Meet the Designer-ArtistWhere do you live?
Describe your artistic style.
Naturals, geometrics, bright colors, eye-catching
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Nature, wildlife, quilt patterns, bright colors
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Delica seed beads, crystal, dichroic, pearls, natural stones, anything purple, Accu-Flex® beading wire, Nymo, chandelier components
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Pinwheel Pendant and Earring Set
What inspired this design?
My grandmother's pinwheel quilts. She loved to use bright colors, and a lot of them, in her quilts. I also used bright colors in my design, so they would stand out and go with any outfit. My personal earrings with this pattern have gold borders. I also designed a barrette to go with this set and am working on a belt buckle.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
It defined itself as I started designing. I just had to get the gold/silver colors in the border so they would go with yellow gold, silver, white gold, platinum and other metal findings.
Share Your BackgroundWhen and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
Several co-workers and family friends were either beading or encouraging me to give it a try. My mother also taught me a lot. I started working with beads around 1999.
Who introduced you to beading?
My mother, family friends and former co-workers.
Do you have an artistic background?
I have always enjoyed photography, hand/needle work, sewing, etc.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads?
My former co-workers told me about Fire Mountain Gems.
What other hobbies do you have?
Photography, photo editing/restoration, needlework, sewing, quilt piecing, tending to heirloom plants, genealogy, traveling, visiting family.
Beading SuccessWhat role does jewelry-making play in your life?
I work with beads daily; my mother started selling in craft shows in 2001.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I started by selling/giving my beadwork to family/friends. Then I started participating in craft shows in 2001. Although I no longer attend the craft shows, I currently have two retailers in Tulsa who carry my beadwork.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Don't be afraid to try something new and different. It can always be taken apart if you don't like it! Also, just because it may not fit your tastes/style doesn't mean someone else won't love (and buy) it!
Hope's Multicolored Diamond Barrette was selected as a finalist in the 2009 Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest. View all of Hope's designs in the Gallery of Designs.