--most days' designs and ideas pop into my head, and I'm not fully aware of what triggered them. I keep notepads everywhere, and have even had to pull my car out of traffic, to jot down design ideas before they evaporate.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Wire is always a constant, though additional materials seem to change from time to time. Currently I've been obsessed with natural shells and pearls, with an ever-present love of vintage crystals.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
The crystals and my addiction to making rings. It is named after my Mother, who I inherited my addiction from. :))
How did it come together?
It mostly defined itself--It evolved from my crystal bracelets, which "shrank" into earrings, which then "shrank" into the rings. I love the crystals and especially the ones I can get with the settings--they almost screamed "make me into a ring!!"
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I have always had a love of creating in one form or another--I'd kill for the telephone wire pieces I made back when I was 10 or 12yrs old!!! Since then I have tried silk screen printing (had a 'real job' at that for 2 yrs); furniture making, leather work, whip braiding, pottery on a wheel, wood carving, stamp carving, and finally landing on wire jewelry in 1988.
Who introduced you to beading?
I had been 'playing' around with beads in my spare time for many years. A dear friend introduced me to wirework in 1988 after a car accident ended my career as a graphic artist.
Do you have an artistic background?
Yes--most of it I tried on my own, though I did have an art teacher in grade school, who believed that everyone should be introduced to as many different art forms as possible.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I discovered Fire Mountain shortly after learning wire wrapping looking for really cool materials to work with.
What other hobbies do you have?
No other "real hobbies" other than spending time with my parrots (9) and creating jewelry.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
Sadly none in person--there aren't any easily accessible to me--though I do belong to several online groups for beading and wire wrapping.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry-making consumes almost my entire day, every day. It has been my full-time job since 2007.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I used to do craft fairs and shows, though now with my birds, I rarely travel. I have about 6 or 7 online venues I sell in, plus I teach and sell my work at my local bead shop I haunt--Buttons, Bangles, and Beads on St. Pete Beach. I've only recently started to enter my work in contests.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
You have to have almost an almost all-consuming passion; at least to try and make a living at it. I don't believe you can be "in it" just for the money, you have to truly love what you're doing, because of all the hard work and long hours that's involved.
View all of Bobbi's designs in the Gallery of Designs.