Connie Chung Sea Goddess
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2010
featuring Seed Beads
||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Six months in Overland Park, Kansas and six months aboard ''Chip's Ahoy'' in San Juan and Gulf Islands.
Describe your artistic style.
My artistic style leans more towards Victorian and/or romantic, feminine and must include some bling too. However, I have my moments when I enjoy creating funky retro, too.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
My enormous love of beading and the sea thrives within me. I may have discovered an unusual focal cabochon or conceive an idea from a movie or something special that's deceptive about an individual. Certain designs, textures and colors further motivate me with inspiration.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
My main passion is Delica seedbeads. However, I enjoy working with bugle, triangle and hex beads, too. And it must have bling, so I include either crystals and/or Czech fire-polish beads. I really like cabochons, buttons, pearls, gemstones, and accent beads as well.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Connie Chung Sea Goddess
What inspired this design?
I was drawn to the polymer clay face cabochon with a cream headdress that was imbedded with tiny seashells which was purchased from LinsArt.
How did it come together?
Sea Goddess bracelet defined itself once I began working. I knew I would include the two agate starfish, but adding my own seashells into the design was a surprise even to myself.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
In 2004-05, I began beading. I originally started with simple stringing first. Once I felt I needed a bigger challenge, I explored beadweaving and then bead embroidery.
Who introduced you to beading?
Fire Mountain Gems introduced me to beading! In 2004 I decided to teach myself to bead. I requested the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads 2004-05 catalog. There on page 499, I spotted a beautiful three-strand turquoise and Hill Tribe silver necklace. I knew instantly that I just had to make this necklace for myself. It's the first piece of jewelry I made and it's still one of my favorites. I have saved the 2004-05 Fire Mountain Gems issue for sentimental reasons to remind myself of the very first steps I've taken on my beading journey.
Do you have an artistic background?
At age 12, I learned to sew and paint. In college, I majored in Interior Design. I worked as a freelance designer and a furniture mfg. sales rep for many years. Art, fashion, and furniture design trends have always fascinated me. I've worked in many mediums such as painting, sewing, and crocheting. However, beadweaving and bead embroidery are my main passion and personally the most rewarding.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I discovered Fire Mountain Gems and Beads from an Internet search engine.
What other hobbies do you have?
To give my creative muse some variety, I enjoy sewing handbags, aprons, and pot holders. Painting on canvas, doing mixed media art, and Artist Trading cards. Crocheting kitchen items, sweaters, and hats. Right now I'm gathering ideas for crowns and tiaras, and I'm not sure when my schedule will allow my idea's to actually transpire. For fun, I collect colorful handmade resin bangle bracelets, Chintzware, and teapots.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
Since we live in the Pacific Northwest half of the year and then Kansas the other half, it makes it difficult to join any beading groups. But I would love a beading buddy or two or three! Anyone interested in joining me for tea and beading creativity?
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
As my husband puts it, beading has taken over my life! Actually I believe that within myself (and other artists, too) there exists this special connective and creative force that drives us to be released through our work. Beading started out as a hobby for me in 2004-05. But going forward, I hope to take my work to a higher level by entering competitions and being published. Most likely I'll stick with part-time to three-quarters time simply due to all of the traveling we do each year.
If you use jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I started out selling my jewelry pieces to my friends and family, and through some trunk shows. Just recently I joined Etsy's website under the name of justbeadit4123.etsy.com.
And I'm considering to join Artfire too.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I've participated in two charity fundraisers to-date with my jewelry. One for the School for the Blind in Kansas City, Missouri and the second for Lakemary Center in Paola, Kansas which is schooling and facilities for the mentally impaired.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
When I first started jewelry making I was all over the place, which gets real expensive. Try to figure out which element of jewelry design you're most passionate about. Purchase just those supplies and get started. Finally, practice and perfect your skills.
View all of Catherine's designs in the Gallery of Designs.