Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2010 featuring Pearls, Organic Beads or Kato Polyclay™
Grand Prize Employee's Choice Winner
Category: Home Décor and Doll
||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii and Sebastopol, Northern California
Describe your artistic style.
I sculpt the figure form in clay and then use that as a canvas to apply embellishments.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I am inspired by nature, by antique fabrics and textiles, by gemstones and beads, by found objects, by shells....by pieces of wood, rocks, other art...gosh...I can find inspiration just about everywhere.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I have a few staples that I always use in my art. polymer clay and Apoxie Sculpt are my foundational materials. I use glass and mosaic tiles, antique lace and trim, shells and beads on most pieces.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
Actually, the Fire Mountain Gems catalog inspired this piece! I was looking through it and noticed some wonderful shells and beads in blues, and that inspired me to create a piece that reflected my feelings of the ocean in Hawaii. The shells that began the inspiration became the collar for her costume.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
I often have a "sense" of the piece I want to make. For instance, I knew that I wanted it to have the feel of the ocean, but that is the only plan that I have. From the moment that I begin a piece, it is allowed to take on a life of it's own and it creates itself. That way, when it's done, I can place it in front of me and enjoy what shows up without feeling so attached to it.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I began using beads and gemstones on my pieces in the early 90s. Although my art is expressed in the figure form, it is the embellishments with the beads and stones that give me the most pleasure.
Who introduced you to beading?
Bead stores.... antique stores...or walks in nature have always sent me straight into the land of inspiration. There's something about walking into a bead store that just sets my imagination flying.
Do you have an artistic background?
I have been creating and selling my pieces for 30 years. I am self-taught. I stumbled into the art doll market when it was just beginning. I was just lucky to be in the right place at the right time and I have enjoyed a wonderful experience of having my art also be my business.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
Fire Mountain Gems has been one of my tables for so long, I can't really remember when I first found it. I believe it happened when I moved to Hawaii and no longer had bead stores near me. At that point I went online for many of my art needs.
What other hobbies do you have?
I enjoy practicing and learning about the many forms of energy work. I am a Master Reiki Teacher and I incorporate that into my art pieces.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
I belong to a art doll group called Niada. http://www.niada.org/
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
My art was a full time business for me from the early 1990's until about 3 years ago when the galleries and the collectors that bought my work just about completely disappeared. I am most happiest when I am creating and so now I find it more difficult to keep creating pieces that I'm not sure will find a home. One of my greatest inspirations to create comes when someone purchases my pieces. It is so thrilling that I immediately want to create something new. With the market now gone, I find that I'm not creating as much art as I would like.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I do have a website http://www.marilynradzat.com. I also have a blog where I share my creating experiences. http://wwwmarilynradzat.blogspot.com/ And I teach classes online at That Creative Place. http://www.thatcreativeplace.com My work is also in a local gallery and I am always looking for galleries in which I think my art would show and sell well.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I have found, through the blogging community, that there are many opportunities to create art for auctions and charities and I always enjoy doing so.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Just keep on creating! I believe that the act of making art creates an energy that fills one's soul. Sometime, when there isn't an outlet for one's creations, it is hard to create, but the very act of beginning....of creating....puts magic into motion. It is all about the journey, not the destination. It is about creating, not about the creation. I always take time to be grateful for the blessing that creating is.
View all of Marilyn's designs in the Gallery of Designs.