Fire Mountain Gems on Display
||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Ocean Park, Washington
Describe your artistic style.
Romantic, vintage, kawaii, delicate and feminine.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I allow the beads I am working with to inspire me. I rarely keep true to the design I had in my head or on my sketch pad. (I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about here.) It seems that each bead has a mind of its own and a way it wants to be displayed. I just try and capture the bead's vibe, its own style, so basically I try to be as creative as possible while showcasing the bead's unique characteristics and personality.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Sterling silver, copper and faceted gemstones.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Fire Mountain Gems on Display
What inspired this design?
The raw rough faceted emeralds and bold distinct black tourmaline.
How did it come together?
I got out my silk cord and strung the gems as they wanted to be strung.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I began beading as a child. My mother bought me a beading loom and some seed beads. I sketched and wove my own designs and gave them as gifts. I was also known to string many a daisy chain.
Who introduced you to beading?
My mother. She is a brilliant artist and taught both my sister and me all of the craft skills we have today.
Do you have an artistic background?
Yes. I come from a considerably talented artistic family. My father is a music buff, while both my sister and mother are creative geniuses.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
Many years ago a friend gave me the Fire Mountain Bible (catalog). I was busy with my day job at the time (too busy) so it took me some time before I actually placed an order. I've come to realize the benefit of working with beads as a relaxation method for me.
What other hobbies do you have?
Building shopping carts on firemountaingems.com, metalsmithing, lapidary, rock hounding, sewing, crochet mostly. I also enjoy photography.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
Not currently, but I plan on joining many soon. I would love to network with other bead lovers.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
I am currently building my jewelry empire. Once I realized my sister was able to build a career out of her jewelry designs I revisited my bead box. I uncovered a tremendous way to relieve the stress from my full-time job of outside sales. Now when I am on the road I bring with me a good amount of my materials, so instead of sitting alone in a hotel room watching the local news, I now am kept company by the vibrant sterling silver beads and warm and friendly gemstones that I work with. I love getting my goods set-up around me on the bed and sorting them by project ideas. The feeling you get just after you have crimped your first bead after stringing on the toggle is unbeatable! So many possibilities! The process of trial and error can be a challenge, but it is worth the final result!
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I am building my empire, first by listing my wares on Etsy.com. My sister sells there exclusively and makes 50k annually. This is where I want to be.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Not at this time. I am unaware of any such practices in my area. If you have any information regarding them I would be interested in getting more information.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Try and try again. It's not as hard as you think, as long as you listen to your materials. They will tell you how they want to be displayed.