||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Describe your artistic style.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Mostly color, unusual bright combinations. Also certain themes such as celestial, sea or ocean and garden.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Mostly glass, but also any material that will fit in with my theme. No material is off my palette. I will use glass, gems, metal, paper, clay, yarn or natural organics.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Oil Slick Necklace
What inspired this design?
My own focal bead just seemed to demand a certain size with asymmetrically placed colors.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
My surf-board-shaped pendant seemed to overwhelm other jewelry makers, so I decided to utilize it myself. Once that decision was made, the entire design sprang instantaneously into place.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
It seems as if I have always been doing it, although in actual time, it has only been since about 1950. I started with metalsmithing and changed media over time.
Who introduced you to beading?
I think only myself.
Do you have an artistic background?
Yes. Since grammar school I have been engaged in one after another artistic endeavor. I have done ceramics, charcoal sketches, watercolors, oil painting, metalsmithing, glass fusing and have had lessons and attended art academy in Baltimore.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
Boy! I really don't remember. One day I was complaining about the lack of sources for good components and someone told me to send for your catalog, sometime around 1995?
What other hobbies do you have?
Growing gesneriads for national shows.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
Yes. Rocky Mountain Bead Society and Denver Chapter of ISGB, International Society of Glass Bead makers.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Since I am a retired person, I guess you might call it a part-time career.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I do not have a website, although I do mail orders. People find me at craft fairs or by word of mouth.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Don't listen to naysayers. If someone says you can't combine certain colors, you can't make certain materials behave the way you want them to, don't listen. There is always a way.
View more of Vilma's designs in the Gallery of Designs.