2009 Fire Mountain Gems and Beads
Grand Prize Gold Medal Winner
||"My dream had always been to be able to make a living as an artist. Following the natural progression of being a rockhound who enters the adjoining lapidary world, I discovered the venue I had sought to express my artist nature--three-dimensional creation."
Dale ''Cougar'' Armstrong controls production of her art from beginning to end. The beginning starts when she and her family search for minerals and rocks by using old prospectors' maps as guides. They take their "treasures" back home to east Tennessee where they cut and trim the minerals and rocks, polish and prepare them to be incorporated into her jewelry designs.
"My goal is to produce traditional wire jewelry designs (using no solder or adhesives), incorporating both precious and non-traditional gemstones, that will withstand the test of time and become tomorrow's heirlooms. I am constantly changing and formulating patterns, working with a variety of wire gauges and consistencies, and understanding the molecular properties of the materials I use. My favorite challenge is to see a piece of cast jewelry and to attempt its replication in wire."
Under the studio name of "Cougar's Creations," Dale displays her award-winning jewelry at juried shows and in select galleries. As a result, her pieces have found homes in many different countries and she has custom designed for several authors and musicians.
"Discovering my medium has many continuous rewards, besides fulfilling my artistic needs. While at a show or in my studio or classroom, I enjoy educating people about the stones I use, their origin and the ancient process used in the construction of my jewelry. Especially satisfying is when I volunteer my time to teach children about the earth under their feet and how to care for it. My favorite benefit has to be the quality time spent with my family while traveling the countryside digging rocks and minerals. The entire life-style provides total personal and artistic gratification for me."
Dale shares her passion for jewelry art by educating and training people who are interested in learning about it. "My students inspire me to remain a purist while continuing to pursue this art form as far as I can."
Dale "Cougar" is a member of the international teaching team at Tucson's JOGS Gem Show and is a well-known instructor at Interweave Press' Bead Fest events. Her unique designs and patterns have been published in a multitude of related magazines, she made an instructional DVD series for JTV and she has been featured on the PBS broadcast Beads, Baubles and Jewels. Dale's intermediate book, Wirework: An Illustrated Guide to the Art of Wire Wrapping, (Interweave Press) launched in June 2009 and has become an international best seller; she is a requested contributor in Contemporary Copper Jewelry: Step-by-Step Techniques and Projects by Sharilyn Miller (2009, Interweave Press) and collaborated with the JOGS instructor team to publish Mixed Media: Jewelry Techniques (Schiffer, 2010). Currently Dale enjoys being the face of, and education consultant for www.wire-sculpture.com
You may contact Dale "Cougar" Armstrong via her website: www.cougarscreations.com
View all of Dale's designs in the Gallery of Designs.