|Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Phillipsburg, New Jersey.
Describe your artistic style.
I would say experimental. Being completely self-taught, I'm forever evolving, trying out new techniques and concepts to create truly unique pieces of jewelry. Oh, and color is an absolute must!
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I've found that inspiration is something I can't help but stumble upon everywhere I go. I've resorted to jotting my frequent ideas in a little notebook because I never know when another inspiration will light up my mind. Whether I'm taking a walk outdoors, flipping through a random magazine, eyeballing my scads of beads or even dreaming (yes, I've been known to wake up from a deep sleep to jot down my fleeting thoughts!), there are always ideas to be found.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I like to work with beads of varying shapes and sizes in a plethora of colors, with findings such as headpins, eyepins, and jumprings playing an integral role at the core of most of my designs.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Shadow Stone Necklace
What inspired this design?
I'm a big fan of color-shading, and I had this image in my mind of squares dancing in a line up the neck. I also knew I wanted to break up the monotony with an accent color, hence the turquoise.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
I basically chose the primary materials I wanted to use (the gemstone chips) and experimented with the actual technique. After I had constructed the basic design, I went through about four edits before I achieved a finished piece that suited my original concept.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I believe it was about four years ago when I began this crazy foray into jewelry-making. My mother had given me some old beaded necklaces of hers, which I took apart and restrung into my own patterns. After that I slowly but surely began to buy new beads and experimented with creating new unique styles. I have never taken a class, nor read a book or tutorial on how to make jewelry. My approach has been completely organic, very trial-and-error, and it's been a most enjoyable and successful journey!
Who introduced you to beading?
Up until I began beading myself, I had never actually met anybody who did the same. I had always been very interested in fashion and loved to dress uniquely, so once I developed an interest in wearing jewelry I thought why not make my own so it'll REALLY be unique?!
Do you have an artistic background?
As a child I was forever running through boxes of crayons, colored pencils and markers. Growing older, I really got into plastic canvas needlepoint work, so I would say art has always had a prominence in my life. Getting into beading was a natural progression.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I believe I was browsing the internet in search of beading supplies. As soon as I saw the expansive inventory Fire Mountain Gems had to offer, I was hooked!
What other hobbies do you have?
Doing needlepoint with plastic canvas, reading and writing and inline skating!
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
No... although I will occasionally have a casual crafting session with friends!
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
I can definitely say I am completely hooked on beading. My brain is always concocting new ideas, and I thoroughly enjoy putting in long hours of jewelry-making (much to the dismay of my sore hands!). I hope to eventually make this a full-time career.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
As of right now, most of my pieces have been made as gifts for friends/ family, and a few pieces I wear myself. I have sold a few pieces as well, and am aiming to do more of this in the very near future. Until then, I continue to enter contests to stretch my creativity, and I have joined the online artist community deviantART, under the name HeddaLee.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
No, not at the moment.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Be patient, let your imagination run wild, and have fun with it!
View all of Heather's designs in the Gallery of Designs.