Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Black Hawk, South Dakota
Describe your artistic style.
Nature inspired. Everything was done already in nature. We just choose practically or dreamingly parts of it. I show it off.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Wild flowers of the Black Hills in South Dakota.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Silver and genuine gemstones.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
Little blue flowers blooming along the Spearfish Canyon in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
How did it come together?
The concept was wild flowers of the Black Hills; Forget-Me-Not was a first choice because of its round shape and personal memories of my mother and grandfather. It was their favorite flower; we made wreaths of it for their funerals in Hungary.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I started in the Black Hills gold industry, where I became a designer. Started our own business with my husband (also a designer) mainly in silver, and then I needed colors.
Who introduced you to beading?
Friend and fellow artist Barb Alverson. We were in the same Gallery of the Artforms 1998.
Do you have an artistic background?
I have been creating since I remember. As a child in Hungary, I used brown bags and matchboxes. Later I started designing/sewing for my doll and myself, then others.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
Barb Alverson showed it to me, along with a trip to Tucson.
What other hobbies do you have?
Playing my little piano I finally got after 20 years. The one I had from my grandmother I had to leave when I left Hungary 24 years ago with my two children: Ildiko and Peter.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
As an artist: Artist of the Black Hills
Gemstone Artist: Western Dakota Gem and Mineral Society and The Rocky Mountain Federation of Minnesota.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Designing, developing and manufacturing silver and gold jewelry and findings are the solid ground work that gives me the freedom to create one of the kind jewelry using a palette of multicolored gemstone beads with my metal creations. Sketching life size images of jewelry and then carving them in wax, casting and finishing them in the metal and final assemble some of it in my beaded creations is my full-time job in Roger Wagoner Designs and it is my main interest. It is giving me a lot of enjoyment to be able to sort of "paint" with colored gemstone beads.
If you use jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
Galleries, shows and a website: www.rogerwagonerdesigns.com
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Community Lions Club: donations
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation: donations
Boys Club: donations
Children's Home Society: donations
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Try to bring something new to the table, strive always for the highest quality, give always a little more than expected.
View all of Ildiko's designs in the Gallery of Designs.
What inspired you to donate your bead(s) to Circle of Hope?
I lost my mother to cancer 44 years ago, and I feel she should be still alive if treatment would have been available to her.