||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Describe your artistic style.
I love to add unconventional things to my work. I like to use odd things as beads and findings such as pieces of mirrors, frosted glass, cut up Capri sun packaging. I'm a painter and I also love to bring my work into my beading. Three words to describe my style: eccentric, colorful, and fierce!
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I get inspired by everything under the sun. Couture and vintage fashion. Alexander McQueen. Warhol. Different artists and movements interest me. Matisse. I am inspired by what doesn't exist. Being a student trying to get through school, money is also a motive.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I enjoy working with wood beads, glass beads, all beads I must say; I am a true fiend. I am addicted; it's pretty bad. I tend to want to try to make everything work so anything and everything is a potential material in my work.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
I wanted to see if I could make a pair of earrings out of a couple packs of Capri Suns; I liked the metallic look of the packaging. They also make for funky-in-your-face-no-one-has-earrings-like-this look. They're very lightweight as well.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
It took me forever to find my rhythm in cutting the Capri Suns in a spiral and piercing the material with a head pin but it came together nicely.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I've been making jewelry since I was little. Dabbling in pony beads and Lisa Frank. I used to sell pony bead bracelets in 3rd grade for 25 cents to the kids at school.
Who introduced you to beading?
I think when I was younger at daycare they had beads and I sat there and made things until my grandfather picked me up. I was fascinated by all the combinations beads could make. I asked my grandfather if he could get some beads for me. He did. I've been beading ever since.
Do you have an artistic background?
I'm currently going to the University of California, Riverside as an art major. I've always been involved in art-making in some way.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
When I went to go live with my Aunt when my grandfather got sick she always had piles of magazines and she would always give me the Fire Mountain Gems catalog because she knew I thought the beads were so beautiful. I would spend hours making imaginary wish lists and bead combinations for future work.
What other hobbies do you have?
I enjoy painting, photography, going to art museums and galleries, and writing poetry.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
I do not belong to any groups or societies. However I do have friends who bead and own their own businesses like myself and we trade tips and have beading parties.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
It is my part-time career. I am a student right now. I hope to make it a full-time job. Beading also helps calm me down. I have anxiety and Fibromyalgia. I fight with stress daily and beading helps me suppress stress.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I have a website where I sell my work online at www.blackbetsyearrings.com, I attend a number of vending events to sell in person and I make house calls.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I give work to the raffles of such functions.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Continue to make work. If you don't like how a project is coming out don't get frustrated, let it rest and come back to it. In the mean time start another project. Also stay organized--it helps a lot!