|Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Paw Paw, Michigan
Describe your artistic style.
I can't say that I have a specific style. I am always open to try new things. I do love things that dangle and move or drape easily.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
At this time anything can inspire me, color, size, texture, light, etc. My best inspiration is the insight of my grandchildren to their world.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I find that I am drawn to metal along with beautiful beads. I am just starting to explore other metal work besides wire-wrapping.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Emerald Wings Necklace
What inspired this design?
My mother had a necklace from the 1940's with bullet shaped beads that always intrigued me. I ordered beads to try and duplicate the feel of that necklace.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
I found that the beads I bought did not have the look I originally wanted, but working with them I was inspired to do more and loved the look that I finished with.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I made my first necklace when I was 9 or 10. The "bead" was a marble that was heated in a hot dry pan that cooled rapidly to create a "crackle" look.
Who introduced you to beading?
Over 20 years ago, my family started doing 18th century reenacting, French and Indian Era. I was introduced to many styles of antiqued beads, loom work, seed beads, etc. Most of the work was museum quality work.
Do you have an artistic background?
I received an art minor in education and have taken several art classes over the years, but never found an area I thought I was good at.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I first heard about Fire Mountain Gems at a local bead shop, Bijoux Beads, at one of the shop's open bead nights.
What other hobbies do you have?
I love anything that requires the use of tools and my hands. I enjoy photography, wood working, reading, genealogy, 18th century reenacting, swimming.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
So far, just the group of people that come to Bijoux Bead's bead nights.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
After working for over 20 years as an electrician, I became disabled with a severe and very painful bladder disease. Jewelry-making has become something that gives me joy. It is one of the few things that I have been able to do even when I am not able to get out of bed. It is also something that my grandchildren can do with me. My granddaughter loves to sit up late with me at night beading. We go to open beading night at the local bead shop and spend time looking at and buying beads over the internet. Jewelry-making has given me something to look forward to every day and has become an art form that I should be able to enjoy for years.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I did not start making jewelry as a source of income, but I have sold some to friends and in a small shop. My granddaughter and I have also entered some contests for fun. I do have jewelry on my Facebook page. I am looking at 1,000 Markets to sell.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I haven't as of yet, but would love to do so if asked.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Keep your eyes, your heart and your mind open. Don't be afraid. We all see "beautiful" in different ways. Your idea of "beautiful" has as much value as mine or anyone else's. If your work doesn't turn out the way you like, keep trying. Trust yourself. Keep trying.