Steven Simmons

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
My father is a retired U.S. Air Force Pilot and my mother did arts and crafts (bedspreads, quilts and paper quilling etc.). I was fortunate I was born with both qualities. I am an engineer (AS-Electro-Mechanical; BS-Plastics) and I am a retired U.S. Air Force, Major (Command Pilot w/5000 hours, conflicts-Vietnam-Enlisted, Grenada and Desert Shield/Storm-Officer) and also retired from the U.S. Department of Labor (OSHA) as a Safety Engineer (I am very structured). However, I do have the designer-artist trait. When I was in college I used to do abstract designs on paper then transfer the designs using India ink on white leather (old school 1972-1975, no computers or CAD at that time, later I was certified on AutoCAD Release 12). Currently, I have designed (carved) walking sticks (my two grandsons and myself), one is in progress, also two walking canes (my father and brother-in-law). Since I have been out of the structured work environment I am leaning toward more of Mother Nature's influence (not black and white, it either is or is not answer, not rigid forms, etc.) and nature's form of design. Designing dream catchers has allowed me to use my designer-artistic qualities incorporating manmade and nature's unique gifts and resources.

What medium do you work with mostly?
For dream catchers--typically a 5-inch steel ring (or 2-inch, 3-inch, 7-inch, 9-inch), braided artificial sinew, various types and sizes of feathers, shadow box frame, white construction paper and Fire Mountain Gems and Beads (beads approx. 6mm round and chips).

Why did you become enchanted with this style of jewelry-making?
Choosing natural beads or stones based on personal intuition and the subject of dream catchers appeal to me. For instance, a Circle of Hope Project Dream Catcher I will select beads or stones with specific healing and quality of life meaning, another dream catcher (if I know the person) I may select beads or stones which I feel complement their personality as well their birthstone, then again they request a specific collection of beads or stones. In other words, no two dream catchers will ever be the same.

What inspired you to donate your bead(s) to Circle of Hope?

Mother-in-law passed away of Breast Cancer in 2001.