Meet the Designer-Artist
I find inspiration in the materials which are on my bench at the time, and also in my surroundings. Sometimes the materials I have collected seem to lead me in directions that I might not ordinarily go, and at other times, something that has happened or something I have seen will inspire me to recreate a design for that moment.
My home and studio are surrounded by woods and wildlife, and my love of nature is a recurring theme in much of my work. I feel that today, most people are removed from the rhythms of nature and this has caused us to harm our environment. I hope that some of my feeling for the bugs, animals and plants that I create comes across to the wearer.
Generally, I am most proud of the piece I am currently working on. However, I am proud of all the pieces I have made that have won awards, and especially the ones that have been featured in the Fire Mountain backcover magazine advertisements.
Share Your Background
I was introduced to beading at a very early age, probably 7 or 8, by my mother, who would sometimes do what she called "Indian beading" on a small loom.
I was given a Fire Mountain catalog by a friend who also did beading many years ago and that was when things really took off with my beading. Although I had been selling pieces off and on to friends and family, Fire Mountain's Beading Contests were what really pushed me into doing it as a living. I won two 2nd prizes with my work in the first contest I ever entered. It's been nonstop since then. So, thank you Fire Mountain.
Jewelry-making is my livelihood. I currently work mainly in Art Clay Silver metal clay. I teach others how to make jewelry out of metal clay and sell jewelry at a number of galleries in my area. My work has been featured in numerous books and publications. I have authored articles on jewelry-making for magazines such as Art Jewelry, Bead Trends and Fired Arts and Crafts. Besides winning a number of 1st and 2nd prizes for my work with Fire Mountain, I also won 2nd prize in the 2008 North American Design contest with a small silver metal clay sculpture of a turtle hatching. In the fall of 2008, I enrolled in the Metal Clay Master's Registry and in July of 2009, I became the 7th person in the world to attain Registry 1. So as you can see, jewelry-making plays an extremely significant role in my life.
View all of Michela's designs in the Gallery of Designs.
What inspired you to donate your bead(s) to Circle of Hope?
As a cancer survivor myself, I always try to donate work to things like the Circle of Hope Project. It makes me feel I am contributing to something meaningful for myself and millions of others who've had cancer.