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Ambyre Wickham-Phelps


Meet the Designer-Artist

Growing up, I never considered myself artistic because I lack talent in any of the fine arts. I jumped from theater to pottery class to crocheting scarves, waiting to be good at something other than reading novels in math class. What I discovered wasn't a talent in one specific area, but a love of creativity and a need for self-expression. I was introduced to beading as a teenager, when I received a craft book for Christmas on creating beaded bobby pins. The book came with vials of seed beads, wire and bobby pins. I found that while I couldn't draw my way out of a wet paper bag, I greatly enjoyed creating pretty things.

I began hoarding beads in an old tackle box of my dad's (that still holds some of my bead collection). I started with a pair of rusty old needle nose pliers to make simple loops, but soon discovered Fire Mountain Gems and Beads. Getting a catalog in the mail always felt like Christmas. Through the years beading has always been a part of my life. All of my important milestones can be marked by jewelry in some way. I made my high school boyfriend (now husband) a seed bead necklace that still lives in a keepsake box. My son very generously let me use my expanding stomach as a bead board while I was pregnant with him. I am very blessed that my parents have always been so supportive of my creative pursuits. In fact sometimes they are so supportive, it borders on harassment. (Yes, Mom. I'll get started on my book soon.)

When we moved back to the small town I grew up in to be closer to family, it seemed like no coincidence that Fire Mountain was looking for a copywriter. While I'm learning more about making jewelry every day, I am continually inspired by the beautiful work of the jewelry artists and creative people that I am surrounded by. I am drawn to simple designs, vintage styling and contemporary silhouettes. My favorite pieces to create are simple and wearable, with unexpected touches.

In addition to having the great pleasure of making jewelry and writing about making jewelry as my career, I am the wife of a hilarious, endlessly patient and encouraging husband and the mother of two beautiful children. My desire to express myself through creative pursuits is a driving force in my life. I enjoy jewelry-making, second-hand treasure hunting (junking is in my blood), refurbishing old furniture, cooking (but not baking), knitting and crocheting (quite poorly), gardening and making homemade play dough and other crafts with my inspiringly creative son. I can't wait to share these things with my daughter, who as I write this is a bit too young to join us. As I see it, my future's so bright, I've got to wear shades.

View all of Ambyre's designs in the Gallery of Designs.

Products sold by Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® are intended for experienced jewelry-makers and designer-artists;
children 14 years of age or younger should use these products with adult direction.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Inc. - One Fire Mountain Way, Grants Pass, OR USA 97526-2373
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