Jacqueline Dieudonne

Land of the Golden East
Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
I just moved to Jupiter, Florida.

Describe your artistic style.
Natural, multi-ethnic, elegant and abstract... all in a love affair with color.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
The patterns in nature and of cultures--past and present around our world.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Gemstones, seedbeads, metal, glass and crystal, wood, seeds and nuts and polymer clay.

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

What inspired this design?
I was ''organizing'' my goodies several months ago and noticed a lovely Fire Mountain Gems half-kilo cabochon gemstone mix that had a preponderance of creamy green stones right next to some brass Fire Mountain Gems Chinese coins that I couldn't even remember buying. I looked at the Lacey's Stiff Stuff in my hand (waiting for a tidy new home), remembered a book featuring beaded collars and, next thing you know, ''organizing'' went out the window and a collar was born... eventually.

How did it come together?
My beaded embroidery is ''organic''--a pleasantly tactful term that means I figure it out as I go along. It involves MANY happy, creative hours and weeks, zillions of beads in complementary tones spread out all over my work surface and a good TV/DVD set-up!

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
About six years ago, my mother and I were living in Georgia and dealing with life and loss. For her birthday (in June) I bought her what was described as a ready-to-wear pearl necklace--it was not. So, some websites, a couple of cheapie pliers and a few findings later, I had created both a lovely (and much appreciated) necklace AND a lifelong, fascinating career/obsession in jewelry-making.

Who introduced you to beading?
Me. The Internet. Many good books by many great jewelry, clay and bead artists.

Do you have an artistic background?
Until I started making jewelry, writing (poetry and prose) was my only creative outlet.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads is probably the #1 place listed as a guest resource in the back of every ''How-to'' book, specialty magazine, (jewelry) artist blog and website. It didn't take long to figure out why.

What other hobbies do you have?
Embroidery (floss and beaded), quilting (or paper filigree), mosaic, cooking/baking and watercolor painting.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Being disabled, jewelry-making is my full-time career, my hobby and my therapeutic creative outlet.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
Physical difficulties and mobility issues hampered me in the past, but I'm looking towards new opportunities now that I've moved to Florida. I've done several church and community fairs; but family, friends and word of mouth have served me best. I have a tiny presence on Etsy and an up-and-coming website: www.semipreciousdreams.com.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
No, but I'd love to contribute to a beaded square (or other hand-made jewelry piece) type venture that supports a good cause. As an ovarian cancer survivor I've a special place in my heart for teal--but I feel the need to support my fellow humans and critters any way that I can.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
  1. Always keep learning!
  2. Be patient with yourself. It's not about getting it right the first time (NOBODY does), it's about aspiring, trying and striving.
  3. Never underestimate the importance of good lighting!
View all of Jacqueline's designs in the Gallery of Designs.