Constance Rutherford

Constance Rutherford

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

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?

Describe your artistic style.
I think my style is rather eclectic and emotional! My work really reflects my variety of moods, styles, and feelings.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
The rocks, the rocks, the rocks! As a die-hard rock, crystal and mineral collector, I find myself inspired by these wonders of nature. I see the magnificence of creation in every stone I use and I understand that rocks also have healing capabilities for people who use them that way. I feel compelled to make them available for other people to wear as natural art and as healing tools.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Stone, sterling silver and leather.

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

What inspired this design?
The dumortierite with the Bali disco balls just felt so jeansy to me. I wanted something heavy but feminine, striking and not stuffy. It's something you'd wear out to hear the blues on a hot summer night.

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
I usually have somewhat of an idea of shape and construction, but I really let the pieces come together and change as I work. With this piece, I actually kept dreaming about it over the course of one night. When I got to work on it the next day, it morphed a bit from the original two strand necklace that I thought it was going to be, but I really liked better how it turned out in the end.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I'm one of those people who has always had to have a creative outlet of some kind. Ever since I was a child I have had some project, or some new art form that kept me interested and engaged. The beading bug bit me seven years ago when I quit my corporate job and wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. As an avid rock, crystal and mineral collector, I found that I could find better quality rocks in bead form. The best part about that is, I could wear them! So I started beading for myself, then I started making jewelry for my friends and family, and the next thing I knew, my hobby had taken on a life of its own! Now it's a full fledged business for me and I love doing what I love!

Who introduced you to beading?
I introduced myself and am self-taught.

Do you have an artistic background?
I can't say I have a formally trained artistic background, but I do have a natural propensity toward artsyness!

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
I found Fire Mountain Gems in BeadStyle magazine. In my quest for quality beads at fantastic prices, I still use Fire Mountain Gems for a large percentage of my materials.

What other hobbies do you have?
Gardening, yoga, playing with my children, scrapbooking.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
When I quit my corporate job to stay at home with my kids, I was really burned out and had been diagnosed with several stress related illnesses/syndromes. Beading gave me an opportunity to reconnect with my artistic and spiritual sides, and it also gave me a chance to recover and rest. Beading brings me joy, and today I can say I'm illness free and I believe that joy has had a lot to do with my healing!! For now, while my children are still in elementary school, beading is my part-time career. I recently took my hobby to the next level and I opened my online store. I can't wait to continue to expand my collection!

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I am primarily selling online, but I'll attend annual craft fairs in my area too.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Yes. I donated a jewelry set for auction to A Woman's Work, a local charity that supports women who need help finding jobs.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Do what you love and love what you do. There's nothing better in this world than being able to share what you love. Turning your passion into profit doesn't hurt either!