Cathy White

Cathy White

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2010 featuring Glass


Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Rural, Ohio

Describe your artistic style.
Abstract, oblique, ironic (Murphy's law). I tend to get a mental image and do my best to recreate it which, as a novice, can be rewarding and frustrating--lots of "close, but no cigar" pieces!

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I see art in everything. I'll purchase components and just keep handling them until an idea forms--it's a lot of fun to make something unusual, that no one else "sees" when it's obvious to me.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Unsure--so much that I haven't tried, but want to. Some aren't possible (physical limitations). I have ideas I haven't seen, but it's probably because they've been tried and won't work. Time will tell.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Maelstrom Necklace

What inspired this design?
I wanted to replicate the light/dark of metal work in beads and playfulness/chaos of swirls. I did not want to embellish metal work with sets as they would put too much attention on the metal.

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
I knew I wanted thread "trailers" and curved work from the top corners to lower loops. I selected beads, started threading combos and moving combos about until the result was ok. The six all black pieces were last and brought it all together. The four large wood beads stabilized it on a "wire-formed" necklace.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
High school--copper enameling, night crawler harnesses and dry flies fishing gear. Young adult years--beadwork; about five years ago, as something to do--no real goals or interest, but got hooked watching mish-mash "come together."

Who introduced you to beading?
Serious beadwork was shown to me by Bill Towers, as he worked an American Indian motifs beadwork belt on a small loom. That type of work is beyond me, though that's when the interest as a serious jeweler began.

Do you have an artistic background?
High school art for four years. I was the top scholar three out of the four years. Dry floral arranging in junior high school in my home ec. class. I have entered county fairs with my paintings and floral arrangements. Art is everywhere, just look!

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
I placed an order with a competitor of yours and I was mailed a humongous Fire Mountain Gems catalog. I was like a kid in a candy store with a pocket full of change. Oh, boy!

What other hobbies do you have?
Christmas trees (out of tinsel), Christmas arrangements (live and/or synthetic components), painting, gardening, flower arranging, fishing, canoeing, picnicking, houseplants and pets.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
No. I don't wish to be involved, as my craftsmanship lacks and I do not feel it will improve. Technique is only a part of the problem. Rote memory and comprehension difficulties plague my ability to follow instructions.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
It is a hobby, with benefits (occasional sale, not coming anywhere close to covering expenses). I give it as gifts and it is a highlight in my life. I look forward to seeing what I can concoct.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
My daughter started a website and left it unfinished. I don't "do" computers. I rented a space in a shop, but didn't cover rent with sales, let alone supplies. Once was enough!

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Yes. I donate jewelry to four places. Kent Social Services, Branch Bunch, WVTZ TV (PBS) Auction and Brimfield "Fill-a-Cruiser" Drive (local dry/canned goods food shelter and gifts for financially struggling families)

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Have fun. Turn the air blue, when necessary, walk away and go back later. It will wait for you. You can't do your best if frustrated. Take a break. It's a means to an end. Wrap up a project that's got you stymied and do some quick positive projects. Get back to it later.

View all of Cathy's designs in the Gallery of Designs.