Morning Glory Spring Fairy Necklace.
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2010
featuring Seed Beads
||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Describe your artistic style.
I offer a variety of jewelry styles for the many facets of a woman's personality; sometimes chic, sometimes romantic, always true to herself. Mostly using different beadweaving stitches, I also do wire wrap.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Most of my inspiration comes from the stones themselves, whether it be the colors in the stone or how I feel when I hold it. Sometimes a design comes to me right away and other times I've had a stone for several months or years before working it up.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I most enjoy working with seed beads of all shapes and sizes.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Morning Glory Spring Fairy Necklace
What inspired this design?
Other than the obvious color choices, the fairy and butterfly in the cameo inspired me to make this piece light and airy. The delicate nature of the cameo dictated a delicate and simple design. The little blue flowers in the fringe were added for more style.
How did it come together?
This piece defined itself once I began working. I first did the beadwoven setting around the cameo using cornflower blue seed beads. I decided to add the white 15/0's to help the cameo stand out. Once the focal part was finished I decided to add fringe and the other edging. The fringe seemed a little bare so I added the swag across the top of the fringe. I like to keep my chains simple to keep my jewelry more affordable and versatile. I like to make jewelry that can be worn with both dressy and casual clothing.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I began making jewelry in the late 90's. My first piece of jewelry was a pair of simple earrings and I've been mostly self taught since then. I purchased design books at first and then took a few classes at The Bead Parlor in Pueblo, Colorado. Kellie's classes were both fun and inspirational. I took a seven year break from beading and got back into full swing in February 2009 and I'm sure glad I did!
Who introduced you to beading?
My older sister, Cindy, introduced me to beading. She had been making Indian style seed bead earrings or several years and I always admired her work.
Do you have an artistic background?
Yes, my artistic background started when I was a young girl and my grandmother taught me how to crochet. Ever since, I've been happiest when my hands are busy making things. I've dabbled in crochet, sewing, macramé, cross stitch, needlepoint and drawing before discovering my real talent was in beadwork.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I discovered Fire Mountain Gems and Beads through my sister.
What other hobbies do you have?
Since starting my own business, Beadworks by Kerri, I've not had time for other hobbies. I have recently learned how to make fabric beads and am planning to do beadweaving on gourds in the near future.
Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
Locally, I'm a member of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftmen. Through my Etsy shop online, I'm a member of the Etsy Beadweavers Team and Etsy Project Embrace.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
As with any beadaholic, I'm happiest when I'm either creating something with beads or, if nothing else, just holding them. I work on some aspect of my business on a daily basis, whether it be creating, designing a pattern, reading material to help me run the business or learning something new.
If you use jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
Right now I have an Etsy shop where most of my pieces are sold. I have a booth in a local craft mall and have tried different local galleries, but with little success. My pieces seem to sell better outside the Pennsylvania area. I've sold pieces to customers in England, Finland, Canada, California, Florida, and throughout the midwest area.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I participate in Etsy Project Embrace, a team of Etsy shop owners who donate a portion of their sales to the American Cancer Society. I donate 10% of all sales in Etsy to the American Cancer Society.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Do what you love and the money will eventually follow, always under promise and over deliver and give your customers excellent customer service.