What inspires you as a designer-artist? Glorious, abundant, colorful, varied nature.
What medium do you work with mostly? Currently I am working in polymer clay with lots of pearls, Swarovski crystal, metal findings and chain. My current work involves polymer forms with a "window" in them. I create a tiny armature on the back of the piece to hold a jumpring; I hang tiny chains with freshwater pearls from the armature. I am fascinated by translucent clay and often work with it. I am thrilled to donate my latest two pieces to the Breast Cancer "Circle of Hope."
Why did you become enchanted with this style of jewelry-making? I've been using Fire Mountain Gems products to make jewelry for years. I have made knotted Swarovski pearls in every color that compliments my skin tone. When I started making polymer clay items, I opened an Etsy shop. All of my jewelry items contain Fire Mountain products: jumprings, chain and freshwater pearls.
Do you sell your designs? Yes
Where and how do you sell your jewelry? Etsy. LadyFlowersbySusan. The theme of my shop is Healing and Empowerment for Women.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story? Cherry Blossom Season
What inspired this design? When I was growing up in DC, Dad would bundle the five of us kids into the car in our PJs and take us down to the Tidal Basin, by the Jefferson Memorial, to watch the sunrise through the cherry blossoms.
How did it come together? I actually first made some beads using translucent clay in cherry blossom colors. I have innovated a technique where I place translucent lenses on the surface of my beads.
I made the pendant pictured using the trimmings from the cherry blossom beads. I knew I wanted the pendant to be translucent so I made my "Stroppel Cane" with translucent layers between the trimmings from the bead project. I am happy to say that I posted this photo on the Stroppel Cane Flickr group and Alice Stroppel, who innovated this wonderful technique for recycling beautiful clay, stopped by and said that she'd never seen a translucent Stroppel cane and that the piece was pretty and light.
As to process, once I'd cut out the circular form that became the pendant, it called to me for a "window." I cured the pendant on an old floodlight to give it a nice dome shape. Once it was baked, I saw the need for the pearls. When I baked it for the second time, I added a tube to carry the neck chain and the armature to hold the pearls.
What inspired you to donate your bead(s) to Circle of Hope?
I had just made the two pieces I am donating when I saw your email on COH. I knew that I must donate them.