Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2010 featuring Swarovski crystal
||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Howell, New Jersey
Describe your artistic style.
I tend to be very uniform in my style but I am open to taking risks and trying new things. I think the beginnings of my work tend to be traditional and classic but I am working on other pieces that may show my earlier creativity of style that I had as a teen in the '80s (not necessarily as styles of the '80s but more taking risks with the creativity of my design).
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
My heart mostly, and my creativity. I do make sure that the jewelry I make for my family and friends is a reflection of what I think they may like. When I make a specific piece for a donation, I try to focus on what the charity is. New pieces, I think about a vision, it could be a color or a style--then work from there but it is always my heart and creativity that judges what ends up being made.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I love to work with Swarovski crystals, glass beads, pendants, glass pearls, and wire for stringing. I am also open to anything I haven't tried before. I tend to challenge myself to learn to work with new materials.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Autumn Fiesta Necklace
What inspired this design?
I thought about the season for this design. Driving to work in New Jersey you see all of the changes of the leaves. I wanted to show the beautiful, yet fun, colors of Autumn.
How did it come together?
I found the leaf pendant and went from there. I went on the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® website to get the colors I needed to go with this piece. I knew I needed to find the colors that would represent the season in a fun and beautiful way. Driving to work every day I see the wonderful colors of Autumn on the trees.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I started making jewelry in 2007. We had an 11 year old yellow lab that succumbed to cancer. Making jewelry started as my therapy to cope with her loss, it helped to relax me which made my creativity come out. Even though it has been over 3 years, and we have 2 more dogs in our house, I still use this as therapy and a stress reliever.
Who introduced you to beading?
It really wasn't a who as much as a what and an aha moment. I had started going to local craft fairs, saw the jewelry tables, and thought that I could do that.
Do you have an artistic background?
I have a creative sense of things. I figure things out on my own, hands on, and then create. My dad has artistic talents--he has designed and drawn plans of houses he has built, he is great at figuring things out--I get that from him.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
A friend's sister had been receiving the catalog and when she told her I was starting to make jewelry, she had the catalog sent to us. I have been a customer ever since.
What other hobbies do you have?
I started out with home décor (my own home, inside and outside for the holidays), I was introduced to scrapbooking and stamping, which helps with creating memories for my family in a fun way. I also like to make framed posters out of memorabilia (vacations, concerts, and events).
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
It is a hobby that eases my stress. It really is therapy for me and brings out my creative side. It makes me happy to make jewelry that people like and to be able to personalize some of it for friends and family.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I do have my pieces in my husband's office to sell and it is popular, and that has been great, and the office across the hall would like to feature my jewelry. I also make jewelry as gifts for friends and family.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I did donate a piece to a silent auction for a breast cancer fundraiser. I have also donated (and will again) for a gift auction I run at work for a scholarship. This year I am also planning to donate to the gift auctions for our local schools.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Just let your creativity and heart inspire you to create your dreams.