Derralynn McMaster

Derralynn McMaster

Texas Star
Silver Medal Prize Winner
2009 Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Ruidoso, NM

Describe your artistic style.
Totally freeform. I live in the sticks, so I taught myself, and I can't do patterns. I love the magazines because they do tell you a lot of information and what's new out there in bead world.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I love COLOR. I don't like being asked what color is my favorite because it's so hard for me to choose. Mostly I love the shades of nature as God put them out there with his paintbrush. Mountains, water, sky and all those animals.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Miyuki seed beads, Delica seed beads and size 15/0, gemstones, crystals and turquoise. I love turquoise.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Texas Star

What inspired this design?
My great, great grandfather went through the Trail of Tears. I am enriched by a natural tendency for the Native designs. And living in the Land of Enchantment can't hurt.

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
I had the image painted in my mind's eye. It was a matter of turning it into a beaded, tangible piece of work from the painting I had in my mind. I know what I can do with paint, but doing it with beads is a little different.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
Went to a Bealls Department Store to buy a piece of jewelry. I saw an advertisement and they didn't have it, so I told myself I'd just make my own. That was May of 2004, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Do you have an artistic background?
I've been a painter since 1989. I started in acrylics and then merged into oils. I love the ability to blend colors, that's what I really like.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
Lacy Harrelson, the creator of Lacy's Stiff Stuff from Happy Jacks in Roswell saw the jewelry that I made myself and encouraged me to enter the contest at Fire Mountain Gems and Beads. Then I found all the neat stuff you sell.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
I live in the sticks and have just enough time to bead my work, take care of a home and work part time.

What other hobbies do you have?
I am a crocheter, since the 4th grade, and I knit a little bit. I do some flower arranging and cook. I love to walk.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
It's a part-time career for me right now. I try to make all the pretty beads pay for themselves.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I have a website that I make myself and I do the occasional art show. I also do contests. Living in an artsy New Mexico tourist town doesn't hurt either.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I have always been a giver. It makes me happy. So whenever I get the opportunity to give to a needy cause, I do. I also like to make jewelry for my friends.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
If you can get a picture of the project in your mind, then you can put it onto a canvas. Be it beads or paint or even pine cones. Artwork never looks great until you are almost finished with the project so don't get discouraged. Most of the things I've made that are the so-called "best" are in fact mistakes I "fixed." Be blessed.

Derralynn's piece, Texas Star, was selected as the Silver Medal Prize Winner in the Pearls, Natural or Created category of the 2009 Fire Mountain Gems and Beads beading contest.

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