Best Friends Fire Mountain Gems and Beads 2009 Jewelry-Making Contest Swarovski crystal Category Bronze Medal Prize Winner
Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live? Cambridge, Wisconsin
Describe your artistic style. I have multiple artistic styles; it changes with my mood and the media I am working with.
What inspires you as a designer-artist? I am inspired by many things. Nature plays a big part, yet I can be inspired by my mood after reading or watching movies, or just observing something beautiful.
What materials do you most enjoy working with? I enjoy working with Swarovski crystals and Delica beads and I love to combine many different mediums into a design.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story? Best Friends
What inspired this design? I was first inspired by fireopal Swarovski's. I came up with the idea of a ''fire bug'' and his friend after watching a Laurel and Hardy movie.
How did it come together? I did not plan it out. It just developed as I went along.
Share Your Background:
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading? I began my love affair with beads when I strung my first lima bean necklace at summer camp when I was four.
Who introduced you to beading? I am a self-taught artist. I have learned from many people. For example, I developed a love of seed beads at the age of nine when I went to an Ojibwa Pow Wow in upper Wisconsin and was amazed at the beautiful beaded costumes.
Do you have an artistic background? I enjoy wood carving, dance and playing music. I have had training in all arts.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®? On the back of a beading magazine.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups? I do not belong to any beading groups or societies at this time.
What other hobbies do you have? I enjoy antique shopping, gardening, photography and, of course, collecting beautiful beads for my favorite art.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life? Beading helps me unwind at the end of a day. It is meditative. For me it is a both a hobby and a full-time career. I own a small bead shop that I work at during the day and when I get home I bead for me.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers? I donate some of my pieces to my favorite charities and demonstrate art making at local fundraisers. On the more national level, I have sold many breast cancer awareness bracelets I made using awareness beads.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists? My biggest advice is having confidence in your work. If it looks good to you then there is a 99.99% chance it will look good to someone else. I hear too many people tell me they don't think their jewelry is very good, when in fact, it is really beautiful.