Describe your artistic style. I have several different mediums I work with so I do not have a specific style.
What inspires you as a designer-artist? Nature! I especially enjoy painting flowers. I like to study the perfectly blended colors in nature. I encourage everyone to "stop and smell the roses" but really look at the amazing color and detail in a leaf, flower or tree.
What materials do you most enjoy working with? Most recently, I have been working with polymer clay. The possibilities are endless and it's very creative.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story? Steampunk Turtle
What inspired this design? Christi Friesen's Steampunkery book.
How did it come together? It was planned out based on the designs in the book.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading? When I first started working for Fire Mountain in 2002 I took a beading class and I was hooked.
Who introduced you to beading? Fire Mountain Gems.
Do you have an artistic background? I started painting in acrylics in 1984 and progressed into painting in oils. I have painted a few "old dutch masters" which my family fights over! I draw in graphite and have done three different dragon pieces called "The Guardian", "The Protector" and "The Next Generation". In two of the drawings the dragons are in a cave so I had to draw several rocks. I realized as they developed that I had "hidden" objects in the rocks that were complete accidents. There were three dragon heads that I meant to hide in the rocks but the more I looked the more things I found. It reminds me of when we take time to look at the clouds and try to figure out what shapes they are!!
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®? I applied for a job here when they moved to my home town!
What other hobbies do you have? I love to camp, fish, hike and explore.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life? I really enjoy crafts and it is a time for me to relax and be creative. It is very satisfying to have a finished piece in front of you that makes you smile. I recently started selling my polymer clay pieces on Etsy.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry? I began selling on Etsy about 6 months ago. My website is berrycrafty.etsy.com.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers? I have been donating my pieces for years through my church. Several of the proceeds have gone to missions in Brazil and Africa. Some of the fundraisers help the homeless locally and the Vineyard Christian School.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists? Find what inspires you and don't let fear stop you.