Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2011 featuring Gemstones
Grand Prize Gold Medal Winner
||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Sparta, New Jersey
Describe your artistic style.
I mostly do bead embroidery as it enables me to make intricate designs incorporating gemstones.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Like all artists I find inspiration everywhere ... nature, color, textures, antique jewelry pieces.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Seed beads..Miyuki, Rocailles, Charlottes as these enable me to achieve details that I like in my work. I love gemstones, I have a huge collection of every kind of gemstone, my favorite being labradorite.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
I had an Emerald strand which I had purchased a long time ago and I wanted to use it in a jewelry design, so I found the most gorgeous orange carnelian nuggets as I love green and orange together. I love Mughal jewelry and I wanted something that looked like it was passed on to me by my mother or grandmother.
How did it come together?
I never draw out a design, this may sound strange but before I finish, I can actually see how it will look in the end! That is not to say I don't make changes along the way but I can usually see how a piece will look when it is finished. I always start in the middle of the bead embroidery with a focal bead or a gemstone and just go along from there.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I started not too long ago, I enrolled my daughter Leya in a glass fusing class a few years ago and they made some necklaces, at that time I did not even know how to put a clasp together. My daughter insisted we buy a beading kit from Costco and we did and the rest is history. From there, I just started learning everything related to jewelry making and bead embroidery. I started my website in March of 2011 and I have had great success, mostly through word of mouth.
Do you have an artistic background?
I have always loved making things by hand ... I am a self taught artist, once I am interested in something, I learn everything I can and I do the best I can. I like challenging projects, nothing simple. I have never taken any classes although I would love to. I have tried stenciling, decorative painting, intricate embroidery, glass painting, I made and sold mosaics at art shows for the longest time, now it is all jewelry!! I love wearing jewelry and now I can make almost anything I want to wear!
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
Through Bead and Button magazine.
What other hobbies do you have?
Mosaics, one day I will make a huge wall panel with a glorious peacock sitting on a Moroccan tiled wall!!! Every mosaic I have made to date, I have sold, there is not much in my own home.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
Yes, I have joined some Beading and Jewelry Groups on Linked In. But honestly, I hardly have time to check all the comments by other artists.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
A HUGE part ... if I am not beading, I feel incomplete. I love making jewelry, I am never, ever bored, I just wish there were more hours in a day. I feel happy when I am beading because I am creating something. I am trying to make it a full time career as I feel there is nothing better than what I do right now.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I created my website last year, www.fariasiddiqui.com, and it has done really well, I get a great response from people. I have to start going to craft fairs, I have not done that yet.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Yes, since I started my website, I contributed my pieces twice to raise money for earthquake victims and they did amazingly well, I plan to do that every year.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Every piece that you make has to show your best effort, your heart should be in it. If you do that, the customers will come. I love hearing from my customers that they can see how much I love doing what I do.