Susan Terese McKechnie

Susan Terese McKechnie

Amor Del Mar
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2010 featuring Crystal
Grand Prize Silver Medal Winner
Category: Wedding

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Pismo Beach, California

Describe your artistic style.
I'm an off-loom seed bead weaver.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
All styles of jewelry inspire me. Living near the ocean and seagulls and crows inspire me.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Seed beads, artisan lampwork glass, Czech glass, gemstones and any interesting focal piece.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Amor Del Mar

What inspired this design?
The sparkle of crystal and romance of the sea inspired this design.

How did it come together?
I designed it in the middle of the night. The first attempt didn't work the way I envisioned it. So I redesigned it and it changed as I worked on it.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I started bead weaving in 2001 after visiting a local bead store. I took a class and was hooked. It quickly became a passion.

Who introduced you to beading?
My first teacher was Kandra Norsigian.

Do you have an artistic background?
Art has been my interest since childhood. I have spent many hours doing needlework. I have also been an art docent.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
Bead and Button magazine advertisements.

What other hobbies do you have?
Bird watching, travel and music.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Beading is my life. I bead almost daily. It is my passion and brings me peace and contentment.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I have my beadwork in several local galleries. I do have a website but that hasn't proven to be successful for sales. I love the challenge of the Fire Mountain contests.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I donate to a local breast cancer charity.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Quality workmanship, quality materials. There's no substitute.

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