Frequently asked questions... (from my previous blog, interviews by other bloggers and my Facebook page) If you have a question, post it in the comments section below.
Q. How long have you been creating jewelry?
A. The short answer is since January 2005. I've been selling my creations since February 2008.
The longer, more accurate answer is this: As a child, I'd use my dad's tools to re-fashion old pieces of costume jewelry into something new. I'd dismantle bracelets to make earrings, I'd link several pairs of earrings together to make a charm bracelet, and so on. Back then, no one had heard of "upcycling" or "repurposing" yet that's what I was doing.
In 1996 and again in 2001, I took lampworking classes so I could learn to create glass beads. The first was at Forest Heart Studios in Maryland, and the second was at a now-closed studio in Mandeville. The irony is that I was pregnant with my second and third babies at the time (yes, I did have my doctors' approval. The area was well ventilated, I wore a mask, etc.). While some pregnant women crave cheesecake, I craved fire and glass.
It didn't take long to realize that lampworking wasn't for me. I admire the artists who can spend a lot of time (and I mean a lot!) to make one truly special, sculptural bead, but I needed more instant gratification. I love, love, love these ladies who support and promote my business locally (hugs to Wendy, Diane and Van).
Q. What are your favorite techniques?
A. While I enjoy stringing beads on flexible, nylon coated beading wire, I'm especially enjoying wire wrapping right now. I'm pretty much self-taught. I experiment a lot and thank goodness for scrap metal recycling programs, because I goof a lot.
Q. What's next?
A. My list is long.... I studied metal smithing with Alan Hill of Symmetry Jewelers in New Orleans back in 1999. Cutting shapes from sterling silver sheet, forming them into rings, pierce work, making our own bezels, stone setting. I loved it. This is an area I'd like to pursue, but I cannot find anyone in my immediate area that teaches this. I would also like to learn to work with Precious Metal Clay (PMC), and metal stamping.
Q. How do you select your materials?
A. I have a highly refined shopping technique that I call "WOO PRETTY!" If it makes me gasp (in a good way), it ends up in my basket. It may sit in my inventory for 2, 3, or 4 years until I figure out what to do with it, but Woo Pretty wins every time.
Q. What part of running your business do you least enjoy?
A. Product photography (only because I'm so awful at it) and trying to write creative descriptions using SEO friendly terms. My creativity is used in my jewelry...unfortunately, I have little left for marketing.