Deirdre Kwiatkowski

Deirdre Kwiatkowski

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


Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Hunker, Pennsylvania

Describe your artistic style.
My artistic style is different, maybe a bit on the eclectic side. Everything I make is one-of-a-kind.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I don't think there is anything that doesn't inspire me, but if I had to choose one thing it would be color. I love bright, bold colors. I love putting colors and objects together that generally would not go together.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I like working with charms, buttons, found objects, and big beads. Just recently I started working with Swarovski crystal and found that I really enjoy it.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Blue December Necklace

What inspired this design?
It's a modern adaptation of an Egyptian collar.

How did it come together?
This is probably the first design that I actually drew out before I did it. And in the end it came out nothing like I planned--it came out even better.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I started making jewelry about 4-5 years ago. My mother does cross-stitch, and in one of her books it had beading projects and I fell in love with some of the jewelry and bags that were in the book. I thought that this was something that I could do, so I started out beading on a loom, and then progressed to some of the projects that were in my mom's magazines. As time went on, the creativity started to come out and I started to create my own jewelry designs.

Who introduced you to beading?
I'd have to say my mom because it was from her books that I got the idea to start beading and making jewelry.

Do you have an artistic background?
I have been in the cosmetology industry for about 15 years, 5 of which I was teaching at a beauty school. When it comes to doing hair, I am very artistic and creative, yet I can downplay that creativity when needed. I sang when I was younger, and was in many school competitions in which I have medals for. My grandmother taught me how to do plastic canvas when I was younger. My mother does cross-stitch, altered books, and embroidering (on her machine). I have done cross-stitch as well, but found that I really don't have the patience for it.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
On the internet searching for beads.

What other hobbies do you have?
I enjoy watching movies, reading, playing hidden object and match 3 computer games, and playing with my dog. I also recently started to do plastic canvas again.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Although jewelry-making is a hobby, it plays a very important part in my life. Most people say not to do crafts and things when you are upset or stressed, but I beg to differ. That's sometimes when I do my best work. It is my stress relief, and it's a way for me to get out my frustrations or other unwanted feelings. The things I create when I am having a bad day are sometimes my most amazing pieces. I feel such relief and peace after a day of jewelry-making.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Last year I raised about $260 for a local women's shelter by selling awareness bracelets I had made. When the devastating earthquakes happened in Haiti, I made bracelets and raised almost $200 to help send a former student back to Haiti to find his family (he had found out that only his brother had survived).

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Just go for it. Take what's in your head and put it out there. Don't be afraid to be different.

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