Alisha Butler

Alisha Butler

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2010 featuring Crystal


Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Tallahassee, Florida

Describe your artistic style.
Cornucopia--a little bit of everything...

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I'm inspired by many things, everything really--personal experiences, nature, and most recently characters in literature (fiction and historical fiction)...

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I don't really have a favorite material. Thanks to my ADHD, I am constantly discovering new things (materials), techniques and love trying them out. Sadly, that means I am a "jack of many, master of none." Maybe one day I'll choose a favorite.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Edward's Golden Eyes

What inspired this design?
The fictional character Edward Cullen in the Twilight Series books.

How did it come together?
Originally, I was just drawn to the colors together. I loved the misty and golden colors of the different crystals with the beautiful, greenish, bluish amazonite. I was also anxious to try working with ribbon, and the golden color was fabulous. Slightly after the fact I started reading the Twilight books and saw the movie. Edward's character had the most beautiful golden color eyes at certain points in the story and I realized the colors I had chosen for my piece (especially the golden ribbon) was the same color. Oddly enough, later when I read the third book in the series it mentioned that Edward's eyes had once been green. I thought of the amazonite and decided the piece knew (before I did) the statement it wanted to make.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I was in my early twenties (and to give my age away, that would be the early '90s) and a boyfriend took me to a tiny little store--Tallahassee's first bead store. I was mesmerized. I found myself visiting the little place again and again--even after said boyfriend was no longer a boyfriend. Gradually the little bead store moved to a bigger building. I continued visiting the bead store, made friends with the employees and the owner (who became my mentor), I took jewelry making classes--I was hooked!

Who introduced you to beading?
The very talented Deborah Coule, owner of Chevron Trading Post and Bead Co.--my mentor and friend.

Do you have an artistic background?
Not really. I fancy myself a writer and poet. But, unfortunately I have never been good at most art forms (drawing, painting or sculpting). But I love the tactile and I love color--so I get my "fix" with beads and jewelry-making.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
It seems like I have known about Fire Mountain forever (it's been many years), but for the life of me I can't recall specifics.

What other hobbies do you have?
Reading, writing, running, swimming (various forms of exercise), spending time with my kids, spending time with my closest friends, spending time with my closest friends and all our kids!!!

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry-making has never been a full-time career, though I once worked full-time managing a bead store and taught jewelry-making classes. My life has expanded in the last 10 years--career change, marriage, kids and my jewelry-making took a back seat. I would be able to make a fabulous gift when the need arose, but that's about it. Recently I have felt the creative pull once again. I've been inspired by fictional characters, as well as real people I know and particular situations those people are in. It's almost like I have to purge my heart onto the objects I'm working with. It's the way I used to feel when I was drawn to write poetry/prose.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I used to do craft fairs and various types of shows to sell my work. But that was years ago. I feel a little like I'm beginning again. I am planning a website and have all sorts of marketing ideas. But my kids are young and take up a lot of my time, so I'm taking "baby steps."

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
You will be surprised at what you are capable of. Don't be afraid. The only prerequisite is knowing what you like.