Describe your artistic style. I create ethnic, bohemian style, mostly wire, jewelry. I prefer jewelry that is totally handmade using copper, brass or sterling wire and semi-precious stones.
What inspires you as a designer-artist? I find inspiration from studying the artistic creations of ancient, diverse cultures.
What materials do you most enjoy working with? Right now, I'm using copper wire and some brass. I love semi-precious gems.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story? Goddess Necklace
What inspired this design? Looking through a magazine showing Egyptian jewelry at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working? Most of jewelry sort of evolves by itself. I keep a sketch pad of my ideas and then it just takes off on its own.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading? I've been creating jewelry for at least 40 years. I started by taking apart my mother's jewelry as a child. I am constantly learning and growing.
Who introduced you to beading? My inner self.
Do you have an artistic background? I have taken many art classes in New York City. I like to draw with color pencils and have done nature and wildlife illustrations as well as human portraits.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®? I really don't remember, it was so long ago. I think I saw an ad in a magazine. Fire Mountain was the first jewelry supply company I ordered from.
What other hobbies do you have? Artwork, crochet, classical guitar, calligraphy, birding, gardening and more.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups? Not really. I have joined several jewelry social networks and have a studio at www.zoraida.artfire.com. I also do craft shows and thinking of joining my local gem and mineral organization.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life? I create jewelry almost every single day. It's my major creative outlet. I am trying to make it a full-time career through my web store and craft shows.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry? Yes, I have a studio at www.zoraida.artfire.com and one on Etsy which hasn't been set up yet. I do as many craft fairs as I can. I do send out mailings and emails to customers. I have entered a few contests and won a blue ribbon at show recently.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers? I haven't done so yet but will do so shortly.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists? Learn experiment and follow your bliss. Never give up if you truly love creating jewelry. Join groups and social networks in the jewelry field. Be generous, give and promote other artists.