How long have you been making jewelry? I played around with different things here and there, but I’ve began making jewelry like you see on this web-site since summer 2012.
How did you learn to make jewelry? After my favorite pair of shell earrings broke, an artist friend, Amanda, in Maui taught me some basics of wire wrapped jewelry and then I learned more at Lilly’s Bead Box in Knoxville. I also utilized You Tube and learned a lot the hard way. I taught myself to hammer, which is one reason why my designs are so unique.
Have you always been an artist/jewelry designer? I was always interested and involved in art, from 4-H poster contests in the 6th grade to an art minor and mixed media and photography exhibits in college. I was an English and English as a Second Language teacher for about 9 years, teaching mostly undergraduate and graduate students in Tennessee, California, Hawai’i, & Honduras. I have also been a Martha Beck certified life coach since 2003 and have specialized in coaching clients in creativity, relationship, business, productivity, life balance, etc.
Where do you get your gemstones? I get most of my gemstones from the Gem and Lapidary Wholesale shows held in North Carolina.
What metals do you use? I primarily use 14/20 gold fill, and Argentium sterling silver. I also use surgical steel posts, brass, copper and some plated metals.
What’s your creative process? Sometimes I’ve woken up with images in my head from dreams. I immediately draw a draft of the image from the dream and then figure out how to make it. And then sometimes it’s as simple as needing jewelry to wear with a certain outfit or a particular intention I would like to wear.
If I want to order a custom design, how does that work? Come by my studio, e-mail me or call me with your request. If you want to work with me to co-create a unique piece of jewelry, send me any photos or descriptions you have, your size, metal, and gemstone preferences and give me a sense of your budget. I’ll let you know if it’s something I can help you with or refer you to another jeweler. If you simply want a different color, size, or metal of a design that I have, I consider that a variation. Just ask for it.
Do you repair jewelry? In most cases, I can replace ear wires, and add or take away clip-ons. I can repair basic wire-wrapped or bead designs. I generally do not work with settings or beads without holes in them, but I can refer you to those who do that work.
Can you do anything with old beads? I’m glad to re-purpose your older beads. One example of this is a woman who had gemstone chip necklaces she had inherited from a family member, but she never wore them. I took a few of the beads from each and made pairs of earrings that she now wears. See my blog about custom orders or my Facebook album of custom designs for more examples. I can use your beads in designs as long as there’s a hole in the bead/gemstones. This especially valuable for sentimental jewelry that can be revitalized/re-purposed.