Cheryl Gedert

Getting in Line

Cheryl Gedert

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2010 featuring Glass

Silver Medal Prize Winner

Category: Earrings

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Erie, Michigan

Describe your artistic style.
I never limit my creativity to any style. Whatever is internalized at the moment brings about the results of my work.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I see so much repetition in the industry that I always want to have an edge. I love to create one-of-a-kind. It is more of a thrill to me to challenge myself for results than to copy another idea from someone else.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Big question for me. I would rather work with colors than mention a certain material because color is what motivates me. If I have an idea, I think for a minute of which material will work best for the piece and then flow with that.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Getting in Line

What inspired this design?
While living in Florida I had the opportunity to watch the giant sea turtles come to shore to lay their eggs. The mothers would pull their massive weight onto shore, dig a hole, then with glazed over eyes would lay their eggs. I held them with high esteem.

Later when the hatchlings would break through the ground the locals had buckets ready to gather the babies and run them to the ocean to guarantee their survival.

Getting in Line represents these creatures and the full circle of life they hopefully will experience. This one is my very favorite in all of my collection.

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
Definitely had to have a plan for the focal turtles for this one. The gemstones and the beads followed after the focal pieces were finished.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
Another big question for me. When I was a child I loved the stones that I found in the woods or at the beach. Then later on it was Jewelry Television that grabbed my attention. Mother Nature's beautiful gemstones in wonderful settings. I said to myself "Self, why can't you create some of these pieces? Or better yet create your own designs." I began looking everywhere for information on "How To" and then I just ran with scissors, the rest is history.

I also took a few casting and metal smithing classes at the Toledo Museum of Art from Hans Ruebel. Although I love both of these styles, I found that at my age it is very hard on the hands, so I had to find another creative niche to fulfill my passions.

Who introduced you to beading?
No one. I actually learned from myself for the beading.

Do you have an artistic background?
As far as formal training no, but when I was in Junior high I won a poster contest against Drug Abuse. This was displayed on billboards across the country. Later in life I saw it in a "B" movie on the wall of a drug clinic.

As a United Auto Workers member I received recognition for a photograph called "Broom Blues" pre-Katrina in New Orleans with a street man who would don a wig, grab a broom and sit outside of a Blues Bar then emulate the band's guitar player. Naturally, the hat was at his feet for donations for "his" performance. After a suitable amount of money was collected he pulled off his wig, set his broom aside and went in to join the rest of the patrons with a cold one in hand.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
Can't really say for sure. I have perused and dealt with Fire Mountain Gems and Beads for so many years that it is really hard to say. Could have been off of the net or from some beading magazine. I do know that after discovering Fire Mountain I gained a wealth of knowledge on gemstones and glass. For the information that they always offer, I am forever grateful.

What other hobbies do you have?
Photography, traveling, reading and gambling. Perhaps not in that order, LOL.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
Even when I was a child I was never a "joiner." So, no. I do not belong to any groups, guilds or societies.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
I retired from the famous Chrysler Jeep Corporation in 2008 so this is a part-time career for me. (Yes, I helped manufacture Jeeps and proud of it, too!)

I guess I have to say that I burn through a design. In other words if I have a passion for a certain piece then I just have to finish it even if it takes days. I will sleep very little until the piece is finished. Only then will I relax.

I never really thought about creating jewelry as an effect in my life, but I guess it really does. In fact it plays a big part in my life.

See, there you go again making me think.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I have an Etsy Shop I went to quite a few art fairs last year and was rained out every single time. This is a reflective year and an indoor project. The Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2010 featuring Glass is my very first contest to enter.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Donated pieces to the local YWCA for abuse towards women awareness. Also for breast cancer.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Never let the front burners go out while lighting the back. In other words, if you have to put a piece aside because you are inspired for another, keep in mind your intent of the first piece. Write it down if you have to, but remember what you wanted the piece to look like for its final outcome.

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