Describe your artistic style. I tend to prefer crystal and faceted pieces in my work (I sometimes say why should a lady need a flashlight--her jewelry should light her way!)
What inspires you as a designer-artist? I can get inspiration from ethnic costumes and art; I can also be moved by verse or song. The piece this year was inspired by Pippin singing in Lord of the Rings, Return of the King.
What materials do you most enjoy working with? I really love stone, highly polished, colorful or faceted. I often mix crystal or silver with stone.
What inspired this design? Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.
How did it come together? I wanted stone to reflect the elements and I began to see the design as I looked through the catalog.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading? I was doing basic off-loom pieces in my teens. I saw an African necklace in college and for years tended to make that pattern. In Oregon, I went to a rock and gem show... and was hooked forever.
Who introduced you to beading? A family friend from Nebraska.
Do you have an artistic background? I have a little training--took a couple of college courses. I draw (charcoal) so I suppose there is some art in my background. My father was a carpenter and farmer. I think there is some inherited tendency towards art ... a sister of mine is very talented.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®? I saw an ad for it in a magazine. When I went online and ordered my first catalog, it was love at first sight!
What other hobbies do you have? Writing, singing, and charcoal drawing.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life? It is a part-time career--I am working on getting a website up. I usually do some beading almost daily. It is so fulfilling, and it keeps my fingers nimble.
If you use jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry? So far I have been selling my work at parties and at one annual convention I attend. I have entered contests--in 2009 I took first place in the Multnomah County Fair for stone beadwork.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers? Yes. I make jewelry for a couple charity and non-profit auctions each year (Toastmasters, and a music school here in Portland and a charity auction in Minneapolis, Minnesota).
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists? Play! Look at lots of magazines and designs. I find this is a great venue to express myself and it has also made a little money here and there, too.