|Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
Describe your artistic style.
Native American and anything to do with nature.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
My Native heritage, which is Cherokee.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I can get into a creative mood with any type of material. I work more with gemstones and leather, but it is according to what the event is, or I see something and say to myself, that would be cool as a necklace, bracelet or earrings.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Shyrave, Birth of a Woodland Fairy Necklace
What inspired this design?
My 12 year old granddaughter, at the birth of a new granddaughter born March, 2010, she said the new baby looked like a fairy, and being our last name was Woods, I should make a necklace for them. So, I designed this necklace and named it the Shyrave, short for Shyanne and Raven, my two precious granddaughters.
How did it come together?
Well, I was trying to come up with an idea for the Shyrave necklace, and your contest, and I dreamed about it. I got up at 5am, and it just kept coming to me and I just kept putting it together. I could have added more to it, but sometimes too much makes a piece too busy, so I stopped when it felt right.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I am 3/4 Cherokee, and grew up around different types of art. I was introduced to various talents, and I do other types of crafts, but for me, my passion was making jewelry. I sold my first necklace at the age of 12. It was a seed bead necklace with a peace symbol on it. I was so proud. Sold it for $10. Since that time, I have made and sold jewelry.
Who introduced you to beading?
My father, and both of my grandmothers. All of them were very talented, and I learned a lot from them. My mother taught me a lot and I still seek her advice or opinion.
Do you have an artistic background?
I came from a very artistic family. Some are well known for their various types of art. So yes, I think I have an artistic background that I am very proud of.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
My mother gave me my first Fire Mountain catalog back in 1999. I fell in love with y'all then, and still love what you're all about. Not to mention how trustworthy y'all are. When I buy from y'all, I never worry about the quality, because it is exactly what you say it is.
What other hobbies do you have?
Sewing, aromatherapy, and doing Living History events.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Making jewelry is my life. I make something every day, or I am writing down designs if I am not at home. It is always in my head, even when I sleep. It is a full-time career for me.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I do a lot of Living History shows and set up in my marquee. I also have a web site on Artfire. I have only entered 2 contests, and they are with you.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
My husband passed away 4 years ago with Huntington's Disease, and I have made and sold Jewelry for the awareness of Huntington's. This is a disease not many people have heard of, so I would like to design a pendant in remembrance of my husband and his disease and support Emory Huntington's Disease Center in Atlanta, Ga.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Learn, learn and learn more. Every day of your life is an adventure and is filled with the expertise of others around you. Look, listen and learn... it will make you a happier person.