Maria L. Walker

Maria L. Walker

Desert Frost
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2010
featuring Metal Clay, Metal Beads,
Wirework and Chain

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Las Vegas, Nevada

Describe your artistic style.
Eclectic. I like my pieces to be unique and eye-catching.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Visual images like nature, paintings or just a strand of gorgeous beads. I actually have ''seen'' designs in dreams and made them.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Silver, gemstones, beads of all kinds.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Desert Frost

What inspired this design?
I wanted to recreate the look of my frozen roses after a rare frost here in the desert.

How did it come together?
Well, I started with the ''rose'' and it just came together.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I planned to be a silversmith when I retired, took classes but I had a stroke in 2000 and my left side is weak. I am afraid to work with power tools, so I turned to beading, which was also therapy for me.

Who introduced you to beading?
No one really. I just saw a lot of beautiful things at craft fairs and decided I could do that.

Do you have an artistic background?
Yes, I have always been creative and have tried everything that came into vogue from tie-dye to sand art.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
From the backs of craft books.

What other hobbies do you have?
All kinds of needle work, scrapbooking, doll-house and gardening. I'll try anything except messy stuff like ceramics or pottery.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
No, but I do visit all the bead stores and may take some classes at Bead-Jungle.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
I bead daily. I have accumulated a stash of thousands of beads (all organized in boxes with the color name in front). I am trying to change a hobby into more.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I have done craft fairs and home parties. We are working on a website. I have a business license. My husband does most of the selling part.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Yes, for our church. I also teach simple things (like stretch bracelets) to the craft group at church which meets all year long for the Christmas bazaar.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Stay with it, you will get better and your own style will develop. I am 72 and still learning!