A few years ago, I took part in my first bead swap. This is a resurrected, updated post of the 'about me' I initially posted. *This is a photo heavy post. Sorry, not sorry =]
Oh, how far I've come!
1. Why or how did you get started making jewelry? I was around ten years old when I first discovered the world of handmade jewelry. My Yia Yia (grandmother) took my sister and I to a bead store when we were visiting her in New York, and we were taught how to create our own pair of earrings.
That very first pair! I still have them!
After I got home from that trip, I had my parents take me to Walmart, and I stocked up on beads. I also tinkered with making my own beads out of clay. Now, you'll notice I started this post with a picture of a current design. That was so I wouldn't be judged super harshly for these first pieces. To be fair, though, I was 10 or 11.
Here are a couple examples of the early jewelry:
So after 12 years, I would definitely say my style, construction, and photo-taking abilities have improved.
2. What style(s) of jewelry do you like to make?
I don't really think I have a definite style. I feel like you can feel the spirit of me and my handiwork running through my pieces though. Instead of trying to put this style into words, how about I just show you some of my recent/not so recent favorites.
A necklace made for a friend. I am still kind of obsessed with it.
These are one of my favorite pairs of earrings that I made for myself. They are sterling silver with dichroic glass beads (which were mega $$). I'm a little sad because I have no idea where I put them. They have to be around here somewhere...
And of course, my beautiful little jellies! Shown in both sterling silver and copper with artisan glass beads. Both styles are actually in my etsy shop, including a limited run of some great artisan ruffle jellyfish. Etsy shop here
A custom 'aura' set made for a friend. Moonstone, sunstone, and labradorite help to center your aura.
My sister's earrings Sterling Silver and paua shell
My Feather Ring Nickel silver, copper, and turquoise.
I'm pretty sure the beads are porcelain. They are artisan made with a gold foil around the top. The feather studs are sterling silver. These are up in my etsy shop.
As you can probably see, I've started working a lot more with soldering and more expensive materials like turquoise and sterling silver.
3. What materials do you prefer to use (and which ones do you avoid)?
I love to use swarovski crystals, leather, sari silk, fabrics, copper, sterling silver, semi-precious gemstone beads, bone beads, shell, etc... I honestly really love new materials, and I love to try and incorporate found materials like bottle caps or keys or metal bits and bobs that I find around. I've recently been using more cabochons too. I try to stay far away from plastic beads (like far far away). I rarely, if ever, use seed beads. And I honestly don't really use glass beads much unless they're really special (i.e. artisan glass). Not a huge fan of polymer clay unless it doesn't look at all like polymer clay. Here are a few fun mixed media pieces:
This amazing cuff I made for my sister. I keep wanting to get back into these fabric cuffs. I'm still pretty obsessed with them.
Another view of the cuff. It's comprised of lace (both vintage and new), buttons, pocket watch pieces, pearls, and crystals.
I made these necklaces for a while out of recycled pull tabs. I may revisit this design at some point.
These fair-trade, recycled, sari silk bracelets are one of my favorite bracelets to wear. I love that they're washable. I have some available in my etsy shop.
I love these. They're one of the funkiest pairs that I've made recently. Brass filigree, leather feather (by moi), vintage glass beads, artisan torch-fired enamel, and that pretty blue bead. This pair is also in my etsy shop.
This is a better example of my signature leather feathers. This pair features some glass crystals and vintage components.
And of course, I can't feature my multimedia without showing this guy again. My steampunk heart
4. What colors do you use most, and which do you run screaming from?
I don't know if there's any particular color that I use most. Maybe blues and greens? I don't tend to work with a lot of bright colors as they can be hard to wear, but I'm not super opposed to them if, say, they're featured in a gorgeous artisan glass bead.
So that's a bit about me and my jewelry artist journey. Hopefully this helps my partner in an upcoming swap!