Valerie Z

Valerie Z

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2010 featuring Gemstones

Category: Home Décor and Doll

Silver Medal Prize Winner

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Brooklyn, New York

Describe your artistic style.
Traditional, impressionist.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Natural gemstones, beautiful colors, Monet, Faberge, Renoir.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Natural gems, crystal and silver and gold-plate.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Homage to Faberge--Rejoice Egg

What inspired this design?
The beautiful gemstone eggs created by Faberge.

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
I saw it in my head. I used to make Pysanki, the traditional dying of the Easter eggs in Russia. I wanted my own "Faberge" and with the affordable gems and beads at Fire Mountain Gems, I was able to do so in an affordable way.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
In 1999 I went to the Marilyn Monroe auction in New York City. There was a 60-inch black bead necklace which Marilyn wore around her neck three times.

Who introduced you to beading?
A friend.

Do you have an artistic background?
I used to oil paint, do Pysanki.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
A friend.

What other hobbies do you have?
Painting, singing and writing.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1983. As closing clasps was difficult, I began making myself jewelry with elastic cord.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
As I can no longer work, at least I can make birthday and Christmas presents for my mother and my four nieces.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Make what you love, love what you make.

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