Flowers of Glory Fire Mountain Gems and Beads 2009 Jewelry-Making Contest Swarovski crystal Category Finalist
Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live? Fresno, California
Describe your artistic style. Classic to contemporary to Native American. My designs work off my imagination and my imagination works off the mood of the moment or frame of mind.
What inspires you as a designer-artist? I love beautiful things. I see beautiful things in people or nature and these are what give me the inspiration for my creativity. My creativity is also inspired by positive comments from those who see my work.
What materials do you most enjoy working with? I enjoy working with Swarovski crystals and glass seed beads. But I also love dichroic glass and natural elements such as agate, jasper and turquoise. I've also felt creative while working with wood in designing and building children's furniture.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story? Flowers of Glory
What inspired this design? I was trying to design something for my adult daughter to match her personality and my love for flowers. I love the way the crystal would catch the light and colors around them. They sparkle and dance and really catch everyone's eye.
How did it come together? I began the piece with the above thoughts in mind. As I began to create it, it just came together in my hands.
Share Your Background:
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading? In 2003 I joined the Fresno Gem and Mineral Society (FGMS) where one can learn cabochon, sliversmithing, faceting, wire wrap and beading. In 2003 I took a beading class.
Who introduced you to beading? Francise with FGMS taught me to bead around a cabochon. When I saw her beautiful work, I was hooked. I now teach a beginning class at the club.
Do you have an artistic background? I am a self-taught artist. I oil paint, do some woodwork; draw cartoon characters for my husband who is the editor for a koi club, etc. I often draw my beading designs before I create them.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®? From members of FGMS.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups? I belong to the Fresno Gem and Mineral Society. Every Monday night the ladies get together and exchange beading ideas.
What other hobbies do you have? I raise koi fish with my husband Greg and we love to travel both within the US and abroad. Most trips involve our grandchildren.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life? I had a stroke not too long ago. Beading is calming to me and provides therapy to my mind, as well as my motor skills.
If you use jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are your selling yourself and your jewelry? I sometimes enter my pieces in the county fair. I also sell at a couple of craft fairs or other events. Most of my customers are from ''word of mouth.'' But I do have a few of my pieces at out-of-area locations.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers? Yes. I donate some of my pieces to FGMS during the Fresno District where the club sells them in addition to other items to raise money for college and university scholarships.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists? Create your own style. Don't ever give up or say ''I can't.'' You have to push yourself and have fun doing it. The end result is so rewarding.