Laura Zawacki

Garden Necklace
Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
New York

Describe your artistic style.
I like funky, offbeat styles or a combination of classic with a funky twist. I love working with wire, and I am very impulsive when it comes to my work...I might see something that gives me an idea, and I HAVE to go try and work out what comes to me. I sort of work by the seat of my pants...even I AM sometimes surprised at the final result!

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I love texture, fabrics, color, design...almost anything can be inspirational to me. Color, texture and mood. If I have a mood that feels important, I might try to recreate it in jewelry.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Wire! I don't like anything plastic or cheap looking. I like working with odd shapes, and different types of materials that might be integrated into my design, i.e. leather, etc.

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

What inspired this design?
A necklace I saw in a store...I wanted to create something similar but something that looked more like a garden to me.

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
I just dug in and it came together on its own.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
In 1999 I began making jewelry using my grandmother's old jewelry as gifts for my sisters.

Who introduced you to beading?
I think my grandmother...even though she had already passed away, I just felt this strange calling to her jewelry that would not go away. When I finally gave in to it, voila!

Do you have an artistic background?
I have sold handmade bridal gowns, veils, and children's clothing that I designed, and a line of shorts for volley ball players. I also sold two separate designs to J. Jill. I never studied in school, but my Dad was an artist and my mom taught ceramic classes...I guess my family inspired me, too.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
In a bead design magazine.

What other hobbies do you have?
Writing, photography and sewing...also carpentry and anything I can do with my hands.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
I taught jewelry making classes for five years and still keep in touch with my students.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Emotionally it can keep me focused, be a stress reliever or give me a great sense of satisfaction!

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I do not currently sell, but I have sold to stores, catalogs, and I did shows...LOTS of shows, and I have taught classes and sold online as well.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Yes, I sold jewelry to support people with gastro paresis...and women who had to have their colons removed as a result.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
YES! HAVE FUN!! Find your own style and don't compare yourself to anyone! Do it for YOU!