Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2010 featuring Pearls, Organic Beads or Kato Polyclay™
Bronze Medal Prize Winner
Category: Necklace (Tie)
||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
El Sobrante, California.
Describe your artistic style.
I love freeform beading with layers of detail, swirls, floral and texture. I want my designs to invite you into my little world and find something new whenever you visit.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Nature and fantasy inspire me. I draw elves and fairies and imagine they would wear my jewelry.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Seed beads--the smaller the better, so I can put lots of detail in small areas. Chips and nuggets are wonderful; nature is rarely symmetrical and smooth, and I like to capture that.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Shell We Dance
What inspired this design?
The beach. I found these shells and wanted to let them exist in a natural environment.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
I knew I wanted winding textures in the "sand," but it was truly freeform; I let them guide me. I lay the chips and larger beads out and just add them in when the spirit moves me.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
When I was nine, my mother's co-worker taught me how to make triangle earrings. Everything else has been self-taught through experimentation.
Who introduced you to beading?
Beth Mistretta gave me my first and only lesson, my mother is the source of my artisitic talent and Peggy Mathews pushed me to try freeform and expand.
Do you have an artistic background?
Drawing is my first love, I use ink and watercolor, and my art definitely influences my beadwork.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
Peggy Mathews showed me a catalog.
What other hobbies do you have?
I draw, paint, knit and sew.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
No, but I'm a member of the Pinole Artisans and El Sobrante Art Guild.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Beading is relaxing, fun, therapeutic and exciting. When I finish a piece, it's like giving birth without the pain and responsibility!
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I sell my jewelry at arts and craft fairs, my websites, www.caseystorm.com and www.tinybully.etsy.com, and at the Hairitage Beadshop and Pinole Artisans gallery.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
The El Sobrante Art Guild donates 10% of their proceeds to kids and art programs. I also teach a class at the Hairitage Bead Shop to share the joy.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Experiment! Just because you don't know how to do something or where to start doesn't mean you can't do it. Just follow your heart and even if it's not what you planned, I bet it'll still be wonderful. Believe in yourself!
View all of Casey's designs in the Gallery of Designs.