When did you first start making jewelry and how did you learn?
It all came about whilst I was on a mixed media design team about 7 years. Our brief for the month was to use the materials supplied to create jewellery, so my venture into jewellery making came about out of necessity. As a result, I'm more or less self taught and I've learned how to construct things as I've gone along - some things worked and some things didn't. Since then, I've learned from books, YouTube and blogs. I've even picked up some tips/techniques from students I've taught!
Can you remember the first piece you made?
It was a mixed media necklace featuring a Faux Opal "donut" that I cast by pouring thick embossing powder into a mould and embedding Fantasy Film into it. I strung a long length of beads on thread, slid on the donut, added matching beaded tassels on each end and turned it into a lariat. I was pretty happy with the way it turned out, but knowing what I know about jewellery making now, I should have used Nymo to string the beads and not sewing thread!
Where do you look for inspiration?
Often, I find that it's the beads I'm working with that provide the inspiration for the design, usually because the client I'm working with has given me a brief and then it's up to me to interpret it. But when I'm just in the mood for a dose of eye candy, I head to Pinterest.
What's your craft space like and how do you organize your supplies?
I enjoy a variety of crafts so I tend to dabble in whatever has caught my attention at the time - it might be knitting, paper crafting or creating home decor items.
As for my craft space? Well, it's a working studio so it has to be cleaned regularly so I can open it up to students. I'm lucky to have a dedicated room with plentiful storage which houses all my supplies and keeps things in order. It has a large picture window which lets in a lot of light and a lot of my jewellery is on display here. Visitors say it's like stepping into a jewellery shop!
What music/podcasts/TV shows do you love to craft along to?
I'm a solitary crafter and enjoy crafting without distractions. I find I'm much more productive in the peace and quiet of my studio. But at stressful times, when deadlines are looming, I'll play tracks featuring the sounds of nature, like babbling brooks, rainforest birds and frog calls - I find it relaxes me and reminds me that there is life outside the studio!
Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?
I just enjoy making things so I'll pick up whatever craft has taken my fancy at the time. Some of the things I've dabbled in are cross stitch, cake decorating, sewing, knitting, paper crafting and mixed media - but there are many more! I also enjoy gardening and because I live in a subtropical climate, things grow quite quickly making it a very rewarding hobby.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I've recently published two books: "Stylish Leather Jewelry - Modern Designs for Earrings, Bracelets, Necklaces, and More"; and "Fabulous Jewelry from Findings - Chic Designs Using Spacers, Caps, Clasps, and More". They can be purchased through Amazon or my website.
Each book is packed with innovative designs, featuring clever construction ideas. The projects in these books will challenge you to look at your beading stash in a whole new light and have you creating jewellery that is fashion-forward and worthy of the catwalk - and yet practical to wear.