|Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Eagle, Alaska on the Yukon River
Describe your artistic style.
I love creating simple but elegant jewelry.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I get much of my inspiration from the land around me, I am privileged to have lived in the North for most of my life and love the beauty all around me, from the snow capped or covered mountains, to the rivers, to the night sky flashing with the northern lights.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I love history and fell in love with antique trade beads many years ago, the draw back with these beautiful beads is that they are very irregular and difficult to match so when I get overwhelmed trying to match beads I turn to my Swarovski crystal collection and revel in their perfection and symmetry.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Northern Lights in Stained Glass Bracelet
What inspired this design?
The northern lights that I am privileged to see on a regular basis, the beauty of stained glass, and a bead tray that got jostled.
How did it come together?
I had done a similar design with different beads and one day several colors of crystals got mixed together and as they were mixed on my tray and the light hit the different colors I was reminded of the northern lights, so rather than sort them I decided to see what would happen if I created the bracelet with them mixed and it has been a best seller ever since.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I began beading over 15 years ago when a friend introduced me to the art and beauty of Suncatchers.
Who introduced you to beading?
It was a group effort, my husband, Terry is very artistic and took a beginning beading class, I didn't have time to go but he thought I would really enjoy playing with beads so arranged for me to learn how to make Suncatchers and I have rarely been more than a couple of weeks without beads around me since.
Do you have an artistic background?
I think of myself as having a crafting background, I learned to crochet and then do cross-stitch as a child, then hook rugs. I have always enjoyed creating.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
A friend showed me the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads catalog years ago and I have been a Fire Mountain Gems addict ever since.
What other hobbies do you have?
I also love knitting, reading, walking, puzzles and being with my family.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
Yes, we have a local beading group, The Eagle Beaders, that has been meeting for over 20 years. I would never have progressed in my jewelry-making or beading skills without the feedback and encouragement to take a well-done creation and make it better.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
I find creating is necessary to my mental health; I can leave the stresses of the day behind and see a design that was in my mind come alive. I would consider it a part-time career; it is full-time from May to September and part-time the rest of the year.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I began selling my jewelry and other beaded creations 10 years ago, our market is seasonal so I sell full-time from May to Sept and then part-time the rest of the year. I am also online now at http://www.eaglemallalaska.com or at http://www.logcabincreation.etsy.com and recently added a Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/LogCabinCreations.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Yes, I have donated several pieces to our local historical society and library to support their missions.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Use quality components--the clasp is just as important as the focal bead.