Judith Russo

Judith Russo

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2010 featuring Glass


Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Cave Junction, Oregon

Describe your artistic style.
It depends on my mood, but I always fall back to a bohemian style. I classify myself as a refugee from the '70s.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Nature, or when I see a need that needs to be filled.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Natural materials such as hemp, leather, wood, glass, and all types of metals.

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

What inspired this design?
A need. I wear, make and sell peasant type tops and dresses. This style leaves a large open space on your neck and chest. A perfect place for a statement piece because of the simplicity of the top or dress.

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
I had an idea, but it really took off when the beads I ordered from you got here. The piece evolved as I was working on it.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I have been making my own jewelry for most of my life. My mother says I have a strange and quirky style, seems pretty normal to me. I lean to the hippie bohemian style but that is a little too basic for me. I gotta have some bling!! So I combine the two.

Who introduced you to beading?
My grandmother. She gave me a big old jewelry box full of old jewelry of all types. It was great for dress up for awhile, then, I got the bright idea of taking it all apart and making it all into stuff I really liked. I still have and wear some of that stuff from 40 some years ago.

Do you have an artistic background?
Yes, my mother was a concert pianist and my father and grandparents were artist-painters so I grew up surrounded by all forms of art and self-expression. I myself have never settled into any one form. I have never been happy with mass produced main stream anything. I make just about everything in my life to my own liking and have learned a lot of crafts and trades along the way.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
Silver Forrest of Vermont gave me your information back in the '80s when I lived in Putney, Vermont. They were getting bigger and didn't want to sell me their components anymore. Its funny that I would wind up in Cave Junction.

What other hobbies do you have?
Knitting, crochet, sewing, painting, cake decoration, woodworking (furniture and cabinet building). I built my home in Vermont and just about all of the furnishings in it. I love to make things (I'm always making something). I am willing to tackle just about any kind of craft if there is something that I have in my head to do or feel I need for some reason. My husband loves to brag that his wife came with power tools.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry-making has always played a big role in my life. I am more often than not wearing something that I made and it makes me happy. Its a form of self-expression that doesn't take much time or money. Up until recently it has only been a hobby. Others say they like my stuff and have said repeatedly that I should sell it. So I have finally taken everyone's advice and have started sharing my creations with others.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I have an Etsy.com store (BeezeNeeze) and I have sold on Ebay.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Not at the moment, but I was involved with the local Blackberry Arts Crafts Festival.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Follow your heart and desires.