Sandra Hirsch

Sandra Hirsch

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2010 featuring Gemstones

Category: Home Décor and Doll

Bronze Medal Prize Winner

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Reno, Nevada

Describe your artistic style.
Eclectic. In other words, I'm all over the artistic spectrum. From sculpting animals or Elvis, to creating crystal jewelry sets.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Landscapes. The curves of the hills. The "necklace" of trees around a river. The lights of a city at night, like crystals and always, cloud formations.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Raw clay--smooth, silky and soft. Pearls--sensuous and simple. Crystals for their unbelievable sparkle and movement.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Prancing Purple Pachyderm
I made him from coils of clay, then fired him in my kiln (1800 degrees). I had just purchased many 36-inch strands of amethyst from Fire Mountain Gems.

What inspired this design?
I was getting ready to glaze him and I thought purple would be a nice look. Then I remembered my box of amethyst chips and a light went on and I glued every chip onto him. Yes, planned.

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
It was having the proper ingredients to combine. When I was halfway through, I knew he would be just beautiful! I had glazed his trunk with a crackle glaze and he simply came together immediately.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
About 10 years ago, I decided to work "smaller" (in size) by making beads. I realized they needed smaller crystals, pearls, etc.

Who introduced you to beading?
Nobody actually! My mom did say, "Honey, why do you always make such large pieces?" So I went really small and started making beads.

Do you have an artistic background?
Nope! Mom of four at 24--busy raising children. But always brought art into their lives (doctor, broker, teacher and screenwriter). Wonderful kids!

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I honestly don't remember. But Fire Mountain Gems and Beads is my only supplier now.

What other hobbies do you have?
Reading, anything and everything!

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Right now it's a hobby, but a major part of my life.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
Not right now. I sell flooring at R.C.Willey for my income. We used to give home parties and did great, but we moved.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I donated one of my Buddha's to an auction for women's rights in Afghanistan and it sold for $500. Neat!

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
After you've gotten your style nailed down--get a good financial advisor and/or a webmaster to market yourself.