Fire Mountain Gems and Beads
2008 Jewelry-Making Contest
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads
2009 Jewelry-Making Contest
Silver Medal Prize Winner
Where do you live?
Describe your artistic style.
Whatever strikes me as interesting at the moment, and complements the stones on my bench! My work is largely in Metal Clay, with the addition of fine precious and semi-precious gemstones, and my pieces range from delicate through larger and more striking, but in general, tend towards an elegant style.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Architecture, pieces of art of all mediums, nature, and color--almost anything can hit my eye and start creative ideas.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Metal Clay fascinates me, because it's so completely open to interpretation. Fine faceted gemstones delight me, and putting them together in new and unique ways passes many happy hours.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
What inspired this design?
An architectural magazine had a building with this shape in the design details, and the idea of making a more 3-dimensional piece was the ''aha'' moment of my career to date.
How did it come together?
It was very definitely planned out, since the construction needed to be properly sequenced.
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
My first beaded creation was in late 2006 and by 2007, I'd discovered Metal Clay.
Who introduced you to beading?
My friend Carol started me on the path, and Andrea taught me the basics of Metal Clay.
Do you have an artistic background?
My background is in Math and Electronics, but I have always balanced the analytical side of my being with artistic pursuits. Spinning, weaving, and ceramics have been the major outlets throughout my life, but I have also designed and built homes from the ground up, and redecorated others. My former software-designing job was a wonderful combination of design and technical challenge.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
Carol gave me her Fire Mountain catalog after her lesson, and I didn't surface for days!
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
I belong to the Central Oregon Metal Arts Guild.
What other hobbies do you have?
Reading and Sudoku get some of my time, but the main interest in my life is jewelry-making.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry-making delights me, and allows mental relief from all the other day-to-day things that might otherwise take over life. It is beyond hobby, to my only career--sometimes part-time and sometimes more.
If you use jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are your selling yourself and your jewelry?
My sales are via a local high-end gallery, my own studio shows, and shows hosted by a network of friends and clients. I am in the process of setting up a shop on etsy.com, and will be interested to see how that works. I have entered Fire Mountain Gems contest for the last three years, and after several finalist positions was awarded Silver in the 2009 Findings category. I have also entered the Saul Bell Design Award for 2009 and 2010, in the Metal Clay category.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I have held studio sales with a portion going to a designated charity, and have also donated pieces for charity auctions.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Try anything and everything! The worst that can happen is that you'll learn something from the experience, and most beading designs are easy and inexpensive to recycle into another design if necessary.
View all of Gabrielle's designs in the Gallery of Designs.