Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2010
featuring Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain
||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Hebron, Indiana (A small town in northwest Indiana)
Describe your artistic style.
I don't believe I have a defined style. One day it may be elegant, the next could be gothic. I am very flexible.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
The beads and stones themselves. I can look at a gemstone and my mind starts working on a design. It comes naturally to me.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Chain and links! You can be so creative; add some gemstones and you have a spectacular piece.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
I love the olive green and I just thought these vines needed to be made into an elegant yet vintage looking necklace.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
This piece wasn't planned out. As with many of my pieces, when I began working with the stones, the design just came to me.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I grew up in the seventies and eighties, the fashion was macramé bracelets and seed bead chokers. I wanted to be fashionable so I made myself some jewelry.
Who introduced you to beading?
Myself. I am self taught.
Do you have an artistic background?
Yes. My mother was an artist. She painted beautifully. My father made jewelry from gemstones. I remember seeing him grind and polish the stones and then seeing the finished product.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I looked in a beading magazine to find a company to buy supplies from. I was impressed with the quantity.
What other hobbies do you have?
I enjoy many hobbies, as I love to keep busy. Hobbies such as gardening, painting and drawing relax me. But I really love making jewelry the most, it's challenging.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
I feel that jewelry-making keeps my brain active. I make jewelry on a daily basis. I am trying to make it a full-time business.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I started selling my jewelry by word of mouth, then I began having parties. I have now expanded to the internet. www.envy2.etsy.com.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I have started making breast cancer awareness bracelets. I am offering them on my website and at a local women's fitness center. All profits are donated.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Go with your feeling, step out of the box. There is no "norm." Art is in the eye of the beholder, so give it a try, you may surprise yourself.