Lorinda Niemi

Lorinda Niemi

Remembering a (Lake) Superior Summer
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2010
featuring Metal Clay, Metal Beads,
Wirework and Chain

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Cincinnati, Ohio

Describe your artistic style.
I would consider it to be eclectic and naturalistic. I favor complex designs that include unusual elements such as beach stone, fossils, driftwood or found objects.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I'm inspired by everything around me from the colors of beach stones to the texture of the jumble of pencils in my desk drawer. I always try to be aware of the patterns, shapes, colors, textures and juxtapositions of everything around me. There are too many incredible artists I find inspiring to name them--beaders, photographers, painters, wire artists, stone cutters, quilters, polymer clay artists and potters--there are innumerable creative people whose work fires my imagination and drive me to experiment with new techniques or materials.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Primarily I prefer wire and stones, but I enjoy adding all types of materials and exploring different styles and techniques.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Remembering a (Lake) Superior Summer

What inspired this design?
Remembering walking along the shore of Lake Superior with my grandmother looking for agates and picking up pockets full of pretty stones.

How did it come together?
I had a basic idea of how I wanted it to look, but let it evolve as each set of stones was wrapped and connected. Most of my pieces evolve this way.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I've worked in stained glass for over 30 years. Several years ago I went to the bead store in Cincinnati looking for a single large glass bead to use as a lift on a glass box I was making. What I'd expected to be a ten minute trip turned into two hours of being transfixed by everything in the store. I eventually recovered, but my credit card, not so much.

Who introduced you to beading?
I bought several books on different techniques and asked advice of the people at the bead store. I took two classes in wire-wrapping and was hooked.

Do you have an artistic background?
I took some art and design classes at the University of Cincinnati and design classes at Glass Creations Stained Glass Studio in Miamitown, Ohio.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
I saw ads in magazines and was referred by several bead artists.

What other hobbies do you have?
Photography, hiking, knitting and crocheting, fishing, stained glass, gardening. I'm currently trying to teach myself silversmithing and lapidary polishing.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
No. I have not found a group around here for wire-working. I am a member of the Lapidary and Faceting Society of Cincinnati.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
It is my joy, my refuge and my peace of mind.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I do a few craft shows and contests. I also sell in some stores.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I sell some of my artwork at the Visitor's Center of Wakefield in the western upper peninsula of Michigan where my father's family is. My father returned there after he retired from teaching at University of Cincinnati, which gives me extra incentive to make as many trips ''home'' as possible. All profits from these items go to the Visitor's Center to be used for community events. I've donated to the regional hospice in Wakefield for their fundraiser and made small pieces for the Wakefield Historical Society to sell.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Never doubt yourself, always trust your creative vision and have fun with every experiment.

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