Shelly Owen

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Pearl, Mississippi

Describe your artistic style.
My style is very eclectic. I can go from hippie chic to classy elegance to Gothic depending on my mood.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Natural objects inspire me. The flow of water against rocks, falling leaves, animals, sunsets, etc. have always been a great source of creative spark for me. Ancient Grecian, Egyptian and Roman jewelry inspires me. The way the ancient craftsmen were able to produce spectacular jewelry that has stood the test of time amazes me.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I love working with metal and wire the most. It's an inorganic object that one can manipulate into organic shapes. I also love working with pearls, crystals, and many organic objects.

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

What inspired this design?
The ancient Phoenician jewelry inspired this piece.

How did it come together?
The redness of these jasper stones had an ancient feel to them. I drew off that feeling with the addition of the scroll beads. The pearls seemed like a perfect pairing and the addition of the gold chain added a bit of modern edge to the piece.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I began making jewelry in the early 1990s due to a recycling project in one of my classes. I had an old suede leather purse that I just could not bear to part with even though the strap and zipper were broken. I cut the purse up creating a bib necklace, earrings, and a cuff bracelet.

Who introduced you to beading?
My dad, who is a Choctaw Indian, introduced me to beading. For Christmas one year, he gave me tons of seed beads, a bead loom, needles, thread, and a book on seed bead designs. He sat down with me and showed me how to do it.

Do you have an artistic background?
I do have an artistic background. I have been drawing since I was very young. I hold an Associate degree in Fine Art.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
A friend introduced me to Fire Mountain about six or seven years ago.

What other hobbies do you have?
I enjoy painting, writing and reading.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
I am currently a Cousin Corporation of America Creative Circle Ambassador, I belong to the Central Mississippi Polymer Clay Guild and am an instructor for Bead Corner Design Academy.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry-making is a source of joy in my life. It is my stress relief.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I sell primarily on Etsy and at craft fairs. I do enter contests from time to time.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I have made jewelry for charity fundraisers. I usually make a truly unique piece for the occasion that is themed to the event or charity.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
My advice for aspiring jewelry-artists would be to get your hands on every book, video, training seminar that you can to further your skill. Always keep learning and experimenting. Expand into different mediums. Always keep evolving your style and techniques.