What inspires you as a designer-artist? Colors, textures, imagining the beads being used in daily meditation.
What materials do you most enjoy working with? Semiprecious stones, unique beads like bone or shell beads, nature-inspired charms.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story? Meditation Bead with Yellow Agate, Coral and Carved Cinnabar
What inspired this design? Meditation practice, color, texture, tactile quality.
How did it come together? I started with the yellow agate beads which seemed to want some color contrast as well as texture contrast. These were provided by the smaller coral beads to divide the main strand into smaller sections as well as by the beautiful carved cinnabar focal bead. The yellow jasper "donut" represents the circle of life, continual energy, never ending strength.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading? I recently attended a series of workshops on different prayer experiences, one of which focused on prayer beads. I started looking into various prayer bead traditions and was anxious to make my own strand to support my daily meditation/breathing practice. Before I was able to make the beads for myself I had an opportunity to make a special strand as a gift for a friend graduating from high school and headed off to college. Her response to the gift gave me even more desire to explore this ancient tradition with a modern outlook. Every strand I made seemed more beautiful and powerful than the previous one and so many people loved them that I just kept on making them.
Who introduced you to beading? I have had no formal training; just determination to teach myself the best methods for my specific uses.
Do you have an artistic background? I have always looked at life artistically. I have a degree in graphic design and my own business doing print and web design since 1977. Love needle crafts, knitting, photography... all from a love of the beauty of nature.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®? Looking for beautiful beads online.
What other hobbies do you have? I'm currently making a quilt inspired by quilt blocks that I inherited from my grandmother after my mom died. Also love to knit and I am teaching myself to make socks.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life? My introduction to prayer beads and their support role in meditation practice opened my mind to beads and the wonderful beauty they inspire. I use my strands daily in my own meditation/breathing exercises and am constantly renewed and enriched by their tactile energy and vibration.
Right now I am beading as a hobby, and I hope to be able to pass on my love of the beads to others who can benefit by holding them as they connect with their source energy in daily meditation.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry? I am currently listing my beads on etsy.com. It's a quick way to get products to the marketplace without reinventing the wheel with shopping carts, hosting, etc. I have created a postcard to market my products directly to friends. I will do local fairs if I find enough interest in the products I'm making.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers? I will be donating beads to an upcoming auction at my church. I want to get other people excited about using beads to meditate/pray.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists? Don't make things because you think people will buy them--make them because you love them and love making them. The energy will be expressed in the product and passed on to others.