Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2010
featuring Metal Clay, Metal Beads,
Wirework and Chain
||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Panama City, Florida
Describe your artistic style.
I strive for a clean, architectural style that is highly geometric and 3-dimensional.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I draw as much inspiration from Calatrava bridges and other engineered structures as from traditional jewelry.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I work alot with #8 seed beads, but also with long beads (ovals and tubes) that show off the geometric structures better.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
I wanted to use long beads that would showcase the geometric structures. I built a chain of octahedrons in three shades of red glass ovals.
How did it come together?
The basic octahedral chain was my initial plan. The focal area in the center of the piece was done by trial and error till I got what I wanted.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I have been a rug weaver for many years, with a highly geometric style. Several years ago I came across an article in Ornament magazine about David Chatt and his use of cubic right-angle weave. Looking at his highly geometric work, I felt that if I were to do beadwork, that was the sort of work I would want to do. I bought Valerie Hector's The Art of Beadwork to learn RAW. I was also interested in the spherical forms described in the book as Plato beads and Archimedes beads. Those cubes and spheres became the basic geometric vocabulary of my work, although now I have added several other structures. I found that after years of working in 2 dimensions with my rugs, the addition of the 3rd dimension created incredible new possibilities. I am still exploring those possibilities.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
Since I didn't have a beading group near me, I searched magazines and the internet. That was where I found Fire Mountain Gems.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
I am working hard to blend my beading work with my rug weaving. The rugs are currently my major source of income, so during the day I work primarily on rugs. In the evenings and on weekends I bead. While I love the rug work, I'm finding I'm currently having more fun with the beadwork, partially because it is a newer medium for me, and I can see my own growth as an artist more clearly.
If you use jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I have participated in art festivals for many years, initially with my rugs. Now I do festivals in both media, sort of alternating between the rugs and beadwork. I also have a few galleries that sell my beadwork, and I sell it on my etsy store, www.eporiginals.etsy.com.