So, in the last 24 hours, I’ve been asked a bunch of questions about my life as a jewelry artist & the path that led me here. Sounds like a work blog post to me!
What do you love most about making jewelry?
The challenge, I think. Fun, casual stuff is a good stress-reliever. I love the satisfaction of a five minute pair of earrings. But the more involved stuff– techniques that requires sculpting, firing, mixing, hammering… all of that is stuff I had no idea I’d be doing two years ago. And so every time I finish something difficult, or I use a new skill, I have a deeply satisfying moment of “I made that,” which is addictive, and just pushes me to go further. To learn more. And as a double-Virgo who would gladly be an eternal student if only I had the $$$, having an infinite number of new things to learn and try is totally exciting.
How did you first begin to make jewelry?
My aunt took me into Beadazzled (one of our local bead shops) when I was about 12 years old. I remember being totally enchanted by the lampwork beads, and the goldstone beads. So glittery! So shiny! She showed me the basic things about stringing. Like all 12 year olds, I was madly obsessed for a summer, then forgot all about it. I never did buy any beaded jewelry from that point on, though, because after examining the craftsmanship, I always concluded that I could make my own, if only I were less lazy.
After college, I went through a rough breakup. I needed something to keep my hands and mind occupied. I started buying beads at JoAnn’s and Etsy. When stringing proved insufficient to create the ideas in my head, I bought my first spool of craft wire. No joke, I used garden snips as my wirecutters.
Then my roommate told me about this shop called Terra Firma a mile away, where I found all the tools I needed. Not too long after that, I found myself working there. Being surrounded by such creative people and having such an amazing resource pushed me into new mediums (resin, PMC, metal etching) and totally rocked my world– in a good way!
Do you have a studio?
I do have a small home studio that I work from. It’s got a big, wide desk, a bookshelf where I keep my books and small altar, a big inspiration board for fresh images and color palettes. Shelves have boxes full of resins, ribbons, patina supplies, soldering supplies, mandrels. On working nights, it looks pretty much like this:
Did you go to school to learn how to make jewelry?
I did not go to school for jewlerymaking. I DID go to an arts school, but for vocal music! So I’ve always been surrounded by art, even if this is a relatively new medium for me. Most of what I’ve learned has been either self-taught through doodling around or learned from books and tutorials I’ve purchased. I’ve only just begun soldering, though, and that is something I would very much like to take a class on. Now that I’m a member of the Baltimore Etsy Street Team (BEST), I have lots of team-members who have strong backgrounds in traditional metalsmithing, so I have no doubt I’ll get the best guidance a girl could have as I continue my artistic journey!