Kerstin Hanko

Purple Ocean Wave

Kerstin Hanko

Claire de Lune
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2010 featuring Crystal

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
I live in Hilden (near Düsseldorf) in Germany.

Describe your artistic style.
Elegant and intuitive.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I love books and magazines and I am always inspired by the designs of other artists. Then I try to combine what I have learned with actual fashion trends or to make my jewelry in a classic style.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Crystals, gemstones and sterling silver components.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Purple Ocean Wave

What inspired this design?
I wanted to make a piece with a turquoise crotched cord.

How did it come together?
When I began to crochet the bead cord, I found a turquoise spiral glass bead with purple lines that corresponded perfectly to the crystal color "cyclamen opal." Then I put everything together--and I loved it!

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I was about 8 years old when I began beading.

Who introduced you to beading?
It was a book in which there was an illustrated bead frame and lots of seed beads in so many colors. I loved this photo and as I had a weaving frame, I asked my mother to buy me some seed beads and to let me try this technique. That was the beginning of the hobby that I loved most from this time on!

Do you have an artistic background?
No, only my grandmothers taught me how to crotchet, to knit, to make a macramé cord and to knot.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I discovered Fire Mountain Gems in 2008. When we wanted to baptize our youngest daughter. I dreamed about making a special jewelry piece for myself--made of crystal pearls and a real sterling silver clasp! On the internet I found Fire Mountain Gems, the world's leading retailer, and thought that this family party was the best occasion to try to order for the first time in the U.S., and this is what I still do today. My customers and the women and children which participate in my beading parties are excited about the quality and the prices. Without Fire Mountain Gems, I never would have "grown" in the short time I did. Thank you, Fire Mountain Gems!

What other hobbies do you have?
I love to play with my children, to be with my family, to meet friends, listen to music, to arrange parties and to chorus.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
Actually I belong to the "Create-your-style" community.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Every day I try to be busy, whether to create new pieces or to search for new inspiration, to read newsletters, to arrange a beading parties, to update my homepage or my blog-site or to look for new selling strategies--jewelry is always on my mind! And I love it!

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
Until now I have my own website ( and a blog (, but most of my customers are friends and family-members or I have been recommended to them by word-of-mouth.