Kristen Glanzman

Contained Confusion Pendant
Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Maplewood, New Jersey

Describe your artistic style.
Most of my work tends to be organic--meaning that I do not usually have a specific idea in mind when I start out making a new piece. I "play around" with the material and see what develops. Some of my finest pieces, in my opinion, have come about naturally or from "accidents" in the studio.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I like Steampunk because of its combination of vintage and modern elements. I have always been drawn to vintage and oxidized pieces ... now I have fun making my own! :)

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Gemstones, wire, metal, seed beads and satin nylon cord. I've also experimented with epoxy and would love to work with PMC®, polymer clay, and lamp work glass in the future.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Contained Confusion Pendant

What inspired this design?
I was taking a wax casting class at Montclair State University (NJ). I very much enjoyed playing with the wax and creating abstract pieces with it. This piece was the result of a failed attempt to create a chocolate square in bronze.

How did it come together?
The square did not turn out correctly, leaving me with a frame instead. I decided to insert sterling silver in the center and I just followed my instincts.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I took my first jewelry-making class in August 2009. My interest began after I saw two necklaces in a mail order catalog that touted the metaphysical properties of the gemstones in them. Intrigued by the concept and having been blessed with artistic ability from an early age, I thought I could do better with some classes to learn jewelry-making techniques.

Who introduced you to beading?
My first class was at the Adult School of Madison, Chatham, and Florham Park (NJ) taught by Helena Axelrod.

Do you have an artistic background?
Yes. I've been drawing since I was in elementary school, and have expressed my creativity in various artistic pursuits over the years.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I can't recall if it was via recommendation or an internet search.

What other hobbies do you have?
Watching movies, listening to music, photography, creating collages with PaintShop Pro, and editing my own music videos.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
Yes. I am Board Secretary of the Bead Society of New Jersey (BSNJ).

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
It is currently a part-time endeavor, but I hope it will eventually become my full-time career. I started my own company, Something Tangible LLC, in October 2009. It has been a struggle in this economy, but I have begun to see real progress lately. I enjoy pleasing my clients and also the feeling of accomplishment when I learn a new skill or finish a challenging project.

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 I also use social media such as Facebook ( and Twitter ( I attend local craft fairs, usually in the fall leading up to the holiday season. I often enter contests, as I enjoy the challenge. In addition, I post a weekly blog and send the messages out to an email list.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
The majority of the craft shows I have participated in have been fundraisers for venues such as libraries, art galleries, and houses of worship. I also create custom pieces incorporating the metaphysical properties of gemstones, minerals, and crystals for clients who purchase them as gifts for loved ones with health difficulties.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Don't be afraid to explore your own style. Working in different media allows you to develop new skills and expand your creativity.

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