Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2010 featuring Swarovski crystal
Gold Medal Prize Winner
Category: Jewelry Design Sets
||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Describe your artistic style.
Modern with an eye towards romantic and renaissance styles. I love pieces that balance asymmetry with symmetry.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I find inspiration in my everyday world. I find inspiration in color, texture, and architecture. It may be fabric in a dress or the cornices of a building or the design of an elegant fountain.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I love working with pearls, crystals, gemstones of all kinds. When I started, I did a lot of wire work and still enjoy working with wire, but lately I have done a lot of bead weaving where I enjoy working with seed beads and various other size gemstone beads.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
The Mardi Gras Ball
What inspired this design?
Mardi Gras in New Orleans. I love the pageantry of the balls, parades and festivities of Mardi Gras season in New Orleans.
How did it come together?
Once I decided to go with the general color and pageantry of Mardi Gras it just came together.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I began making jewelry about 15 years ago. My sister-in-law went to a jewelry-making class and learned basic stringing which she showed me and I was hooked. I began with basic stringing, then moved on to wire work, bead weaving, and bead embroidery.
Who introduced you to beading?
Do you have an artistic background?
My professional career is in technology. But I have always enjoyed making things. I learned to sew when I was 6. I learned to embroider when I was 7. I have been sewing, crafting and eventually beading ever since. My Mother is a painter and my daughter is an Art student in college. So I think it is in my blood.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I found and started ordering materials from Fire Mountain Gems not long after I started beading 15 years ago. I don't remember how I found Fire Mountain Gems, but I have always loved getting the catalog in the mail and spending time going over every page and dreaming of what I would make.
What other hobbies do you have?
I am an avid reader.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
Houston Bead Society.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry design and creation is my therapy. When the pressure of a full-time job and three children plus a foster child get to be too much, jewelry-making is my stress outlet. Sitting down to work on my jewelry always makes me feel better emotionally and physically. When I don't make time to do jewelry work, I feel emotionally depleted and physically tired. Jewelry creation is chicken-soup for my soul.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
Currently jewelry-making is a hobby for me and is not a source of income. I have sold pieces to friends and acquaintances--I even had a woman stop me in the airport and ask me where I got my necklace. But who knows? Maybe jewelry-making will become more than a hobby in the future.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Don't be afraid to experiment. Try lots of techniques until you find the one that speaks to you.