Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2012 featuring Metal
Gold Medal Prize Winner
Category: Wedding and Holiday
Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Describe your artistic style.
Colorful, happy and fashion-forward.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
The beads and products that I use! I am surrounded by the good stuff!
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Beads and wire
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
It is all about the beads--and they are all Fire Mountain Gems!
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
I just add as much of the good stuff on there as possible.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
As a painter, I wanted to stop the traffic going by my booth at art shows, so I made a bracelet that was colorful just like my paintings. At the end of the show, I realized that more people wanted my bracelets than my paintings, so I slowly transitioned to mostly jewels. I still paint and my jewels look a lot like my art!
Who introduced you to beading?
I have a store/studio plus I sell on my website, outdoor events and I have many wholesale accounts. I have to do everything possible.
Do you have an artistic background?
I have a Master's Degree in Humanities and also in Visual Arts.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
Good question. I guess Google.
What other hobbies do you have?
Painting, gardening and home renovations. But mostly, I work at my business.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
It is a full-time, all the time and forever business. I dream about jewels. This week I have worked with brides to make jewels that will be shipped all over the world, worked with Karen Davidson (great-granddaughter of Harley Davidson) to create a new line that I will make for Harley Davidson, have coming over for coffee to see my studio Canada's largest bead wholesaler to talk about doing a TV show, worked with three stylists for their visions regarding magazines photo shoots, and worked with Ivana Trump's people about her collection for this summer for The Shopping Channel. I am so busy, but I really wanted to fill out your forms for the jewelry contest.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I work hard at marketing. I don't sell off my website for many reasons. I attended a large fundraiser for breast cancer that Harley Davidson was holding and sold $2,000 worth, giving half of that money to the fund. I sell on my own show on The Shopping Channel. I work very hard at the sales. I also send out e-blogs with tons of photos to my mailing list of almost 400 fans. I am the jeweler for The CN TOWER and many museums here in Canada, along with our government headquarters. I have made jewels for Michelle Obama, Camilla and Prince Charles, Lady Gaga, Martha Stewart and many more.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Work very hard, love your art and keep trying new styles so you grow!
View all of Gay's designs in the Gallery of Designs.