Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2010 featuring Swarovski crystal
||Meet the Designer-Artist
Where do you live?
South Thomaston, Maine
Describe your artistic style.
Definitely mimicking the impressionist artists the play of light and color in the world around us has always fascinated me.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Color and sparkle. I love the play of light on crystals and metal and the colors of nature--the blues of the water and the sky, the autumn leaves, the spring flowers in a garden.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Swarovski crystals and Czech fire-polished beads--probably because the light reflecting off them is absolutely gorgeous.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Crystal Satin Bracelet
What inspired this design?
I wanted something simple and elegant that would accent the colors of the crystals. This design suits itself to any color of the Swarovski crystals.
How did it come together?
I wanted to use the tube beads and the rondelles--the rest just fell together. I now sell a lot of them; a mother's bracelet using the children's birthstones in the top row and the parents' birthstones on the ends.
Share Your Background
When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I was given a beaded necklace as a gift a few years ago and wanted matching earrings and a bracelet. I went to the store and bought a basic "how to" book on beading and then bought the basic tools and supplies and made the matching bracelet and earrings. An obsession was born! I call beading my "therapy" because I lose all sense of time when I am creating. It's very relaxing and satisfying.
Who introduced you to beading?
Self made beader--I can't get my hands on enough magazines and books to learn more techniques.
Do you have an artistic background?
I was an art major in college and have always had to have creative outlets. I did stained glass for many years (light reflecting on color) and now make beaded jewelry (light reflecting on color). I find that I am most happy when I am creating something to share with others.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I accidentally got a catalog in my mailbox that was addressed to someone else.
What other hobbies do you have?
Gardening and feeding the birds. Anything outdoors--hiking, camping.
What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
This is my part-time career, hopefully will be my retirement career. It fills a big need for my creative side. I have always had to have a creative outlet and this is the one that has given me the greatest satisfaction. I meet lots of new people at craft shows and home shows, and I love to sell and make people happy!
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I have a website, attend craft fairs and do home shows primarily. This is a second source of income right now--I am mostly just trying to sell enough so I can keep making more!
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I donate items to church fairs and other fundraisers to be bid on.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Don't give up, and get your name out there! By making gifts and donating items, more people are seeing your product. It takes time and patience.