||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Aitkin, Minnesota, on a farm in a rural community
Describe your artistic style.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Beads. Whenever I see beads, I get images of what I can make out of them. There is not enough time to bead all I want to.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Size 11 seed beads and size 9 tri-cut seed beads and bugle beads.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
My love of all the horses in my life that have touched me in a special way, using their gentleness and their passion. My horses have always been my best friends and my connection to nature and quietness.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
It came to me one day. I have always wanted to dedicate a piece to my horses and this was it. When I began working, it kept coming in flashes of what piece to do next.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
My mother and uncle taught me native American beading and I expanded from there.
Who introduced you to beading?
My mother and uncle.
Do you have an artistic background?
Yes. My mother is from a long line of native American artists and my father has been an auto body specialist since he was young. His work is an art form in itself. My late Aunt Bonnie was and still is a huge influence in my creativity. She always told me that patience was the key and no matter what, keep going.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I got a catalog from a friend and I have been addicted ever since.
What other hobbies do you have?
Horseback riding, raising my three beautiful girls and my many, many strays that come to me.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
It started as a hobby, but quickly became a full time career. Beading is very good for my mental and creative health.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I attend many craft shows and rendezvous. I recently opened a store in town called Wildfire Creations.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I have demonstrated Native American beading at our elementary school and at school field trips.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Keep your heart and eyes open. Be true to yourself and your style.