Spring Has Sprung Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2013 featuring Metal Finalist Category: Necklace
Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live? I live in Michigan and I am currently spending most of my time at my cottage in Port Sanilac on Lake Huron.
What inspires you as a designer-artist? I am inspired by beauty. I find beauty in many places and in many people. When I wake up and look out at Lake Huron sparkling quietly in the morning mist, I am inspired. When I walk through a garden and see the amazing colors and perfect symmetry in every flower or tree, I feel inspired. People also inspire me. The warmth and kindness of friends and family can be very beautiful. The unconditional love of my children and the enduring love of a romance, especially through difficult times, also inspire me each day. Beauty in all of its forms is so uplifting that I want to be a part of creating more beauty in the world. My jewelry is a form of wearable art that I hope will make the person wearing it feel more beautiful.
What medium do you work with mostly? A year ago I discovered metal clay and from that point I became obsessed with using it in all of my designs. I still use my traditional metal smith skills, wire work, and beading; but metal clay's versatility is the perfect medium for me as a design artist.
Why did you become enchanted with this style of jewelry-making? I spent several years as a potter and I loved working with clay and different firing techniques. Metal clay felt like such a natural transition for me to expand my jewelry making skills. There are unlimited possibilities with the variety of metal clays and the ways they can be combined. I love to learn and this exploration into metal clay gives me a chance to learn something new every day.
Where and How do you sell your jewelry? I am relatively new to this field and my first avenue for selling my work has been my Etsy site. My site is called "Garden of Jewelry" and it is an exciting way to get started. I would like to expand to other venues and I also want to enter more jewelry making contests.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story? Spring Has Sprung
What inspired this design? We have a beautiful dogwood tree in our yard and this spring, when it was in full bloom, I decided to take a leap of faith and enter The Everything Metal Contest sponsored by Fire Mountain. It captures a beautiful moment that is so fleeting when each spring arrives.
How did it come together? I almost always begin working with a sketch of my designs. I keep a sketch pad around always and I sketch any idea that pops into my head. This piece was sketched first but it did change and evolve as I began to construct the piece. The leaves were in my plan but it had not occurred to me that with jumprings connecting so many leaves, that I would need to solder them all closed in order to achieve strength. It took a great deal of time to do but it was worth the effort.