|Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
I am currently living in my home town of White Cloud, Michigan. I have been here off and on since I was just a little girl. I've left a few times, but I am always drawn back to this beautiful place among the trees and small farms.
Describe your artistic style.
I suppose my style will vary day to day as I love so many of them. I haven't ever been able to pick just one thing. I go from elegant to steampunk. Nothing is out of reach for me!
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I am inspired by so many things; it would be hard to pick just one. My love of beauty, of nature, of family would be just a couple places I draw inspiration from.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
My materials range from plastic beads for the kids to precious gems and beads for the big kids. We smelt our own metals and mix our own alloys. Our wire is all hand drawn and that gives the final product a tender touch. I love what I do and I love to see the look on a person's face when they have found just the right piece for them!
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
I like the classic Victorian style but I also like that almost punk look, so a combo seemed perfect for this little treasure!
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
Generally I pick out the main beads or gems that I want to use and add what seems to fit those the best. Sometimes I change mid process because I've realized something else would be better suited. This was one of many that worked out that way.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
When I was about six years old I got one of those "pop bead" kits as a gift. I would string the beads together then braid in flowers. I do suppose that was the start of a great love affair. As I have grown, so have my skills, fortunately!
Who introduced you to beading?
I would have to answer that I was introduced to beading by the world. Every piece of jewelry that has ever caught my eye is part of the reason I decided to go large scale with beading.
Do you have an artistic background?
I have always been artistic. In first grade I won an award for a picture of a whale that was then printed on greeting cards. I was quite proud of the lop-sided thing and still have a copy of it to this day. I also paper scrap book and, after several years of that was introduced to digital scrap booking. I designed for a site for some time and have belonged to others for years. I still design for myself and my friends, but jewelry is my true calling, and I spend a great amount of my time learning and creating.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I found Fire Mountain when I was searching the web for a tutorial on wire weaving. It was the first site on the list, so I clicked on over and found a virtual wealth of information and so very many beautiful products!
What other hobbies do you have?
I enjoy so much in life. I usually tend to say I love to create "things." I love jewelry, and I love being an apprentice to a master metal smith. Those will always come first in my book. But, I so enjoy scrapbooking and creating digital scrap book kits. I also love paper piecing and card making. I like to sew, quilt and crochet. I've tried my hand at weaving, painting and drawing, and I love them all.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
I have only just decided to bring Jazzie Jewels by Jamie to the internet and I do have a small blog started along with my Facebook. I will be searching for groups and societies in a few days, but for the moment I need to finish my uploads to both of those accounts. Blogger: http://jazziejewelsbyjamie.blogspot.com/ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jazzie-Jewels/116651928385619?ref=sgm#!/pages/Jazzie-Jewels/116651928385619?v=wallref=sgm
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
I think I take a different approach to my business than most people do. I do this because I LOVE it. The business and income is just a good side effect. My love of this art makes me feel very happy. To be able to offer beautiful things to others at great prices is something I am so happy to be able to do. I think it connects me to the community in a very positive way also. Being creative for me is pretty much like breathing for others. If I hadn't found so many great ways to express myself, I may just have imploded. :)
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I have only recently decided to go public. In the past I would just make things and hand them to the first person who showed interest. That was a little bit hard on the pocket and made acquiring more trinkets hard. So I started to sell locally. But so many people have encouraged me to go public that I started doing craft and art shows. I also have a couple places online where people can view and purchase my jewelry. I do send out monthly newsletters to those who sign up at shows and other events.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I will be donating two wonderful pieces to the First Christian Church to auction off to help with a fundraiser for the youth group.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! No one who ever said they could not do something ever did it. If you want it, you can do it. It's all just a matter of time and practice. I can believe in you, and I don't even know you, so use that as a starting point! :)