When did you first start making jewelry and how did you learn?
I started making jewelry about 8 years ago. I’m mostly self-taught for all the basic jewelry-making techniques such as stringing, wire-wrapping and knotting through books, magazines and just playing around. I have also taken classes all over for more advanced skills such as bead weaving, metalworking, advanced wire-wrapping and macramé. I gained much of my knowledge and experience working at a bead shop. I worked there for 4 years. I made jewelry for customers and honed my skills every day I was there. I taught many of my own basic jewelry-making classes at the shop and I gained other practical skills and experience through preforming services such as jewelry repair and custom design work. I also had access to an array of classes and workshops offered by other talented teachers and jewelry artists during my time there. The rest of my knowledge base I’ve gained through lots of experience and experimenting over the last 8 years.
Can you remember the first piece you made?
Oh, gosh. The very, very first jewelry was probably friendship bracelets as a kid. I remember making lots of those. Once I found jewelry-making as an adult, the very first pieces of jewelry were a couple of memory wire bracelets and some brick-stitch earrings.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere. A lot comes from fashion, fabrics and home décor. I’m inspired by the clothes in my own closet or an ensemble I saw in a boutique or a shop online, or maybe even from the fabric on a pillow or chair. I’m also inspired by other countries around the world. I might be inspired by an article I read about a particular culture or a picture from a magazine or a photo online. I’m also inspired by nature. The beauty right outside my door yields limitless design ideas and color palettes to work with.
What's your craft space like and how do you organize your supplies?
I’m lucky enough to have a small studio space in my home. I absolutely love it. You can read about it and see pictures of my space on my blog here: http://www.erinsiegeljewelry.blogspot.com/2013/04/my-jewelry-studio.html
What music/podcasts/TV shows do you love to craft along to?
I don’t listen to anything while I’m working. Mainly that’s because I make jewelry while my 2 year old daughter is napping or at night when everyone is asleep. I need to keep it quiet!
Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?
I do appreciate all sorts of arts and crafts. Before jewelry, I used to enjoy drawing, painting, embroidery and candle and soap-making. Now, it’s all jewelry, all the time! I found my true passion and calling. It consumes me and I’m very passionate about what I do and what I create. When time allows, I love to travel, visit family and friends, go to the beach, go hiking, go out to eat and watch indie and foreign films with my husband.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I wrote a jewelry-making book! Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather, Ribbon and Cord published by Interweave Press 2012. You can find it on Amazon.com here: http://www.amazon.com/Bohemian-Inspired-Jewelry-Designs-Leather-Ribbon/dp/1596684984
I also offer some additional jewelry-making tutorials in my Etsy shop: www.erinsiegeljewelry.etsy.com