Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2010 featuring Gemstones
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2009 featuring Swarovski crystal
Category: Fashion Accessories
Bronze Medal Prize Winner
||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Describe your artistic style.
Most of my pieces follow the Art Nouveau style--I enjoy the combination of natural and graphic arts and the idea of making art a part of everyday life. When designing a piece, I push myself to make memorable pieces that are still well constructed and wearable.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I actually find inspiration everywhere. I always keep a notebook nearby to record ideas. My muses are rarely convenient! My visions usually start when certain forms catch my eye, or when I find an interesting component. Some of the questions that come to my mind are: "What can I do with this that isn't commonly done?" "How can I put this together in a way to make it beautiful, memorable, and a pleasure to wear?" "How can I capture that form or feel in a piece of jewelry?"
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Wire is my favorite--I can do so much with it! I also love glass in all its forms, and do fusing and some flame work. Clay comes a close third, since it is also very versatile and available in so many formulations. I'm always interested in new materials or new ways to use old materials as well.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Tourmaline Sacred Circles
What inspired this design?
I've had the tourmaline mini-chips in my stash for awhile. I pulled them out when I wanted to do something for my mother-in-law for Mother's day, and began to play.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
This particular piece refined itself as I worked. I started with a chain of linked single beads, then thought it would be nice if I could capture the essence of a geode and showcase the variation of color of natural tourmaline. I repositioned the components several times, and over the course of several days aligned them in a way I thought most pleasing.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I began beading when I was about 12. I would make necklaces and jewelry for my family members and friends out of whatever material I had at hand. I expanded my skill set every year, and continued to make jewelry out of unconventional materials--in college I wired together dried grape vines into a necklace because I liked the spirals!
Who introduced you to beading?
My mom is a crafter and did the most to introduce me to a wide variety of crafts and art forms.
Do you have an artistic background?
I have always had a zeal for art and I have taken a variety of classes over the years, and have a family that has always appreciated and encouraged artistic endeavors. My mom likes to try new techniques so gave me the opportunity to try many things and my dad is a skilled woodworker and fostered my appreciation for tools.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
A fellow beader clued me into this valuable resource!
What other hobbies do you have?
Sculpture, woodworking, glass fusing, and reading.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
I subscribe to Art Jewelry Magazine, and enjoy collaborating and sharing ideas with other crafters.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Shortly after my first daughter was born, I discovered that in order to stay moderately sane, I need to make things. The days and weeks when I crafted--anything really--went better than those in which I didn't. I also like projects that I can work on in short increments since I am now the mom of two. Jewelry projects are perfect because I can work on them when I get the chance (usually after the kids go to bed), and still finish pieces in a reasonable time frame.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I have a website: www.carynscreations.com, but I have a terrible time keeping an inventory. Most of my pieces are commissioned, so my website is more of a gallery of possibilities. I have a business page on Facebook as well. I also regularly enter the Fire Mountain Gems contests and have been contacted by people who saw my work in the catalog or online.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I have donated pieces to P.E.O., which is a non-profit organization for women's education, and I am interested in using jewelry making to help people with Down Syndrome.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Do what you love, and don't be afraid to make "mistakes." If you don't try you certainly won't succeed.
View all of Caryn's designs in the Gallery of Designs.