Meet the Designer-ArtistWhere do you live?
Bel Air, Maryland
Describe your artistic style.
Feminine to funky
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Paintings and fashion
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Paper, feathers and lots of beads!
What inspired this design?
In the featured design, I let the paper dictate the design.
How did it come together?
Every bead made from paper starts out as one thing, but when finished, it is completely different. I love that!
Share Your BackgroundWhen and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
In 2007, I discovered how much fun making my own jewelry can be.
Who introduced you to beading?
Wendy Rieger on NBC news from Washington, DC had a story on women making beads out of paper in Uganda. I love paper and I thought how wonderful this was.
Do you have an artistic background?
I have always loved art, but thought I had no talents. In this part of my life, I am discovering that I actually can paint and love designing everything from jewelry to purses.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
While recovering from my second surgery and a very painful illness, a friend brought me some beading books. The best book of all was the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Catalog.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
No, but so many of my Facebook friends are wonderful beaders.
What other hobbies do you have?
I love painting and photography.
Beading SuccessWhat role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry-making has changed my life. This is my full-time career and I love it! I actually invented a crafting tool to make paper beads, the Paper Bead Roller. When I started to make paper beads I used the primitive way of making them--wire, toothpicks, etc. My hands hurt and my beads were not strong enough to use them where I wanted. So about 4:00 a.m. one morning, it came to me...the paper bead roller tool! And I was off and running. Making paper beads brings joy and, actually, many find it relieves stress. Just think, you can make a bead from wrapping paper, magazines, newspaper, scrapbook paper, etc, and with Fire Mountain Gems products, you become an artist. It brings me joy to see three generations sitting around bonding while making paper beads.
If you use jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are your selling yourself and your jewelry?
The Paper Bead Roller and my creations are my only sources of income.
www.paperbeadgirl.com and www.radrb8vicki.etsy.com
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I try to donate my Paper Bead Roller tool to people in need, and to those beautiful women in Uganda. We are striving to donate and educate!
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Love what you are doing. Find your own style and see what sets you apart from the rest. Being fearless is something that I had to learn and I pass that on to you.
View more of Vicki's designs in the Gallery of Designs.