Clorinda Mirto

Clorinda Mirto

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2010 featuring Glass


Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Waterbury, Connecticut

Describe your artistic style.
Originality. I never make two of the same design. I like to incorporate Vintage beads with newer beads. I also like big and bold pieces.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I have many inspirations. Clothes, makeup, other jewelry pieces, nature, the ocean and my own imagination. Sometimes, just an assortment of beads inspire me.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Beads, all styles--most recently I'm learning needle and thread techniques and various stitches and patterns. I love the new challenge.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
From the Beautiful Sea
This is a wire crochet necklace with beads reflective of my ocean idea, and just in time for the beach (which is anytime for me).

What inspired this design?
I was looking through the Fire Mountain Gems catalog (crystal section), the sea colors kept catching my eyes and bringing me to the beach--the piece was born.

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
I just thought of the sand, sun, coral, water, and used beads to capture this. The crochet wire lets the piece breathe.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I was invited to a wedding about three years ago, and could not find that perfect necklace to accompany my outfit. I went to the local craft store, picked up a beginner jewelry-making book and beads. I made my necklace, wore it, received numerous compliments and "you made that? Wow!" statements. That was it. I was hooked and have been beading since.

Do you have an artistic background?
I have always loved crafts and making original gifts. I've always had an eye for looking at an object and seeing a different use in a design.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
Numerous people told me about Fire Mountain. I called for a catalog and started to look. My beading ladies encouraged online shopping, too.

What other hobbies do you have?
I enjoy spending time with my family and playing cards. I love bazaars and am always searching for new "treasures." I like to walk and dance.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
I meet with six women every other Friday. We have an instructor who will share her ideas. We bead, laugh, release stress and eat cake. I look forward to those Fridays and the new piece I take home.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Beading is therapy for me. I bead almost every night. I find the more stressful the day, the beads remove it. Right now it is a hobby, but I am pursuing it to be a part-time career. I feel I have a gift to share. I can make people feel good with a simple bracelet and I am proud when I see them wear it.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
This was my first contest--I will definitely enter more. I love the excitement it brings. I have been involved in a few local craft shows and church bazaars. I have also held some home parties for friends and family.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I was fortunate enough to be involved in beading with women who experience domestic violence, served jail time or had no self-esteem. They were so proud of the various pieces they created and so thankful. I realized how we take simple things for granted. I also realized how much I have. Sharing my ideas, knowledge, and time was rewarding for me also. It was nice to give back.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Jump in--make a ripple--you never know where it will lead. Try not to get overwhelmed! It's easy to do! Let your imagination be your guide--it's endless. Bead happy!