What inspired these designs? Corn Snake: I often thought that the scales on a snake resembled bead work, especially the peyote stitch and somewhat with bead weaving. As a teenager I had a corn snake. Over the years with several trials I came up with the idea of using a rubber snake as a form instead of just making a coil of beads. I sketched out the color pattern for a small area and then chose my colors freeform.
Fire Rattle: The form for this rattle is a round Coca Cola bottle. I came up with the idea for the fire rattle from taking classes in shamanism. I will be making one for earth, water, and wind to go with it.
Transitions: idea came from my 9th grade reading teacher who enrolled in the beading class I offer at Bloomsburg University in their continuing education mini courses. She gave me the idea and I put it together for her as an example of what can be done with bugle beads. She was so happy and she is really excited for me about the Fire Mountain contest.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading? I began making beaded jewelry as a child. My mother bought the beads for me and also got me a beading loom.
Who introduced you to beading? My mother. I am basically self-taught but had her help with instructions when needed.
Do you have an artistic background? Yes. I have a master's degree in art and am certified to teach K-12 art, math, science and special education.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®? I have been getting Fire Mountain's catalog for years. I'm not sure how I began receiving them.
What other hobbies do you have? Painting, sculpture, gold panning and collecting rocks.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life? Beading and jewelry-making is a part-time career/hobby for me. I teach math and science at a correction facility for juvenile offenders. I do beading for relaxation.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry? My website is www.2beagles.com. I do art shows, craft shows and fairs. I teach beading and wire-wrapping classes. I also own a rock shop - Beagle's Rocks and Minerals.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists? Patience and keep trying.