|Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Point Chevalier, Auckland, New Zealand
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
My inspiration comes from many things--types of materials, beading techniques, colours, shapes, imagination, and admiring the work of other beaders in magazines, books and on the web. Most importantly, my Mum Betty is the biggest inspiration for me. She is a beadaholic too and it's wonderful watching her bead and seeing the ideas she comes up with and the way she works things through. She inspires me to think about things in different ways and create things I have never dreamed of creating.
What medium do you work with mostly?
Bead weaving seed beads seed beads is my favourite. I like constructing intricate pieces that have fine detail and perfect composition. It is easier to do this when you use small seed beads of regular sizes and shapes, and the results are more satisfying. I also like working with Swarovski crystals and have recently started to experiment with Twin™ and Tila™ beads. FireLine® is my favourite stitching medium to work with, and the challenge I set myself is to create a piece that has no thread visible to the eye. It makes people wonder how the piece was constructed.
Why did you become enchanted with this style of jewelry-making?
My Mum was the one who introduced me to bead weaving. I started off with simple peyote stitch and I got hooked when she showed me her freeform peyote bracelets. I am constantly amazed how each design starts as a little pile of beads on a bead mat and ends up as an elaborate object that could never have been created using any other method or materials. Even though the process is very labour intensive, with a little persistence and planning, the end results are very pleasing--and if not, then you can just cut them up and start again! I've found that the objects you can create have their own charisma and they have a strange ability to reach out to people and touch their hearts. Many times, I have seen the moment when an item of bead weaving is being held by someone who is not familiar with the art. It is a delight to see the wonder on their face as they turn it over in their hand and examine the piece. I enjoy making those moments happen.
Beading plays an important part in my life. It started as a hobby for my Mum and me, but given the opportunity to make a living out of it would be wonderful. We are developing our website, www.evencreations.com, to sell and promote our designs.
Where and How do you sell your jewelry?
I've sold my designs via word of mouth and at local markets.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Celebrating New Beginnings 2010 Necklace
What inspired this design?
In 2010, Swarovski celebrated its 115th anniversary and to mark the event they unveiled a new "Swan" figurine to continue to embody the character of Swarovski--beauty, purity, grace, strength and elegance. It is in occasions such as these, of celebration and remembrance, that inspire new ideas and imaginings in people, and this was the heart of my design. A faceted swan champagne flute holder, worn around the neck to accompany you and be the object of admiration as you mix and mingle with friends old and new, in gatherings of celebration.
How did it come together?
I try to plan my designs but more often than not, they take shape on their own. Because Celebrating New Beginnings was also a functional object, I had to plan out the best way to attach the neck strap to the champagne flute holder so that it was secure and comfortable to wear whether the flute was full or empty. The feature swan in my design was made from bicone crystals of different colours and also had to be planned out so it was a realistic visual representation of a swan.
View all of Suzanne's designs in the Gallery of Designs.