|Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Eastern tip of Michigan's beautiful upper peninsula.
Describe your artistic style.
My painting style is painterly and loose and I think it applies to my jewelry. I like to mix color unexpectedly and create pieces that are more organic and not necessarily perfect and symmetrical.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Nature, color, being around creative people.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Wire and beads primarily. But I have played around with PMC and Polyclay a bit, too. I also love to recycle bits of old costume jewelry into a piece in an unexpected way.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Glass and Copper Delight Necklace
What inspired this design?
I love working with wire and love the warmth of copper. Plus, everyone will wear copper even if they are a "gold or silver" person. When I received my copper/black Czech mixed beads, I knew I wanted to do a somewhat monochromatic piece. I had also recently started playing around with my Coiling Gizmo and actually used a piece I had made before as the bail.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
I definitely work organically. Occasionally I will sketch first, but generally my pieces just develop. The main necklace was knitted. I had read about Viking knitting and actually had my husband make me some knitting dowels.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I've been beading for about ten years now. I purchased a little make-your-own earring kit, then started buying beads and headpins and wire…well you know what a slippery slope it can be.
Who introduced you to beading?
I am basically self-taught. I have purchased a few books on basic wirework techniques and looked online, the rest comes out of my own head.
Do you have an artistic background?
I am a hobby pastel painter and watercolorist. I took drawing and painting classes in college and have done graphic art design as a part of some of my jobs.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
A friend gave me one of your catalogs years ago. I've been a dedicated online shopper since.
What other hobbies do you have?
Reading, walking, biking, camping with my family, kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing…almost anything that gets me outside and moving.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry-making is still my only hobby that makes some money.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I attend three to four art festivals a year and sell on Etsy. I also have a website jellyroo.com, but I need to invest some time on there.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I donate pieces all the time to local groups for auctions and fundraisers.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Make what you love and it will have appeal to others. Trying to make things that I think other people will like usually results in a piece I end up taking apart.