Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2011 featuring Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework or Chain
Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Quincy, Illinois USA
Describe your artistic style.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I'm fascinated by the myths and cultures of the world.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Copper clay and silver clay.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
The Celtic art treasury, the Book of Kells. I created a series of Celtic knot work animals and designs to reflect different stories and myths and wanted to express a little bit of that force with this piece.
How did it come together?
It came in bits and pieces, starting out first as a series of drawings then slowly building into this final piece. It's the culmination of two years of design work.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I've been drawing and painting as long as I can remember. I began beading 6 years ago just to make myself jewelry that quickly turned into a business and store. Three years ago I discovered metal clay and realized I could incorporate my two artistic passions, illustrating and jewelry-making! Now I create my own texture forms and shapes, always building on the things I wished existed when I was beading.
Who introduced you to beading?
My better half and business partner Steve introduced me to a bead loom, and the guitar strap he'd created on it. Every since then, I just had to know how and that drive has yet to cool!
Do you have an artistic background?
I love to draw, paint, and sculpt.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
A friend recommended the site.
What other hobbies do you have?
I love music and play the Celtic harp, banjo, piano, and other assorted stringed things.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
Not at the moment. I am a member of the PMC guild and currently enrolled in the Metal Clay Master's Registry program.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Full-time obsession. I travel throughout the year to art shows and festivals, and draw our primary income from it. I feel incredibly blessed to be able to make a living doing what I love!
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
Yes, yes, yes, and yes. www.jade-orchid.com I just recently placed second in the Metal Clay Today "Show Me the Love" contest, produced a how to metal clay video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwAssZ7BFEE , maintain an Etsy site http://www.etsy.com/shop/wanaree?ref=si_shop and just finished a project article for Art Jewelry Magazine on one of my metal clay techniques.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I'm a part of the Great River Artisans, a group of local artists that organize a yearly art show and donated a portion of our sales to the elementary school district's art mentorship program. Without the donations of the community, there would be no money for art supplies. Without the generosity of the artists that volunteer to teach there would be no program. I've also taught basic beading courses to children through the Teen Reach program and through the public library.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
We are only limited by our ability to imagine our designs. The techniques and skills will come with a little time, patience, and practice.