Heidi Kester

Heidi Kester

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads 2009 Beading Contest


Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
West Walworth, New York

Describe your artistic style.
I tend to incorporate my love of nature, fantasy, and history in my design. I want my work to be beautiful and make the wearer feel special.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
The outdoors and paintings of fairy-like worlds. Victorian and Celtic jewelry and dress.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
PMC (art clay), I loved it immediately! I can be part potter and part metal smith. I love the versatility and freedom of the medium.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Fairie's Blossom

What inspired this design?
I love my flower gardens and the feeling of joy I get when I tend to my flowers. I wanted my piece to convey that.

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
The piece actually put itself together. I made all the petals first and then the base. I just kept trying different arrangements until I was happy. I think the necklace I made to go with it brings it all together.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
Whenever I went to an art festival I loved to spend all my time at the jewelry booths. In 2001 I began planning my own business.

Who introduced you to beading?
I had a favorite local PMC artist. I asked her to give me a lesson in PMC and was hooked!

Do you have an artistic background?
I married an artist. My husband and I met in college. He was an art major and I was a social work major. Together we learned about art.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
A friend. My very first order I hadn't figured out my billing well and a customer service woman called me and helped me refigure. I was impressed.

What other hobbies do you have?
Gardening, walking, camping, reading, taking care of my many animals, three girls, and husband.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
PMC guilds--local and national. I have a PMC level one certificate. I have also taken enameling, soldering, and metal-smithing classes.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
I work with children as a nanny and daycare provider. Jewelry is also a full-time job for me. I am often exhausted but find I always can get excited about new techniques and ideas.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I am in about 12 art shows annually. I sell in several shops locally and the Finger Lakes region. I have a website and I enter contests occasionally. I am also in several online shops.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I donated around $1000 a year to silent auctions for all causes. I also have taught 4H clubs and Girl Scout groups beading classes.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Find reliable online wholesale stores (like Fire Mountain Gems.) Take classes. Start at small shows and work your way into the larger ones. Love what you do!

View all of Heidi's designs in the Gallery of Designs.