Turquoise Desert Horse
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2012 featuring Metal
Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Describe your artistic style.
I started with wire wrapping and have been learning more about metal work recently. I like bold, unique and innovative jewelry.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I often see things in nature that give me ideas for my jewelry. Sterling silver wire formed into curving waves swinging across the face of a beach stone or the entwined branches of wild vines. Sometimes a certain stone will inspire a unique design.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Semi-precious gemstones. Labradorite is my favorite, copper and bronze sheet metal and sterling silver wire.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
The wild grape vines winding around the old fences in the park where I ride my horse.
How did it come together?
I got a vision of the piece as I was riding and saw the grape vines but it became different than I thought it would as I made it.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
About 4 years ago I learned lost wax casting in order to make a ring out of a black opal I purchased. After making several cast pieces for friends and family I started learning about wire wrapping.
Who introduced you to beading?
A friend who is an artist taught me about lost wax casting and introduced me to wire wrapping.
Do you have an artistic background?
I recently retired after working 37 years as a secretary in public schools. I have always been drawn to artistic projects but never settled on a particular medium until I started working with stones and metal to make jewelry.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
A friend who makes jewelry introduced me to Fire Mountain when I was trying to get supplies at a reasonable price.
What other hobbies do you have?
I LOVE horseback riding and am lucky enough to have 2 beautiful horses and a lovely regional park very near the barn! I also love spending time with my grandchildren, reading and going on hiking trips with my husband and our dog.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
I seem to crave the creative outlet that jewelry making allows me and now that I am retired I would like to expand my jewelry activities to full time. I would like to start participating in art fairs in the near future as I build up my inventory. Also, my husband and I have been traveling to different parts of the country to look for unusual stones for my jewelry.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I have opened an Etsy shop and have my jewelry in a local coffee shop and an art gallery. I would like to start participating in art fairs in the near future.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I have donated my jewelry to several charity auctions for animal shelters and cancer research.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Don't be afraid to try something new. Every new thing you learn gives you more ideas and inspiration.
View all of Lee's designs in the Gallery of Designs.