Carolyn Fiene

Glorious Joy

Carolyn Fiene

Tree of Life - December
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads 2009 Beading Contest

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Describe your artistic style.
My style tends toward the traditional and controlled. My designs can be worn by anyone. I stay mostly inside the box, though sometimes I do venture out. I like symmetry and balance.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Nature--God's creations. Some stones and beads just seem to beg me to create with them. I find great joy in presenting stone, shells, driftwood, etc. as wearable art and I try to share the gospel message through the use of crosses and colors (black=sin; red=Jesus' saving blood; white=forgiveness; green=growth; gold=hope both now and forever).

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Gemstones--especially cabochons--really speak to me. Recently I have begun to work with polymer clay and truly enjoy it. The creative expression with polymer clay is endless!

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Glorious Joy

What inspired this design?
This cabochon from Fire Mountain Gems was so thrilling to wire wrap and just cried out to have a cross dangling on its face. It makes me think of the excitement and joy that comes with accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord.

How did it come together?
As with all my wire art, the wires just seemed to form themselves around this glorious cabochon. I have a general idea of what I want and the technique I will use, but rarely do the pieces end up as I initially picture them. I do always keep in mind the message of God's love that I try to convey through my work.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
While motorhoming with my late husband, Don, we met a gal who wire wrapped agate that she had found and polished. A few months later we met another motorhomer who had made her pendant the night before. She showed me her tools and some wire art magazines. The rest is history... I got the bug and haven't stopped since.

Who introduced you to beading?
Beading was a natural outgrowth of wire art... making beaded necklaces to hold my wire art pendants. Also being able to purchase gemstone cabochons from Fire Mountain Gems was a real plus since I realized that I could not cut the stones I found because of arthritis. I tumble what I find, but for the cabochons and beads I just turn to Fire Mountain Gems!

Do you have an artistic background?
My ancestors were artistic and I have some of the craft and art they created. I have always searched for an outlet for my desire to create. I have been collecting nature all my life. Turning these stones, shells, driftwood, etc. into pendants started me on the road to beads.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
My main magazine for wire art was the Wire Artist Jeweler which unfortunately is no longer published. (I am still in contact with the artist and publisher of this great magazine). This is where I first saw an ad for Fire Mountain Gems.

What other hobbies do you have?
I enjoy traveling in my motor home and collecting bits of nature. I also spend time every day reading--both my Bible and contemporary novels.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
I am an active participant of the Polymer Clay Tutor blog:

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
I would like my jewelry-making to produce real income for me, but so far it only seems to produce income for my suppliers! It really does help me emotionally as I cope with grief. I also gain great joy in selling at and for my church.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I have a website: and a blog: I also enter contests and am on Facebook. I've also conducted workshops and have sold some of my work in conjunction with them.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Periodically throughout the year I conduct sales of my jewelry art at my church: and donate all the money to the church. This is the most satisfying aspect of my selling.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Don't ever throw anything away. What you consider a disaster or failure may well be just what someone else will treasure. This has happened with some of my ''failures!''

View all of Carolyn's designs in the Gallery of Designs.