Jamie Menake

Moonstone River Bed Ring

Design Idea C73Z Necklace

Oval Openwork
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2012 featuring Metal

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Bloomfield, New Jersey

Describe your artistic style.
Classics with a touch of steampunk!

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Nature is a huge inspiration for me. Repetitive patterns and textures also give me wonderful ideas too!

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Fine silver clay, sterling silver, gemstone beads are my faves!

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Moonstone River Bed Ring

What inspired this design?
The smooth pebbles on the bottom of a small stream inspired this ring.

How did it come together?
I bought the moonstone cabochons first. Then I played around with PMC clay to make each individual "stone" for the ring. I placed each stone around the cabochon settings to create the ring, and then finished the ring with an antiqued finish before setting the stones. Hand polishing brought out a gentle shine.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I began working with sterling silver and gemstone beads in 2001, and moved into PMC® in 2005. I took some classes at my local adult school to get the basics on how to work with this new medium. I had a wonderful teacher who supported ideas and helped me grow my artistic vision.

Who introduced you to beading?
I saw a teacher and colleague of mine who made her own beaded earrings, and I thought, "Hey I can do that!"

Do you have an artistic background?
Yes. I have a Master's Degree in Creative Arts education from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I needed an online source for great quality beads, so I searched online. I made a few small orders at first to determine the quality of the materials. I loved everything and the prices were so much better than my local bead store that I shopped almost exclusively online from that point on.

What other hobbies do you have?
Art in all forms and photography.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
I am a part-time jewelry maker. I love to create and often create a few pieces in mini-bursts of creative energy. I make what I like and sell a few pieces to friends and family in order to afford this expensive hobby. It gives me great joy to create beautiful things, and even more joy to hear how much someone else loves one of my creations.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I only sell a few pieces, and I have a few more listed on ETSY. I would love to expand into a real business when my children go off to school full-time.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I have donated many pieces to various charity fundraisers. Some of the profits have gone towards helping my daughter's school, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, as well as a Rett Syndrome fundraiser.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Sometimes you need to take a walk away from a piece before you can finish it.