Describe your artistic style. My artistic style would best be described as a little rustic and a little refined.
What inspires you as a designer-artist? I'm inspired by color and texture, by the simple complexity of nature and by other artists.
What materials do you most enjoy working with? I love the way shiny faceted glass and rhinestones or polished natural stones look next to hammered or wrapped steel, copper and silver.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story? Smitten
What inspired this design? Being in love! :)
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working? The heart is what I like to refer to as wire doodling. I don't draw, I bend wire. Beating it up a little with a hammer gave it a little distressed look and took the "cuteness" of the heart down a few notches. All of this textured steel needed simple smooth beads so I wire wrapped a few green and blue stones and linked it all together.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading? I began making jewelry three years ago after a vacation in Colorado. I walked into a bead/rock/gemstone store in Crested Butte and was simply blown away. Right then and there, I was hooked!
Who introduced you to beading? When I left Colorado with that little bag of beads, I began researching and teaching myself through trial and error.
Do you have an artistic background? There are many artists in my family. I have good genes but no formal art training.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®? Through an ad in a beading magazine.
What other hobbies do you have? I love to cook, garden, paint and play with my three boys.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life? Jewelry-making plays a major role in my life... both financially and emotionally. It is my full-time career, my stress relief and my creative outlet.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry? I sell my jewelry through my Etsy store: JennyLeaT.Etsy.com, craft fairs, repeat customers and twice yearly invitation-only shows in my home. I also keep my customers up to date though email and Facebook.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists? Go for it! You never know what you are capable of until you try. Also, photograph everything you make. Over time, it's wonderful to look back and realize how far you've come and how much you've grown as an artist.