Earleata Calvin

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Chicago, Illinois

Describe your artistic style.
This is a hard one and the answer would be different every day. My artistic style can go from lace and girl's night out, to gun metal warrior, to art deco slash Lady Sings the Blues.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
The materials that used have the greatest influence in terms of inspiration. Most of the time I can look at a bead, flower or length of chain and the piece will take shape right then and there.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I love mixing materials! That's what I love about jewelry making! I have the freedom to experiment to create what I think is beautiful.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?

What inspired this design?
HA! That's a funny story. My husband and I had just started looking for wedding attire and took some time off from planning and took our son to the circus. The clown that we took a picture of was in her wedding gown costume! My son turns and says to me "Mom, you can wear a collar like hers but not the rest of her dress because it looks crazy!" He was right; the collar of the dress was beautiful and I couldn't get it out of my head.

How did it come together?
This piece definitely defined itself. It is based on a wedding dress so I knew I would use white. Once I had the collar material, the piece just came together.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I started making jewelry about three years ago when my boyfriend (now husband) proposed. I decided that I wanted to make my own bridal jewelry.

Who introduced you to beading?
I took beading courses and utilized the wealth of info found on the internet.

Do you have an artistic background?
No. I'm a United States Army Reserve Veteran. I served as a diesel mechanic. I'm a certified paralegal and I hold a B.A. in behavioral science.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
I discovered FMGB when a Facebook fan suggested I enter a contest.

What other hobbies do you have?
I enjoy reading (the light from my NOOK at night is my husband's pet peeve), cooking, baking and blogging.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry plays a huge role in my life! I can look at a piece and remember if I was giggly that day or if I had an attitude with someone. I remember if that piece took shape right before my eyes or if it took weeks for the final outcome.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I sell via Etsy (www.etsy.com/shop/augustnineteenth). I have a Facebook fan page (www.facebook.com/pages/August-Nineteenth/160866980674327, a Twitter page (@RelishThyself) and a blog (www.augustnineteenthjewelryshop.com).

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
My sister is a kindergarten teacher and she hosts a carnival every year for the students. I teach the children how to make their very own bookmark, necklace, bracelet or ice cream pin. It's so fun!

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
The biggest piece of advice I can bestow is to refuse to fit into another person's definition of what is stylish to you. The biggest fan of your art has to be you. Make what you want!