Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2010 featuring Seed Beads
Gold Medal Prize Winner
||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Fort Meyers, in sunny Florida
Describe your artistic style.
Technically my style is freeform peyote with a three dimensional assemblage twist. Many of my patrons refer to it as collage.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
A basis of a visual (usually from nature) or emotional experience forming a theme and the expression in objects, texture and color.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Tiny seed beads are my primary basic material, but I enjoy working with natural materials, including: semi-precious stones, pearls, glass, bone, wood and shells.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Madame de Pompadour
What inspired this design?
Madame de Pompadour was a beautiful and intelligent woman who became the mistress of Louis the XV. I recently read about her and became fascinated with her nature, beauty and charisma. I think that the creamy and pearly color would have looked beautiful on her opalescent skin. She helped change the destiny of France and I hope that this necklace inspired by her will do the same for me.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
My work always defines itself as I bead. I have in mind what I want to create, I select my pallet of beads, then the piece takes on a life of its own.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
My passion for beading began when I inherited a jade and crystal necklace from my grandmother. The necklace was old and tattered and in need of repair. Restoring it was my first encounter with beading. I found the project to be soothing and enjoyable. This evolved into simple bead stringing and sales at craft shows. My beading evolved when I became acquainted with American Indian arts and crafts. I became fascinated with the beading technique called peyote or gourd stitch, which American Indians still use to beautify ceremonial objects and clothing articles. I was enthralled. My imagination bursting, I began stitching my first peyote project. I was immediately hooked. My art took a personal and intriguing twist as I started to express myself through my creations.
Who introduced you to beading?
The gift of a peyote beading book. This book taught me the basic peyote stitch. My work evolved into self-taught designs and techniques. One of the reasons I did not want to take classes is that I did not want to be influenced by someone else's techniques and designs.
Do you have an artistic background?
I was born on the picturesque Meuse River in Alsace/Lorraine France. At a very young age my beloved grandmother taught me the love of colors, art and creativity. I relocated to Gainsville, Florida in my teens and Florida has been my home ever since. I love all arrays of art, and I have had my hand in oil painting, fashion design, embroidery, crocheting, knitting and now beading.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I have been a customer of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads since the early 90's. I was given a small catalogue and loved the products right away.
What other hobbies do you have?
Walking and bicycling.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
I have been offered many invitations to beading groups. I declined the invitations for the same reason that I do not want to take classes. I do not want to be influenced by someone else's art.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry-making is a full-time part of my life. I work at least eight hours a day, seven days a week. It provides a creative outlet, self satisfaction and a significant contribution to family income.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I create a distinct character around my artwork that includes the uniqueness of the art, the communication of the inspiration behind each piece and the assistance with color and style during the sales process in art shows. My husband also maintains a website that is used as a gallery (not for sales) of my work.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I have given pieces to be auctioned as fundraisers.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Create something that is unique. Something that you don't see in other's work.
View all of Sylvie's designs in the Gallery of Designs.