Where do you live? Redding, California. Beautiful Northern California, unofficially known as the State of Jefferson.
Describe your artistic style. I do not intentionally have a certain style, but people do recognize my work. It is definitely not modern or simplistic, but more European Old World, with different ethnic influences. My style results from my combination of color, balance and texture that tells me when it is right. Most of my necklaces have a focal piece that I create using glass on a torch or in kiln. My style does include making a statement.
What inspires you as a designer-artist? I am generally inspired by color and texture that lead me to want to create a certain mood and story. I may see something inside or outside, organic, or inorganic that leads me to visualize what will be the focus of a particular design.
What materials do you most enjoy working with? I love working with glass, adding heat leads to endless possibilities. Gemstones are nature's creations that work perfectly with glass. I also love the luster and shapes of pearls. Add a few crystals, a few metal touches and you have perfection.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story? Spring on Bear Mountain
What inspired this design? The incredible green spring we had this year. The Mountains and hills were covered with every shade of green.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working? I made the focal bead with the shape of the necklace in mind. I just lay out the bead selections and colors and move them around until it is right.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading? I always wanted my flat stained glass to move into another shape, so I took a lampwork class. I ended up with beads and had to put them to use. Making jewelry had never even occurred to me.
Who introduced you to beading? I have experience making fabric items and decorating them with beads. My first non-fabric beaded items were bookmarks I made with stained glass leaves and decorated with beads and ribbons. The next step was making necklaces with my beads. I just bought some supplies and jumped in. I had no idea what I was doing nor had any jewelry techniques. The results were interesting. I learned by trial and error and some good beading magazines. I have taught jewelry making classes at Michaels.
Do you have an artistic background? Yes, I have always loved creating things. I am not a painter, like my father, most items I make are 2 to 3 dimensional. I found out just before my father died that his German parents met at an art school in Vienna. So it is in my blood. I also had an art minor in college. I am especially amazed at the history of art and architecture. I just returned from my second trip to Venice. It is an immersion in art.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®? I don't remember not knowing about Fire Mountain Gems. I think I was at a Jewelry show in Portland about 2000 and someone at your booth asked about my necklace. Of course your ads on the back covers of art magazines are always beautiful.
What other hobbies do you have? My hobbies are my glass and jewelry work. I am fusing plates and such in my large kiln. It keeps everything fresh to go back and forth. I use the same Oregon Bullseye glass for both. I like being outdoors and traveling in the RV. I also love cooking. Just about anything creative.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups? I have participated with other jewelry makers and beaders, but generally my schedule is rather hectic and it is hard to make the time commitment.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life? Fortunately, I am retired and have the time to devote to my creations. I don't feel complete if I am not creating something. It is a hobby that pays for itself.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry? I have been selling my art for about ten years. Up until the last few years I would have about 3 outlets at a time. From Oregon to Utah. Everything I make is one of a kind so it takes a lot of time to do that. I have always sold at Turtle Bay Museum Gift shop. At this time it is my only commercial outlet. I find I need to be in an art atmosphere so people appreciate the art glass items. I also participate in the Turtle Bay Arts and Crafts show every Fall. It is in a beautiful setting on the lawns under the trees by the river. Everywhere I go I wear my jewelry and always receive comments. I give out cards and tell them where to look. Most will say they have seen my items at Turtle Bay. I have several very good customers who I make custom items for. This is my first contest.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers? Yes, I always donate to several local cancer fundraisers.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists? Make what pleases you. Just let your own style develop. If you start out using a pattern make some changes to make it your own. Don't be stifled by rules. There aren't any in jewelry.