What inspires you as a designer-artist? Although I am most often inspired by nature, I have also many times found inspiration in unexpected places, such as in the beauty of an old typewriter, the vibrant colors of a stained glass window, or the detail of ornate ironwork.
What medium do you work with mostly? I mostly work with polymer clay and metal. I often incorporate fibers, semiprecious stones, or crystals into my polymer clay and wirework.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story? Dragonfly Pendant
What inspired this design? The dragonfly pendant and necklace began with a polymer clay orb. The orb includes hand-mixed colors of varying pale yellowish-green hues along with pearl, translucent and black clay. The canes were formed using a variation on a kaleidoscope technique. The design and colors were based on the patterns of a beautiful Calico Pennant dragonfly that stopped by my porch one afternoon.
How did it come together? The design was planned out ahead of time. After curing and glazing, the clay orb was centered on the wings of a flat, antique brass Kabela dragonfly charm. The wings, antennae, and tail were then curved around the orb until it was tightly held in place. Antique brass chain and jumprings, rutilated quartz teardrops, and waxed cotton cord brought all the pieces together.
Why did you become enchanted with this style of jewelry-making? Both polymer clay and wire/metal have wonderful flexibility--they can be colored and shaped into any design I can imagine. Hand-mixing polymer clay allows me the possibility to create unique color combinations and textures, and working with patinas on metal allows me to provide complements to the colors in my clay.
Where and How do you sell your jewelry? I sell my designs through local retails shops, vendor shows, and custom orders placed through my website, www.fortiethmuse.com. I also teach jewelry making classes through local continuing education programs and retail shops.
What inspired you to donate your bead(s) to Circle of Hope?
I have been inspired by my mother-in-law to donate beads to Circle of Hope. During her seven year battle with breast cancer she never stopped enjoying life, whether during the times of remission or sickness. The seven polymer clay leaves signify her experience and personal growth experience during each of those seven years.