Fire Mountain Gems and Beads 2009 Beading Contest
Category: Metal Beads and/or Chain
Bronze Medal Prize Winner
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2010 featuring Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework or Chain Category
||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Belgium near Brussels
Describe your artistic style.
I have no particular style but my style can be described as a rather austere style but sometimes I lose all brakes and experiment with exuberant colors and design transship.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Everything and nothing inspire me. I have a head that is full of ideas and I just let myself be guided by the inspiration of the moment. Sometimes I draw in a note book that is never far away.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I prefer natural materials such as: semi precious stones, precious stones, freshwater pearls, bone, wood, seeds. But sometimes I'm seduced by old or raw glass beads. I will always use silver and gold filled findings to complete my designs.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
Nature inspired this design.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
One day I was working in my workshop when a spider came down from the ceiling. It fascinated me so much that I made a necklace inspired by the spider and its web.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
Three years ago, I started with buying materials and making jewelry.
Who introduced you to beading?
Do you have an artistic background?
I got my diploma for advertising signs at a young age; followed by a few years of graphic art, I still follow a ceramics class in night school and goldsmith's art in day school.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
By search on the internet.
What other hobbies do you have?
Gardening, ceramics, and being creative at all levels (home décor, clothing, ect.)
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
After a career of 22 years as an instrumentalist in open heart surgery, I decided to take one sabbatical year of leave and take the time to decide where I wanted to go in my career. In my life. In that year I started training to be a silver and gold smith. My colleagues asked about findings and semi-precious stones, so I came up with the idea of a web-shop. Every day I'm busy with either jewelry making or sales in my studio. Thanks to my husband, who is fully supporting me, I cease to work as a nurse and get the space and time to make my hobby a profession.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I started selling at craft fairs and summer markets; I do home-parties, started to give workshops and will have a website soon. I participated for the first time last year in the Fire Mountain contest and won third place in the metal beads and/or chain category. This year I plan to participate again.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
As a nurse, I did some charity; I made some home baked cookies and sold them to my colleagues at work. With the profit from my sales I bought mosquito nets in Dakar. These nets I distributed among the population of Toubacouta and Nema Bah in Senegal. In the future I would like to give the people of Nema Bah a better equipped pharmacy.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
My success is still so young and I'm still working hard to make it happen, but I can say this: follow your heart and believe in what you are doing, make it happen!
View all of Lieve's designs in the Gallery of Designs.