Berta Tompkins

Berta Tompkins

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2010 featuring Pearls, Organic Beads or Kato Polyclay™


Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Rocky Point, North Carolina

Describe your artistic style.
My style is very down to earth. I try to make something for all ages. Plain, fancy, or to order.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
When I saw all the things in your catalog, I said, "I can do that." So I tried and you have the results.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Glass pearls, making earrings, necklaces and creating my own designs.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Sea Pine

What inspired this design?
I make Christmas ornaments by this design. So why not try something bigger? I really enjoyed working on it. Took some time, but was fun.

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
No plans, just started and it came together as I went (worked). I looked in your catalog at the shells I thought would work, ordered them. If it didn't work, I ordered something different. The only thing I did wrong, I did not run my wire though the egg.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
About one year ago. I am 71 years young, so I got a late start. Better late than never.

Who introduced you to beading?
No one. I bought some supplies and taught myself.

Do you have an artistic background?
I've always loved art, painting and drawing. Did some in school. About three years ago, I took lessons at the senior citizens center.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
A friend at church gave me one of your catalog request cards.

What other hobbies do you have?
I make crafts and I also do oil painting. I have some hanging in a small gallery in a little town near us, Burgaw, North Carolina.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Beading is my emotional outlet. My husband is sick so this helps me to relax and clear my head.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I have sold some sets. I wear them and show them off. I go to local craft shows. I also have my own parties and show and sell my jewelry.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I donate to our church and the fire department.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Just jump right in with both hands!