|Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Perth, Australia (but we are relocating to Melbourne, Australia very soon!)
Describe your artistic style.
Always colorful, sometimes whimsical, sometimes elegant. I love creating jewelry with a dimensional aspect.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I am inspired by so many things; color, shapes, form, textiles, art, archaeology, architecture, history and mother nature.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Seed beads are wonderfully versatile. They are small enough to weave into an infinite number of forms, from three-dimensional shapes to a subtle draped fabric. Czech fire-polished beads add a wonderful sparkle to any creation. I have recently begun teaching myself to work with wire and metal, which is taking my jewelry-making to new heights! I also have a love of gemstones and I incorporate them into my work whenever possible.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
Here on the West Coast of Australia, we are treated to some spectacular sunsets over the ocean. That was my inspiration! I also wanted to push myself to use a color palette that I hadn't used before.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
I started with an assortment of beads and a basic idea in my mind of what I wanted to create, but this necklace took on a life of its own as I began working!
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I have been a creative person all my life. However, a jewelry-making class during high school sparked an enduring love of creating jewelry. I discovered bead-weaving in 2007 following the birth of my daughter. I needed a quiet hobby to occupy my time while she slumbered. Bead-weaving was it, and I haven't looked back since!
Who introduced you to beading?
A chance meeting with Step by Step Beads magazine in the newsagent introduced me to bead-weaving!
Do you have an artistic background?
I have been a creative person all my life, but I have no formal training. Everything I know, I have taught myself through reading books and magazines. The internet has been a wonderful way to learn and be inspired also.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
Advertisements in Beadwork and Bead and Button (along with those magnificent back covers!) caught my attention shortly after I began bead-weaving. A friend of my mum gave me an old Fire Mountain Gems catalog a few years ago, and I was astounded by the sheer volume and variety of materials available. I spent hours reading that catalogue!
What other hobbies do you have?
I have always enjoyed the great outdoors. Camping, fishing and four-wheel driving are a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I also have my student pilot's license, and look forward to finishing my training when time permits. My husband bought me a sewing machine for my birthday this year, so I'm teaching myself to sew also!
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry designing and making is a part of my everyday life. If I'm not creating, I'm designing. If I'm not designing, I'm dreaming. Jewelry-making is always on my mind! I hope that I am fortunate enough to make a career of doing what I love.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
My blog (http://belindasaville.blogspot.com/) is where I showcase new designs, old designs and give sneak previews of what I'm currently working on. I will soon be opening an Etsy store to sell my jewelry. I have entered a few contests, as I find them a wonderful way to push my creativity and to get me thinking 'outside the square.'
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Don't be afraid to dream big! But start by learning the basic techniques in your chosen medium. With bead-weaving, for example, learn the basic stitches first and you will then have the skills to create whatever your mind can dream! Always push yourself to learn new techniques, both in your chosen medium and in others. Every so often, use materials or colors that you wouldn't usually. Pushing your creativity constantly is a great way to grow as an artist.