Meet the Designer-Artist Mixed-media designer-artist, Louise McClure, is Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' featured catalog cover artist for the 2006-2007 Gemstone and Precious Metals Jewelry Maker's Catalog with her multi-media necklace reminiscent of her visit to Grants Pass, Oregon and Fire Mountain Gems.
''So interesting to note the colors along the river ... leaves just changing in early fall. Each one of us (dogs included) favored that color mix in the stones and in that afternoon!''
Designed exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, her cover piece - titled St. Hubert's Hounds, or Yofi - narrates the circular friendship between people and dogs. Drawing upon inspirations she found during her visit--the early fall colors along the Rogue River and the people and dogs she befriended--the piece unraveled before her eyes.
Louise excels at mixing mediums, incorporating found objects and inspirational images into her jewelry. In her cover piece, Louise unites ribbon and shell, gemstone beads and the OmniGel image transfer technique, using words and images to tell the story of her visit.
Artist Background Louise grew up in a military family and spent most of her early years moving from one country to the next, collecting valuable experiences from the diverse communities in which she lived. The encouragement from her parents to explore new areas and ideas ''instilled the importance of learning and accepting the differences in people and cultures.''
Earning her degree in Interior Design, Louise spent 20 years in the San Francisco Bay area where she explored the human's ''emotional and physical response to color, light, style, fabrics and finishes within personal and public spaces.'' In 2003, she decided to leave her corporate career and followed her artistic path to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where she began her journey of creating and marketing jewelry.
Louise takes inspiration from the people and surroundings in her past and present. Her jewelry expresses ideas and events through symbolism, the psychological influence of color and the mystical qualities of energy ascribed to individual stones--her pieces come together as ''a celebration of free-will.''
''The cover piece would not be possible without the assistance of everyone at Fire Mountain Gems and Beads ... so helpful and generous with their time!''
As well as being featured on the catalog cover, Louise's work has appeared in numerous projects for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, including design ideas in the Gallery of Designs and How-To sections online. She has also been a nationwide instructor for the Lapidary Journal's BeadFest and has appeared on HGTV's That's Clever! Louise is currently working on a mixed media beading book for Lark Books from her home studio, located in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina.