Sharlene Maher

Sharlene Maher

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads 2009 Beading Contest

Bronze Medal Prize Winner

Category: Kato Polyclay™

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Stuart, Florida

Describe your artistic style.
I love to create vintage style jewelry and love creating flowers as the focus point of my pieces.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Color schemes and flower gardens. I love looking at different color mixes and finding how to turn them into my own creations.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Polymer clay, crystals, Czech glass leaves and beads, wire, brass/bronze findings.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Scarlet Rose

What inspired this design?
I wanted to create a piece that really showed many red roses, a necklace that was extravagant beyond what I normally make and to challenge myself.

How did it come together?
I had a basic idea/vision and from there I improvised as I worked on it.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
Began creating jewelry for myself when I was about 20 years old.

Who introduced you to beading?
No one. I've always enjoyed trying new crafts from soap-making to macramé and was always involved in crafts as a child.

Do you have an artistic background?
I never professionally studied. I am self taught.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
Searching the internet.

What other hobbies do you have?
I have a balcony filled with container gardens. I love gardening. I also enjoy playing the piano and making décor for my home.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Once a hobby, that grew into a business for me. It's absolute enjoyment and I don't feel like it's work. I enjoy the customers, making custom item packing and marketing. This is full-time but unfortunately part-time income as of now.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?, my store is with I give out coupons to customers. So far though, this is the only contest I've entered but I would like to enter more.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
For awhile I was donating items to an animal related store but it closed.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Focus on what you really like making and let yourself improve through patience and practice. It's easy to become scattered in a craft. Find your niche and run with it!

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