Christina O'Hara

Christina O'Hara

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2010 featuring Gemstones

Category: Necklace

Grand Prize Honorable Mention Winner

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Roanke, Virginia

Describe your artistic style.
Modern, not afraid of color, bold.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Nature, the colors and shapes. Whenever I hit a dry spot, I take a long walk in the woods. Every time of the year offers new colors, shapes and textures to inspire.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Stones and pearls. Beads are my passion. I enjoy combining color, shape and textures to make my one of a kind original pieces.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
The Turquoise Lagoon

What inspired this design?
A long cold winter, followed by a trip to the beach. The beautiful turquoise waters of the Caribbean sea, so warm and full of life. The oceans are treasures, inspiring for a variety of artists.

How did it come together?
I planned this out. I originally had a large bamboo coral accent, but felt it would be too heavy. I adjusted my design as I strung each strand, until I was finally happy with the result.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
Back in the '70s, I began my work as a jewelry apprentice doing everything from drilling beads to cutting stones and forming wax models. With jewelry-making you can constantly evolve, coming up with new techniques.

Who introduced you to beading?
My step-mother-in-law from Austria taught me the basics. The fundamentals of knotting and necklace design.

Do you have an artistic background?
I studied art in school and enjoy trying new things. I prefer wearable art as it gets more attention.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
I heard of you from a fellow jeweler and from some of my customers.

What other hobbies do you have?
Hiking, camping and cooking.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Full-time career. I love what I do. When I sell a piece of mine, I share my creativity with others. I encourage customers to be creative and make pieces of their own with excess beads that I have.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
We have a retail jewelry store/gallery in an upscale strip mall. I have started entering contests and I am in the process of building a website.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Yes, we do participate in charity fundraisers.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Put your personality into your piece, love what you do. Every piece you make has someone's name on it, persevere and it will sell. (P.S. Don't watch the news.)

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