Olga Dillow

Olga Dillow

Grand Prize Gold Medal Winner

2009 Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest

Lotus in the Dark Water

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Garland, Texas

Describe your artistic style.
I love to work in all techniques and styles, but my favorite is embroidery work with beads.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I find my inspiration mostly in life. Architecture of classical and modern design. Natural settings that seem forgotten by time.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Japanese bead, sterling silver, gold, stones, cut beads

What is the name of the piece you are submitting to be included in your Success Story?
Lotus in the Dark Water

What inspired this design?
Two opposites--black and white, light and darkness, clarity and mystery. They always beckon, draw and make the heart beat faster.

How did it come together?
The basis was only colors: black and white. All the rest was born gradually, as a complement to the basic structure of the design.

Share Your Background:

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
One beautiful day, a neighbor showed a small bracelet of beads, which she made herself. I was very surprised by what a few small beads can do, it is a miracle. I very much wanted to try to do something nice with my hands from the magic of glass beads.

Who introduced you to beading?
Basically, I learned by considering the scheme and descriptions on the Internet. Almost immediately, I moved away from the schemes and started inventing my own. This proved to be much more enjoyable than doing something which is known in advance.

Do you have an artistic background?

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads?
My friend gave the link and said that it is one of the best online stores in America. She was right 1,000%.

What other hobbies do you enjoy?
A little photography, a little knitting, but nothing serious other than beading.

Beading Success!

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
For now, it is my job. I have a few students and make necklaces for resale. I work with beads about 5-6 hours per day. At end of day I can be tired, but I feel satisfied that I've created something I like. It is a very relaxing hobby for me.

If you use jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are your selling yourself and your jewelry?
I have a shop www.olgaterranova.etsy.com. I occasionally sell my necklaces to people that see them in public. I send most of my necklaces to contests and have won three in Russia.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Sometimes part of the proceeds from sales of my jewelry is transferred to the accounts of children who need treatment.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
  1. Use only quality materials
  2. Do not be afraid of what you design--the final product may seem strange to some but not others.
  3. When manufacturing your designs, combine your previous knowledge gained from your own experience.
Olga's design, The Fire, won the Grand Prize Gold Medal in the 2009 Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest. View this piece, and more of Olga's designs, in the Gallery of Designs.

''Hi! I just got my box with SUCH GREAT NEWS! I am the GRAND PRIZE GOLD MEDAL WINNER in your contest! I'm so happy I cried, danced and kissed my certificate :) I want to say THANKS to everyone who loves my necklace and who helped me take victory. Thanks-THANKS-THANKS! Have a great day.''

''Thank you for your wonderful store, for your contests every year, for it all! I still can't believe my victory on the contest. I look again and again at my certificate. I called my mom in Russia, she was very happy and excited to hear my news. Even my 5-year-old daughter was proud and happy for me. Thanks so much!''
- Olga